Carey Park have staged a great fighting comeback at Kelly Park on Saturday night to defeat South Bunbury by three points.
The opening term was a bruising affair with plenty of physical contests, with Carey Park dominating possession, but were unable to put a goal on the board. South Bunbury eventually went forward to kick the opening goal after seven minutes. Two quick goals by Kelvin Lawrence had the margin out to 16 points and when Craig Hutcheson goaled from in the goal square the margin was out to three goals close to quarter time.
Riese Wilkey kept the home team in touch with two quick goals to start the third to close the margin to seven points after six minutes. In an arm wrestle, the two teams couldn’t find the big opening for the next fourteen minutes as the ball went back and forth, the length of the ground. William Clemett would get a free kick for a high tackle and he duly converted to give the Tigers breathing space. Moments later Guy Piggott also received a free kick for a high tackle, and when he goaled as a result, the lead was restored to 20 points. A late goal to Wilkey, deep in the forward pocket had the margin at two goals at the main break.
South Bunbury would have all of the play in the third quarter, but only manage two behinds before Wilkey goaled at the 14 minute mark to reduce the margin to eight points. Both umpires were under enormous pressure, upsetting both sets of supporters in a pulsating third term. The Panthers goaled again to narrow the margin to two points, and when Liam Stewart converted on the run at the 21 minute mark, the home team was in front for the first time in the match.
When Riese Wilkey kicked his fifth goal at the five minute mark of the final term, the Panthers were full of running, and when Viv Blurton snapped a great goal from the pocket a minute later, the writing was on the wall for the Tigers. To their credit they never gave up, setting up a thrilling last fifteen minutes. When Lawrence goaled at the eight minute mark the margin was back to eleven points, and a further goal at the 16 minute mark brought the margin back to five points. The final 8 minutes the ball basically stayed inside South Bunburys 50m arc, and despite several late shots, including one that hit the post, the Tigers couldn’t find a late goal to snatch victory, with the home team doing enough to hold on in a great finish.
Carey Park 1.2-8 4.5-29 7.5-47 9.6-60
South Bunbury 4.3-27 6.5-41 6.7-43 8.9-57
Goals: Carey Park – Kickers: Riese Wilkey 5, Viv Blurton, Dale Hislop, Liam Stewart, Jeffrey Carter. South Bunbury – Not Available
Best: Carey Park – Aaron Holmes, Jake Thurston, Jeffrey Carter, Riese Wilkey, Jaxon Bell, Samuel Read. South Bunbury – Not Available
Umpires: Michael Hearne, Greg Rolfe
Ground: Kelly Park, Bunbury