SWNFL 2023: Reigning premiers Busselton to enter new territory against returning Augusta-Margaret River

Headshot of Carly Laden
Carly LadenSouth Western Times
SWNFL 2022 league premiers Busselton Magpies.
Camera IconSWNFL 2022 league premiers Busselton Magpies. Credit: Carly Laden/South Western Times

Reigning premiers Busselton Magpies will be kicking off their 2023 South West Netball Football league campaign entering into new territory as a new challenger gets ready to make their league return.

The first round of the 2023 SWNFL season will kick off with a triple-bill of matches taking place on Saturday March 25 at the South West Sports Centre, Margaret River Recreation Centre and Bridgetown Leisure Centre.

Busselton Magpies, who will be looking to go back to back, will travel down Bussell Highway to Margaret River where they will go head to head with Augusta-Margaret River, who will be making their return to the league competition.

Last year, Busselton was one of the competition’s most dominant teams, finishing the home and away season with 11 wins, three losses and a draw, before swooping through the finals series to reach the grand final.

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The Magpies exacted revenge over their 2021 grand final loss to the Boomers, winning the premiership match 68-52.

During the past two seasons, Augusta-Margaret River have fielded teams in the reserves and 16 & under competitions, with 2023 set to mark the start of a new era in the league and 18 & under competitions.

Last year, the Hawks flew high over the reserves competition, managing 11 wins, four losses and a draw with Bunbury to finish third on the ladder and progress to the finals where they reached as far as the preliminary final against Donnybrook, falling just short 36-32.

Elsewhere, Bunbury will be looking to bounce back after just missing out on last year’s finals while Carey Park will be looking to prove themselves as contenders and snap their losing streak from last year.

Carey Park's Sophie Blackett defends as Bunbury's Kaitlyn Tucker goes for a goal.
Camera IconCarey Park's Sophie Blackett defends as Bunbury's Kaitlyn Tucker goes for a goal. Credit: Carly Laden/South Western Times

The Bulldogs and the Panthers will go head to head to kick off the season at the South West Sports Centre.

Meanwhile, Eaton Boomers will be looking to start their campaign of redemption when they take on the returning Donnybrook Blackwood Ravens at the Bridgetown Leisure Centre.

Eaton's Michelle Wood.
Camera IconEaton's Michelle Wood. Credit: Carly Laden/South Western Times

Donnybrook Blackwood will be returning to the league competition after a year of absence in 2022, while Eaton will be keen to redeem themselves after falling short against Busselton in last year’s bid to secure consecutive premierships.

Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault and South Bunbury will both begin their respective seasons with a bye.

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