Preliminary Final Thriller

Bunbury will play Harvey Brunswick Leschenault for the SWFL Grand Final in 2017, after a thrilling Preliminary Final, with the Bulldogs winning by five points.

Before a big crowd, Bunbury won the toss and kicked with the benefit of a slight breeze to the City end.  The Bulls had plenty of the play in opening quarter, thwarting Bunbury’s chances of a fast start and using the breeze to it’s full extent. Eventually Matt Martin kicked a long goal, which was soon followed by another from Cam Lamonica, as the Bulldogs led by 9 points at the first break.

The second quarter saw the play open up, with the lead changing hands four times, with nine goals kicked for the quarter, with Bunbury leading by two points at the long break.

Goals in the third quarter were as rare as hens teeth, with both teams managing only one each, with Harry Creasey kicking the first goal of the quarter at the 15 minute mark.  Josh Krispyn returned fire, snapping a late goal to have the margin at just five points at the final break.

In a thrilling and tense final quarter, both teams had great opportunities to kick goals but were negated by great defence from both teams. Jacob Pickett threaded the eye of the needle, kicking a goal from a set shot deep in the pocket to put the Bulls back in front.  For the next ten minutes the ball went from end to end, with Matt Martin receiving a free kick as the match entered time on.  Martin’s resultant goal put the Bulldogs back in front.  The Bulls attacked relentlessly in the final minutes, but were repelled time and time again with Kane Bumann taking several crucial marks at full back.

For Bunbury they will play in their first League Grand Final since 2005, while for Harvey Bulls, they bow out after losing three consecutive Preliminary Finals. The winning score of 8.9.57 is the second lowest winning score in a Preliminary Final history, second only to Busselton’s 7.9.51 victory in 2015.

Match Centre

Bunbury 2.1.13  6.3.39  7.6.48  8.9.57
Harvey Bulls 0.4.4  5.7.37  6.7.43  7.10.52

Goals: Bunbury – L. Dower, M. Martin 2, A. Clarke, B. Peake, C. Lamonoca, H. Creasey. Harvey Bulls – N. Carney, J. Krispyn, J. Pickett, R. Anzellino, T. Smith, P. Italiano, R. Shemeld.
Best: Bunbury – H. Creasey, B. Blake, B. Peake, M. Doherty, K. Bumann, M. Partridge. Harvey Bulls – D. Rumble, B. Jones, J. Krispyn, P. Italiano, N. Carney, T. Smith.
Umpires: Adam Hauswirth, Shane Millar, Aaron Andrews
Reports: Nil
Ground: JE Hands Memorial Oval
Crowd: 2207