Tigers Steal Derby Victory From Jaws Of Defeat

South Bunbury have defeated arch rivals Bunbury in the Dale Alcock Homes South West, WA Day Derby at Payne Park on Sunday afternoon, with a thrilling victory, coming from 32 points down to steal victory with 11 seconds remaining.

Under over-cast skies, which lead to rain showers and strong winds the opening term belonged to one man – Joel Houghton, who kicked four goals.  After a behind apiece to open proceedings, Houghton kicked the first goal of the derby at the seven minute mark from a set shot.  The Bulldogs were dominating possession and were peppering the goals, missing three shots before Houghton kicked his second from a free kick.

A minute later, Houghton received another free kick, and duly converted his third, and when he received his third free kick for the quarter, played on and goaled from the goal line, Bunbury led by 27 points.  Blaine Johnson received a free kick on the sound of the quarter time siren, in what was a rare foray forward for the Tigers in the opening quarter.  Johnson kicked truly as the Bulldogs led by twenty three points at quarter time.

The second quarter saw Houghton kick his fifth goal from long range as the Bulldogs continued to dominate.   An opportunistic goal from Kade Wallrodt stemmed the run of goals, and when Tyson Lane converted a set shot the Tigers were within 19 points despite the Bulldogs total domination.  A scramble on the goal like on the sound of the half time siren saw Daniel Perks awarded a goal to Bunbury, who led by 25 points at half time.

The third quarter saw four seasons in one day, with a five minute period of heavy rain, which saw scoring come to a standstill, with both defensive lines thwarting forward moves.  Fraser Gilchrist kicked a goal from a set shot at the sixteen minute mark of the third term, which as it turned out would be the last goal the Bulldogs would kick.   Mitchell Bain was the recipient of a ball that come off the back of a pack, strolling into an open goal as the quarter hit time on.  Tyson Lane took a mark of the day and more importantly kicked accurately to narrow the margin to 16 points at the final break.

The rain cleared in the final term, and the crowd found voice as the Tigers clawed their way back into the contest, peppering the goals.  Eventually Richard Bourne would kick a goal to give the Tigers a sniff, as the margin reduced to just nine points.  Three minutes later, Bourne goaled again and the margin was two points.   In a thrilling final ten minutes, both teams had opportunities to kick the winning goal, which eventually came with 11 seconds remaining, when Kade Wallrodt snapped out of a pack, sending the Tigers faithful into raptures, recording a brilliant victory, just their third WA Derby victory in ten years.

It is the third time in seventeen WA Day Derbies, the winning margin has been four points.

South Bunbury    1.1.7     3.2.20     5.5.35     8.10.58
Bunbury              4.6.30   6.9.45     7.9.51      7.12.54

Goals:  South Bunbury – Richard Bourne 2, Tyson Lane 2, Kade Wallrodt 2, Mitchell Bain 1, Blaine Johnson 1.  Bunbury  – Joel Houghton 5, Fraser Gilchrist 1, Daniel Perks 1.
Best:  South Bunbury  – Tyson Lane, Cole Sawyer, Ben Horsman, Thomas Gallaway, Rocco Versace, Jack Wright.  Bunbury  – Jaymin King, Jack Borlini, Trae Field, Harry Creasey, Xavier Williamson, Baiden Parsons
Ground:  PC Payne Park
Umpires:  Cameron Valenti, Khye Skoda, Talen Guthrie
Reports:  Nil
Crowd: 960

It was desperate stakes as the Tigers stormed home to snatch victory. Photo courtesy of Shane Horner