Hawks comeback for General Gerrans
The Augusta Margaret River Hawks have stormed to an important comeback win against Bunbury on Sunday triumphing by 11 points at Gloucester Park.
On a cold and gloomy day the South West Football League match was played with a finals intensity, with third spot on the ladder up for grabs, the tackling pressure a major focus for both teams resulting in several small melee’s breaking out throughout the day.
The Hawks were in control of the game early, winning contested ball and looking the more skillful team when transitioning from defence, but couldn’t quite make the most of their opportunities.
At the other end Brett Peake and Tyson Wood scored two easy goals to keep the Dog’s in the game at the quarter time break.
Augusta Margaret River started the second quarter in a blaze of scoring with three straight goals thanks to electric short passing into the forward fifty from skilful utility Harry Taylor and poised midfielder Jon Coghlan.
But Bunbury responded with three of their own, as Denholm King began connecting his team’s offence well from the half forward flank bringing the margin back to only 5 points at half time.
After a quiet first half Jesse Gribble got going in the third quarter giving Bunbury the upper hand in the midfield.
Dylan Heasman and Cameron Hay popped up for two goals each for the Dog’s who kicked five goals to two in the third quarter to give themselves a handy 13 point advantage at the final change.
An inspired speech by Hawks Coach Matthew Jamieson motivated his side to lift their work rate and defensive pressure in the last quarter for 200 gamer Ben Gerrans.
The Hawks responded thanks to double digit tackling efforts from hard inside midfielders Max Patterson and Seve Grantis, regaining the momentum in the first five minutes.
Full Forward Ricky Cary, and young Centre Half Forward Mitch Payne then stood up to take two strong marks in attack before calmly slotting their set shots.
Gerrans was forced to blanket the dangerous Peake and did a stellar job for most of the day.
However, the Bunbury goal kicking gem didn’t need many touches to walk away with four goals for the afternoon including an important set shot to regain the lead after a well held sliding mark.
Minutes later mercurial Hawks forward pocket Braden Smith snapped truly before dead-eye Taylor sealed the comeback as the home crowd erupted with loud cheers to see their men defeat last year’s grand finalists.
Augusta Margaret River Coach Matt Jamieson said it was great to get the win for a champion of the club.
“Ben is a co-captain and a premiership player, he’s done a lot for this club and I really respect him as a person so it was incredible to get a come back win for him,” he said.
Bunbury Coach Jamie Nani said the last five minutes cost the Bulldogs a big away win.
“I think we’ve only won once down here in the last six of seven years, to get into a position like that and not coming away with the win is flattening for the blokes,” he said.
“We are a really fit group so our half forwards work up the ground to create that extra number at the contest and then get back into a scoring position but we were beaten around the stoppages in that last quarter.”
Augusta Margaret River will now look to consolidate third spot with a twilight game against lowly South Bunbury on Saturday at 4.30pm at Hands Mermorial Oval.
Augusta Margaret River Football Club
Goal Kickers: H. Taylor 3, R. Cary 2, M. Jukes 2, B. Smith 2, M. Gerrans, J. Hick, M. Payne
Best Players: M. Paterson, M. Jukes, D. Hill, S. Grantis, B. Gerrans, M. Lynn
Goal Kickers: B. Peake 4, D. Heasman 2, C. Hay 2, H. Creasey, T. Wood, J. Meekin
Best Players: T. Justins, J. Gribble, D. Partridge, H. Creasey, D. King, D. Wicksteed
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