Donnybrook Take Elimination Final

Donnybrook have defeated Bunbury in the Elimination Final of the Dale Alcock Homes South West Finals Series, in front of one of the biggest crowds in living memory at VC Mitchell Park for a SWFL fixture.

More than 1200 fans turned up to watch the Semi Final which saw the Dons start brilliantly, with three goals in the opening six minutes to Zac Trigwell, Trent Brown from long range and Jeff Smith from a set shot.  Things got worse for the Bulldogs when Ben Frazer received a free kick and duly converted at the eleven minute mark, and Bunbury all of a sudden trailed by 23 points.

A strong mark to Scott Doncon reduced the margin, but a minute later Ben Howlett took a strong mark of his own, to again stretch the margin.  The Bulldogs then clicked into gear, kicking three goals in four minutes with Mason Hawkes snapping an excellent goal on his left boot, before Scott Doncon took another strong mark and kicked his second goal.  The third goal in four minutes came from Joel Houghton, who snapped truly while running away from the goals, narrowing the margin back to seven points.   Zac Trigwell kicked his second to bookend the quarter as the siren sounded.

Trailing by 14 points at quarter time, Bunbury put in a stunning second term, kicking four goals in six minutes, with Joel Houghton kicking a goal from 55 metres, followed by a goal to Dylan Heasman on the run thirty seconds later.  A defensive error gifted Houghton another, and Heasman kicked his second with an excellent snap, and in the blink of an eye, the Bulldogs led by eleven points.   The attacking by Bunbury was relentless and eventually Matt Martin marked and goaled, with the visitors leading at half time by 18 points.

Fifteen goals were kicked in the first half, only five would be kicked in the second half and all to Donnybrook, as the match changed complexion again.  The quarter was highlighted by a big mark by Bunbury’s Trae Field, but that was it for Bunbury, as Donnybrook regained the ascendancy, with Todd Gregory converting a set shot, before Ben Frazer roved the ball off the back of the pack to kick his second at the Dons were back within four points.  Cooper Clarke-Dehring had VC Mitchell Park roaring when he kicked a long range goal after the three quarter time siren, putting the Dons back in front.

The final term was a tough affair with Jeff Smith converting early, extending the lead further.  Bunbury continued to attack but the Dons defense stood tall, with very little scoring in the final term.  Clarke-Dehring would kick a late goal for the Dons, snuffing out the Bulldogs resistance and season, with the Dons winners by eleven points.  Remarkably despite having great periods of dominance in the match, Bunbury never scored a goal after half time.

The Dons will now play Carey Park in the First Semi Final at Kelly Park next Sunday at 3.00pm.  It was also the end of an era, with the Donnybrook Club Rooms about to be demolished to make way for a new facility to be built at the venue which will be ready for 2025.

Donnybrook  6.3.39  6.5.41  9.8.62  11.9.75
Bunbury  4.1.25  9.5.59  9.6.60  9.10.64

Goals:  Donnybrook – Cooper Clarke-Dehring 2, Ben Frazer 2, Jeffrey Smith 2, Zac Trigwell 2, Trent Brown 1, Todd Gregory 1, Ben Howlett 1.  Bunbury – Joel Houghton 3, Scott Doncon 2, Dylan Heasman 2, Mason Hawkes 1, Matthew Martin 1.
Best:  DonnybrookChris Atthowe, Sam Perkusich, Ben Howlett, Archer Coates, Jeffrey Smith, Scott Tuia.  Bunbury – Jethro Barraclough, Denholm King, Jaymin King, Brandon Gregory, Joel Houghton, Jesse Gribble.
Ground:  VC Mitchell Park
Umpires:  Aaron Andrews, Scott Jones, Cameron Valenti
Reports:  Nil
Crowd: 1210

Photos courtesy of Wayne Hislop