Friendly rivalry in race for best boot

Friendly rivalry in race for best boot

THE race for the 2018 Matthew Walsh Leading Goal Kicker Award is shaping as a two-horse event, with a newcomer at the head of the field a third of the way through the season.

Port Douglas premiership skipper Kye Chapple has had a mortgage on the trophy the last two campaigns but is facing an almighty challenge this season from new Cairns Saints spearhead Tom Eltringham.

Chapple looked to have gained ground on Eltringham with a haul of 11 on Saturday against Cairns City Lions but the Victorian recruit responded in style on Sunday afternoon with a career-best haul of 18.

Cairns Saint Tom Eltringham kicking one of his 18 goals against North Cairns. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE.

Eltringham’s 18 surpassed his previous best of 12 last season at Southbank, in the Central Highlands Football League, as he now sits 20 goals ahead of Chapple through seven rounds of the season.

“Everything went well, we played well as a team and everyone was being unselfish,” Eltringham said after the win over North Cairns.

“I got looked after.

“When a team kicks almost 30 goals, the full-forward is usually going to have a day out.”

Walsh, a Cairns Saints legend, claimed the league goalkicking award — which is now named after him — seven times.

Cheekily, Walsh pointed out on Sunday night on social media that Eltringham almost toppled him with the most goals for the club at 19.

Cairns Saint Tom Eltringham kicking one of his 18 goals against North Cairns. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE.

Eltringham, who is already halfway to a ton of goals, is keen to have Chapple as a teammate on July 14 in the North Queensland representative side.

“It is great to meet new guys and play in games like that when you are in a new place,” Eltringham said.

“Playing in the All Stars games together recently, Kye and I worked well together.

“He is a good guy and a good footballer.”

Chapple has kicked more than 100 goals in each of the last three AFL Cairns seasons and is on the way to making it four on the trot.


Best Efforts

Matt Walsh — 19 against Cairns City Lions in 2013

Tom Eltringham — 18 against North Cairns on Sunday

Kye Chapple — 16 against Cairns Saints in Round 8 last season

2018 AFL Cairns Seniors


Eltringham — 50, Chapple — 30 and Mitch Bohm — 22