The Dale Alcock Homes SWFL Grand Final for 2017 has been won by Bunbury at a rain-soaked JE Hands Memorial Oval on Sunday, in front of 3216 fans.
Bunbury led all day, and kept Harvey Brunswick Leschenault to just 2.6.18, the lowest ever score in a SWFL Grand Final, on a very wet and gloomy afternoon, with the flood lights glaring from the 10 minute mark of the second quarter.
Below is a full report from South Western Times, Sports Reporter, Mitchell Woodcock on how the day unfolded.
Bunbury broke a 16-year premiership drought with an emphatic 50-point victory over favourites Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenualt at Hands Oval on Sunday.
The Bulldogs got off to a hot start and never looked back, holding the Lions to the lowest score in grand final history in the 10.8 (68) to 2.6 (18) win.
The Lions pulled the surprise off the day before the first bounce, dropping co-captain David Newman, while Jonathan Fenwick also missed out as Jordan Sell and Ty Armitage came into the team.
This moved proved painful for the Lions, who missed the experience of Newman in the back half in the wet and windy conditions.
Both teams struggled for ascendency in the first 13 minutes, before an opportunistic goal from Bunbury’s Brett Peake opened the flood gates.
Bunbury began to take control of the game, winning the clearances and getting the ball up the field as far as they could with each possession.
Harry Creasey (two goals) and Matt Martin (four goals) both got on the scoreboard, while the Lions struggled to get the ball past the centre.
Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault lifted in the second term and a goal from defender-turned-forward Brayden Prentice gave the Lions some hope.
But the Lions could not turn their dominance of play into scoreboard pressure and their undisciplined actions began to cost them, with a number of yellow cards handed out.
One such instance gave Pike Medallist Aidan Clarke (three goals) a 50m penalty to give Bunbury a goal against the run of play, before Armitage was sent from the field with a second yellow card after striking Braiden McMullen following him kicking the Lions’ second.
Bunbury went into the break with a strong lead and the fitness to run over the Lions, who were struggling in the wet conditions.
It took 13 minutes before the first goal of the second half was scored, but when Martin booted his second from long range the game seemed to have swung the Dogs’ way again.
Creasey, McMullen and Cameron Lamonana dominated around the clearances, while co-captain Codey Hay and his fellow defenders in Matt Doherty and Kane Bumann were resolute in defence.
Clarke kicked his second in fine-style and the Bulldogs were just a quarter away from the premiership.
It was all Bunbury in the last term, with Martin booting another two goals and Clarke adding his third, as well as taking mark of the year to extend the lead and the pain for the Lions.
Bunbury 4.5-29 5.6-36 7.6-48 10.8-68
Harvey Brunswick Leschenault 0.0.0 2.4-16 2.5-17 2.6-18
Goals: Bunbury – M. Martin 4, A. Clarke 3, H. Creasey 2, B. Peake. Harvey Brunswick Leschenault – B. Prentice, T. Armitage
Best: Bunbury – A. Clarke, C. Hay, M. Doherty, B. McMullen, K. Bumann, C. Lamonica. Harvey Brunswick Leschenault – T. Quaife, L. Beever, B. Taylor, J. Perkins, R. McKinlay, J. Bloomfield
Umpires: Adam Hauswirth, Shane Millar, Aaron Andrews
Yellow Cards: Bunbury – C Walker (2nd Quarter), H Creasey (2nd Quarter). Harvey Brunswick Leschenault – T Armitage (1st Quarter), J Watston (2nd Quarter), T Armitage (2nd Quarter).
Pike Medal: A Clarke (Bunbury)
Ground: JE Hands Memorial Oval