WITH howling winds and drenching rain, Mortlock football on the weekend was best described as a watered down version of the game.
Usually these unusual conditions invite out of the ordinary results but Mortlock, more or less, followed a pattern of the top four making life for the lower order as miserable as the weather.
However there was a modicum of interest in the arm wrestle between Toodyay and Gingin.
Up to the weekend the Toodyay Lions were still bathing in the glory of opening the season by belting the titleholders.
But in this return match, the Eagles, in the meantime, had patched their earlier stagnant form and with Toodyay undermanned, Gingin was to climb another rung on the ladder.
The whole weekend, given the conditions, was not a true indication as to the real capabilities of each contender.
Ignoring the near misses, there was not one game that had more than three goals the difference in the winning margin.
And as for points scored, Gingin's total of 8.20 gives a fair idea of how hard it was master the wind to find the big sticks.
As for the other games, it could be conjectured the injury hampered Dalwallinu Bulldogs gave a rampant Wongan-Ballidu a big scare leading at half time, albeit narrowly, and eventually going down by only three and a bit.
But in normal football conditions would a similar result be mirrored?
Perhaps for now, the Boomers should take it as a scare and have another look at their game which might show some vulnerability despite their marvellous run of healthy wins which see them at the top of the ladder.
The remaining game between Dowerin and Goomalling, in essence, had the same flavour with the expected Tigers' victory but only by a narrow two goals after a very even second half.
The Blues, still shy of six good men, should have gone down by a lot more against a recognised strong force in the top four.
Now into the second round of home and aways Gingin loom large as the ones to beat.
Since their return to form they have downed all the likelys with only one side, at the present, keeping them out of their normal top of the ladder.
Next month, after Country Week, Gingin will attempt to rectify the situation when they meet Wongan-Ballidu but at the same time, the Boomers will be out to remedy their only loss for the season (so far), which was at the hands of the Eagles.
If Gingin's game plan against their nearest rival in the four, Toodyay, was to hit them hard from the jump, it could not have gone better, in a Clayton's sort of a way.
With a roaring gale behind them and a pumped up midfield feeding the forwards the ball was near 100 percent in the Eagles half.
But Gingin was facing the elements as well as Toodyay and of the 12 shots at goal, could only squeeze three between the big sticks - at least ten would have been a comfortable start to the day.
Although the Lions had managed only one goal against these odds, it was their turn in the second quarter and match the opposition's lead with the unabated advantage.
However it didn't happen and only found a single and four wayward as Gingin's ball handling in the slippery wet conditions was far superior and they even found more accuracy against the wind with a 2.1 quarter tally.
In this type of low-scoring game, the points score was just as important as goals and the Eagles had the Lions 40 to 16 at half time and unless there was to be a major catastrophe of some sorts, the game was over with the Eagles moving into the third quarter with the ‘puff’ advantage.
And they took it with another five pots for two majors.
Toodyay had managed three shots for a goalless term.
The Lions however were starting to get a handle on the type of game and scored three majors from seven goes in the final term but so was the Eagles who bettered the shots with eight to notch a single and the game by three goals and nine points.
Toodyay really had nothing going for them for this occasion with their stars in Pat Wilkinson, Michael Burgess, Jack Mainard and Tom Street out although somewhat eased a little with the return of Adam Pearce, Neil Martin and past premiership captain Miles Wilson at half back/forward.
They also saw a returning Zac Sofoulis in an overworked back pocket to earn the side's best.
Ben King was to earn that title for Gingin and in that number sees one Luke Hendricks, on permit from West Perth and with a good chance of slotting into the side.
Shake, rattle and roll
Rocking merrily along in the winners' circle, Wongan-Ballidu got a shake, were rattled at half time and very nearly got rolled by a pack of hungry Dally Bulldogs favouring the conditions in a new-found energy for the occasion.
It might have been in memory of the 27 goals they had over the Boomers in this fixture last year.
But similar to other weekend's games, the weather didn't offer much for good footy as it was virtually impossible to kick goals with the cross breeze.
Tim Siegert was to give a demonstration of a shot swerving from one side of the sticks to out on the full at the other.
However this sort of game, on their ground, was right up their alley for the 'Dogs as they led right throughout the first half starting the second period narrowly by four points.
From here a difference between the two sides showed - Boomers an obviously fitter side against the Dogs who contained a lot of will but lacking in a lot of puff.
A supporter was willing to admit the Dogs were lacking in a lot commitment at training or even showing up.
This disadvantage allowed the Boomers to ease into the final term seven goals the better of Dally's three in what could have gone quite easily the other way considering the conditions.
In this regard the league had a better scenario than the reserves who weathered a ferocious attack of wind and pelting rain without regard for the goal umpires in Steve Carter and Wayne Sermon who as drowned rats had other thoughts about farmers and the welcomed wet.
To add insult to injury it was Wayne's birthday.
Todd McNeill in the back line was named as the Dogs’ best who kept going despite a couple of hard knocks along with Scott Galbraith in the middle and forward.
Ben Tomasini got that honour for the Boomers and Haden Martin and Michael Bartley with four and two respectively must be worthy of a mention with their tally in hard to find goals.
Little by little we see another addition to Dally to ease the injury list in one Pascal Kuhn to see his debut with side as a strong attack on the ball in a wing position.
Perhaps there is more to come from the Dalwallinu Bulldogs?
Depth of talent
For the Dowerin versus Goomalling game the weather conditions saw a tricky, fickle wind, without any given direction, favouring none for a protracted period.
However it was the Tigers' depth of talent, which was to prevail, particularly in the first half as the second was quite competitive.
Given the conditions, scoring was hard to find but Dowerin' talent in the first half saw them with a 2.1 buffer which was enough to carry them through to virtually the same difference at the final siren.
That was a magnificent effort by the Blues who are still six good men away from a competitive side and for this occasion, coach Daine Burnett narrowly avoided putting on a pair of boots.
Midfielder Daniel Shadbolt in his third game with the Blues more than aided the Goomalling cause with two hard-to-get goals along with Dane Leeson and Tyson Bird who managed two apiece.
But Dowerin's edge was seen in Michael Gallagher's interesting ruck dual with Ben Clarke, their back line in Jarron Turner and Wes Hagboom and Daryl Brown and Dean Trewhella's four-quarter effort.
It was a game of equal endeavour hampered by atrocious conditions.