Bunbury hold on to beat Eaton Boomers

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Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times
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Talented youngsters Aidan Clarke and Harry Creasey stood tall to lead Bunbury to an eight-point win over the Eaton Boomers at Payne Park today.

In a closely-contested match, both teams traded barbs, but in the end it was the Bulldogs who were able to start their season well with a 9.7 (61) to 7.11 (53).

The Bulldogs kicked to the Thomas Street end of the ground and established an early lead thanks to the aid of a comfortable breeze, with the Boomers unable to kick a goal until the start of the second quarter when the tides turned.

The Boomers over-used the ball and all too often chose short kicks instead of the long option. This frustrated key forward Jay Walton who ended the game with one goal from three shots.

This meant they turned the ball over across half forward, where Bunbury would quickly switch the play to the other side of the ground and expose their opposition.

Eaton Boomers midfielders Jace Cormack, Chris Atthowe and Blake Piggott had fantastic games for the visitors, often out-muscling their smaller Bunbury opponents.

Good set shot goals from Josh Battaglia, Rohan Lilly and first-gamer Brendan Craig helped the Boomers peg back the deficit, before a snap from Walton on the stroke of half-time gave them the lead heading into the long break.

Creasey and Clarke made the most of the breeze, both kicking fantastic goals from clearances, as well as using the ball with precision to give their forwards first use.

Bunbury forward Matt Martin could have had a day out, clearly having the better of a match-up against Paul Jones, but inaccurate kicking meant he kicked just four goals from nine shots.

The Bulldogs’ four third quarter goals looked like it would not be enough to win, but when Martin kicked his fourth it gave the Boomers some work to do.

Again the Boomers butchered the ball moving forward, frustrating Walton who was often one-out against defender Kane Bumann.

Craig kicked his second for the game midway through the last term, but that would be the end of the scoring, as Bunbury capped off the Easter long weekend with a win.

Coach Jamie Nani said Clarke and Creasey were the difference on the day.

“To scrap a win is always handy,” he said.

“In the end they (Clarke and Creasey) came too. In the last quarter they came good.”

Nani said he knew the Boomers would look to use short kicks to their advantage.

“They haven’t changed their gamestyle for about five years,” he said.

“They play the same way, so my emphasis was to push them back and not let them get out.”

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