Trees behind the goals at the Uduc Road end swayed viciously prior to the start of Sunday’s virtual elimination final between the Harvey Bulls and Augusta-Margaret River. It was an ominous sign for both sides at the Harvey Recreation Ground, indicating a hefty five-goal breeze favouring that end of the ground. However instead of spectators ducking for cover from falling branches, it was the reigning premiers who were blown away by the Bulls in a mesmerising eight-goal opening term. Leading by 50 points at quarter-time, the Bulls hammered the Hawks 19.10 (124) to 3.9 (27). The loss marked a sad end for Augusta-Margaret River’s reign at the top of the premiership summit — a place they’ve sat for the past two seasons. There were two key components to this game. Firstly, the Bulls played an exceptional brand of high-octane football, based on controlled physicality and a willingness to involve their teammates. Secondly, in the words of Hawks coach Matt Jamieson during his three-quarter-time address — “this is probably one of the worst skill displays for the year” — with the usually polished reigning premiers not only missing routine handballs in the corridor, but kicks across goals often resulting in costly turnovers. Both sides entered the clash knowing a defeat would effectively end all hopes of playing finals, given Bunbury’s win over Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault on Saturday at Brunswick Oval. Although his team has been decimated by injury, Bulls coach Mark Pink remained adamant his team is capable of being a genuine contender if they play their best football. Pleasingly for Bulls fans, there was an even spread of goal kickers, which took the pressure off Brad Holmes, who routinely does the bulk of up-forward work. Tyson Powell and Matthew Bennell played brilliantly all afternoon for the home team, while former Hawks premiership player Sam Lewis seemed to relish playing against his former side.