Hawks dig deep late to hold off Bulldogs
Augusta-Margaret River stormed home with a 12.11 (83) to 11.6 (72) victory over Bunbury at Saturday on Gloucester Park.
A stirring speech by Hawks coach Matthew Jamieson at three-quarter-time ultimately motivated his side to lift their work rate and defensive pressure in the last quarter for 200-gamer Ben Gerrans.
Huge tackling efforts from hard inside midfielders Max Patterson and Seve Grantis regained the momentum in the first five minutes for the Hawks, who had trailed by 13 points at the final change.
Full-forward Ricky Cary, and young centre-half-forward Mitch Payne then stood up to take two strong marks in attack before calmly slotting their set shots.
When brilliant forward pocket Brandon Smith snapped truly with only two minutes remaining the home crowd erupted with loud cheers to see their men retake the lead and eventually defeat last year’s grand finalists.
After the game, Hawks coach Matt Jamieson said it was great to get the win for Ben Gerrans, while Bunbury coach Jamie Nani believed the last five minutes cost the Bulldogs a big away win.
“I think we’ve only won once down here in the last six of seven years, he said.
“To get into a position like that and not coming away with the win is flattening for our blokes.
“We are a really fit group, so our half-forwards work up the ground to create extra numbers at the contest and then get back into a scoring position.”
The Hawks travel to Hands Oval on Saturday and face South Bunbury.
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