Hawks Steal Top Spot In Final Minute

It was a game within a game, when Bunbury hosted Augusta Margaret River on Sunday afternoon, with the Hawks needing not only to beat the Bulldogs, but to win by enough to surpass South Bunbury on percentage to get the minor premiership and the home Second Semi Final.

It took the Hawks until the final minute of the match to surpass the percentage of South Bunbury, with the second last score, which then produced amazing scenes at the final siren.

The match was 20 seconds old when Bunbury scored the opening goal through Cam Hay, before Tim Noakes commenced one of the most brilliant individual displays, kicking the first of his nine goals.  After kicking his first from 40m out, Noakes then snapped his second from deep in the right forward pocket, before kicking two further goals later in the opening term, which amassed eight goals, and the Hawks led by 20 points.

Bunbury were not going to make it easy for the Hawks and Jacob Wintle and Jayen Farrant both goaled early in the second to narrow the margin to eight points, before Noakes replied with goals five and six, with the fifth deep in the pocket.  The Hawks went to half time with a 14 point lead, and trailed South Bunbury by two percent.

Hayden Yarran received a free kick at the beginning of the third, which narrowed the margin further.  Noakes entered again, snapping his seventh over his head in the goal square surrounded by defenders, and then his eighth which he dribbled through from ten metres.  Mitch Gerrans chimed in with a goal and the margin had extended to 25 points, and the Hawks narrowed the percentage gap.

Bunbury again started the scoring in the last, and it looked likely that the Hawks would not be able to surpass the South Bunbury percentage, but bit by bit they closed the margin kicking three goals in quick succession.  With the calculators out, it was worked out a further seven points were needed without Bunbury scoring as play entered time on.  Noakes delivered with goal number nine, before a behind sent the Hawks fans into a frenzy.  A goal after the final siren confirmed the percentage gap required, in the most amazing of finishes to a season.

Tim Noakes was brilliant, and could have kicked twelve goals, missing three relatively easy shots across the day.  Simon Moore and Ben Taylor also played well for the reigning premiers.  Matt Partridge and Scott Doncon played well for the Bulldogs who will now face South Bunbury at Hands Oval next Sunday in a Qualifying Final.

MATCH CENTRE

Aug Marg River  6.0.36  9.1.55  12.4.76  17.10.112
Bunbury  2.4.16  5.7.37  8.9.57  9.9.63

Goals:  Augusta Margaret River – Tim Noakes 9, Oscar Armstrong 2, Matthew Bannister 2, Zac Dronow 1, Mitchell Gerrans 1, Simon Moore 1, Harry Taylor 1.   Bunbury – Cameron Hay 2, Jayen Farrant 1, Patrick Farrant 1, Jesse Gribble 1, Jett Rigby 1, Jacob Wintle 1, Hayden Yarran 1.
Best:  Augusta Margaret RiverTimothy Noakes, Simon Moore, Kyle Anderson, Ben Taylor, Kael Coleman, Matthew Bannister.  Bunbury – Matt Partridge, Scott Doncon, Jaymin King, Jesse Gribble, Dylan Heasman, Beau Luzi.
Ground:  PC Payne Park
Umpires:  Daniel Ebert, Scott Jones, Cameron Valenti
Reports:  Nil
Crowd: 689

Tim Noakes about to kick his seventh goal in a brilliant individual performance. Photo courtesy of Wayne Hislop