Dons set up exciting match with Boomers

Justin FrisSouth Western Times
Bulldogs midfielder Jesse Gribble avoids the congestion around him in the corridor.
Camera IconBulldogs midfielder Jesse Gribble avoids the congestion around him in the corridor. Credit: Justin Fris

Donnybrook overpowered Bunbury 9.9 (63) to 7.8 (50) in Sunday’s first semi-final at Payne Park, which sets up a mouthwatering preliminary final against the Eaton Boomers at Hands Oval.

The visitors made a brilliant start to the match, with goals to Chris Atthowe and Kieran Hug putting them up by two goals inside five minutes.

Gradually the Bulldogs improved their directional decision making and pulled to within a point as the clock ticked into time on.

However Atthowe’s football nous again proved telling, with his second goal for the term giving the Dons a handy buffer at the first break.

In the second term, it was all Bunbury, but they butchered several shots in front of goal.

Riding momentum and peppering their forward line, the hosts booted 0.4 in the opening 15 minutes of the term.

Sure enough, the reigning premiers made them pay, with Dion Parker capitalising on some excellent transitional play to put the visitors up by nine points.

The Dons appeared to have knocked the Bulldogs onto the canvass midway during the third quarter, however managed only 2.4 for their offensive dominance.

Nani brought his men in very tightly during the three quarter time huddle and spoke about playing for each other.

The home side proceeded to pepper their goal early in final term, but could generate only two behinds. A bizarre circumstance then coincided with a swing of momentum in the reigning premiers’ favour for the remainder of the match.

While the Dons were quickly rebounding off half back and surging forward, a football from the crowd sailed over the fence and onto the field of play, with a young boy running onto the field to collect it.

Fearing the child may be potentially hurt, a Bulldogs coaching official ran onto the field and managed to whisk the boy away safely off the ground without interfering with play.

Despite both the crowd and players urging for the umpires to stop the game during the incident, play continued, with Hamish Hutton booting a critical goal.

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