South Bunbury have defeated Carey Park on Saturday afternoon at Kelly Park in convincing style, winning the Qualifying Final by 47 points, setting up a second semi final battle with Busselton next Saturday afternoon.
After being fine all day, the forecast drizzle arrived three hours late, as the match started under dark skies.
Carey Park started brilliantly with Harley Sparks snapping truly in the opening minute of the match, sending the Panthers faithful into raptures. A minute later Ryan King received a free kick, and gave the Panthers a twelve point lead and when Kelvin Lawrence was on the end of a coast to coast run up the wing, Carey Park had made the dream start, leading by eighteen points after just four minutes.
Leigh Kohlmann marked deep in the right pocket at the Northern end, and slotted a brilliant goal to get the Tigers on the board. After four goals in seven minutes the match settled down into an arm wrestle as the Tigers started to wrestle the ascendancy away from Carey Park. Leigh Kohlmann marked and goaled again, this time from deep in the left forward pocket, to bring the margin back to a goal, and the Tigers found themselves in front when Craig Hutcheson kicked the first of his three goals.
The second quarter saw Hutcheson convert a set shot, before Kohlmann kicked his third from on the run, and when Cole Sawyer goaled after a late hit on the outer wing, which saw tempers fray, the Tigers had kicked six unanswered goals either side of quarter time. The Panthers rallied but couldn’t convert, and Kohlmann soon after made the margin 26 points.
Adam Hunter kicked a goal at the start of the third quarter and it wasn’t looking good for Carey Park, but as it turned out, that was the Tigers only goal for the quarter. Noah Carpanoni hobbled off the ground midway through the quarter with an ankle injury, with Harley Sparks kicking a late goal to keep the home side within three goals at three quarter time.
The final quarter saw the Tigers dominate, with Leigh Kohlmann kicking his fifth, extending the margin past four goals, which appeared to break the Carey Park resistance, with goals in the final term coming at regular intervals as the Tigers went on to win by 47 points in front of 1296 fans.
South Bunbury will now play Busselton next Saturday at Sir Stewart Bovell Park, while Carey Park will host the First Semi Final next Sunday at Kelly Park, with the winner of the Elimination Final (Donnybrook or Bunbury) as their opponent. The loss for Carey Park was their first loss at home this season.
South Bunbury 3.2.20 7.4.46 8.5.53 14.5.89
Carey Park 3.1.19 4.3.27 5.5.35 6.6.42
Goals: South Bunbury – Leigh Kohlmann 5, Craig Hutcheson 3, Jace Cormack 2, Adam Hunter 2, Cole Sawyer 1, Kade Wallrodt 1. Carey Park – Harley Sparks 2, Connor Gadecki 1, Harry Jones 1, Ryan King 1, Kelvin Lawrence 1.
Best: South Bunbury – Martin Thompson, Jack Wright, Rocco Versace, Lachlan Princi, Adam Hunter, Leigh Kohlmann. Carey Park – Jaxon Bell, Jacob Orsi, Manasseh Milham, Luke Hutchinson, Bill Brown.
Ground: Kelly Park
Umpires: Braden Surrall, Henry King, Cameron Edmonds