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SWFL 2022: Busselton Magpies avenge 2021 heartbreaker with 21-point victory over Augusta-Margaret River Hawks

Headshot of Carly Laden
Carly LadenBunbury Herald
Busselton Toyota Cup winners Busselton Magpies.
Camera IconBusselton Toyota Cup winners Busselton Magpies. Credit: Carly Laden/South Western Times

Six months after a heartbreaking grand final loss, the Busselton Magpies got their sweet revenge with a 21-point victory over reigning premiers Augusta-Margaret River Hawks.

With debuting league coach Daniel Delaney at the helm, the Magpies held off the Hawks in a tough contest in the wet during the opening round of the new South West Football League season on Saturday.

A gradual downpour over Gloucester Park saw both teams struggle in the slippery conditions until Mitch Howlett broke through to score the opening goal for the Magpies.

Although the Hawks tried to respond quickly, the Magpies were quick to put the pressure on, resulting in favourable turnovers.

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Howlett managed a second goal following a 50-metre penalty against the Hawks, giving Busselton the early lead.

Augusta-Margaret River's Ben Taylor dives for a handball as Busselton's Bailey Sanford attempts to smother.
Camera IconAugusta-Margaret River's Ben Taylor dives for a handball as Busselton's Bailey Sanford attempts to smother. Credit: Carly Laden/South Western Times

While a major from Harry Taylor saw the Hawks finally break onto the scoreboard, a flurry of behinds saw the Magpies lead 2.2 (14) to the Hawks’ 1.2 (8) at the first change.

Howlett’s strong showing up forward continued into the second term as he kicked a third goal within the opening minutes.

A scrap away from the play saw the first yellow card of the afternoon received by Augusta-Margaret River’s Jacob Payne, resulting in another 50-metre penalty going Busselton’s way.

Although the Magpies were unable to capitalise on the penalty, they were beginning to build momentum while the Hawks struggled to convert from turnovers.

Busselton's Bailey Sanford and Augusta-Margaret River's Benjamin Smith clash as they race to the ball.
Camera IconBusselton's Bailey Sanford and Augusta-Margaret River's Benjamin Smith clash as they race to the ball. Credit: Carly Laden/South Western Times

A late goal from Jed Kemp rubbed salt in the wound for the Hawks, who were ultimately kept to scoring just one behind to trail by 20 points at the main break.

Going into the second half, the Hawks were eager to redeem themselves from a less-than-ideal first-half effort although Busselton continued to hold strong in defence and gain territory early.

A second lapse in composure saw Sam Lewis receive the Hawks’ second yellow card of the match, allowing Busselton to capitalise with a goal from Bailey Sanford.

The Hawks’ struggle to boot majors continued as the Magpies held on to lead 6.6 (42) to 1.5 (11) at three-quarter time.

Augusta-Margaret River's Timothy Noakes launches to attempt a mark.
Camera IconAugusta-Margaret River's Timothy Noakes launches to attempt a mark. Credit: Carly Laden/South Western Times

The final term began with a resurgent Hawks finally breaking through Busselton’s defences with a second goal from Taylor, followed by another from Beau Morgan.

As the battle for territory continued with a number of behinds scored for both teams, fatigue started to set in with a number of players suffering from cramps.

As the rainfall returned, Kemp extended Busselton’s lead even further with a second goal.

Busselton skipper Ethan Bowman.
Camera IconBusselton skipper Ethan Bowman. Credit: Carly Laden/South Western Times

Although the Hawks were able to respond with a goal from the homecoming Timothy Noakes, it was too little too late with the Magpies walking away with the Busselton Toyota Cup 7.9 (51) to 4.6 (30).

Busselton skipper Ethan Bowman was named best on ground for his standout performance in the midfield.

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