Busselton Win Epic Grand Final

Busselton have defeated Carey Park in one of the best ever grand finals by three points at Payne Park on Sunday afternoon before 3522 fans, a great conclusion to the Dale Alcock Homes South West Premiership season.

In an epic contest, the match was marred by the weather, with very windy conditions, which made scoring difficult.  Busselton would kick with the wind in the first quarter and could have almost blown their chances of winning, kicking one goal from seven scoring shots to lead by five points at quarter time.

The Panthers hit back hard in the second quarter in a bruising contest, kicking five goals for the term to lead by a game high 11 points at half times.

Busselton kicked three goals to one in the third term to take back the lead at the final change, leading by five points, with the match to be decided in the final term.

The strength of the breeze could not be under-estimated, with Liam Creighton having four bounces on the outer side, passing to a team mate 30 metres out, but the pass was too strong, and the ball blew back to the centre square on the members side.

Both teams would kick a goal a piece in the final term, with the Panthers first to score putting them a point in front as time ticked down.  Mitch Howlett would convert his second to restore the lead for Busselton, the only player on the ground to kick more than one goal.  The final eight minutes saw the ball live almost exclusively in Carey Parks forward line, with two set shots missing to the near side, as the Magpies defended grimly to the final siren.

The agony and ecstasy was evident to all with Panthers players lying forlorn on the Payne Park turf, while the Magpies celebrated a famous victory, their first since 2015.

Cooper Sparks was adjudged best on ground and won the Pike Medal, the second year in a row the award has been won by a player on the losing team.  It is also the second year in a row that the Grand Final has been decided by less than a goal, after the Hawks beat the Tigers last season by four points.

Busselton  1.6.12  4.7.31  7.12.54  8.13.61
Carey Park  1.1.7  6.6.42  7.7.49  8.10.58

Goals:  Busselton – Mitch Howlett 2, Brandy Armstrong 1, Liam Creighton 1, Jaxon East 1, Blake Riley 1, Bailey Sanford 1, Austin Styles 1.  Carey Park – Simon Homsany 1, Luke Hutchinson 1, Ryan King 1, Kelvin Lawrence 1, Rory O’Brien 1, Cooper Sparks 1, Harley Sparks 1, Sydney Stack 1.
Best:  BusseltonJaxon East, Kester Decke, Bailey Sanford, Liam Creighton, Blake Riley, Mitchell Tenardi.  Carey Park – Cooper Sparks, Sydney Stack, Jacob Orsi, Jaxon Bell, Cameron Baker, Harley Sparks
Ground:  Payne Park
Umpires:  Cameron Valenti, Aaron Andrews, Scott Jones
Reports:  Nil
Crowd:  3522