Hawks win their way to a home game final
Augusta-Margaret River thrashed an out-of-sorts Bunbury by 60 points at Payne Park on Sunday, which secured a home elimination final against Donnybrook this Saturday.
With Donnybrook slipping against the Collie Eagles a day earlier, the Hawks had plenty to play for, while the Bulldogs were locked in to third spot.
The home side set a blistering tone early, with Brett Peake having a shot at goal in the first 30 seconds of the match, following a slick centre clearance from Jesse Gribble.
Although his effort sailed wide, Peake made amends seven minutes later, with additional goals to Dylan Heasman and Jeffrey Meekin forcing the Hawks to dig themselves out of a small hole.
Two late goals by the visitors put them within 11 points at quarter time, but they had to work hard for both majors, with the Bulldogs forcing them to several uncomfortable situations.
Hawks coach Matthew Jamieson encouraged his side to improve its directional communication across the ground during the first break and it showed for the remainder of the contest.
Following Matthew Martin’s goal at the eight minute-mark of the second term, the Bulldogs supporters had little to cheer about, as the Hawks’ ball delivery into the forward line began to rip the home side at the seams.
Riding a wave of momentum, the visitors booted four goals in 11 minutes, with Mitch Payne and Matthew Jukes cutting loose and doing plenty of damage in the corridor.
Any hopes of a Bulldogs victory after half time evaporated in the opening minute of the third quarter, when Braden Smith capitalised on some excellent team play and waltzed into the open goal.
Bulldogs coach Jamie Nani was less than amused with his side’s display during the three quarter time huddle, while Jamieson encouraged the Hawks to finish the job.
Five goals in the final term from the Hawks ensured a hearty reception in the Hawks dressing room post-game, however Jamieson was humble about the result.
“We’ve probably let a few opportunities slip the last couple of weeks,” he said.
“To be fair, again full strength personnel weren’t across our side today but we focussed all week on mindset.”
Nani was confident his side could bounce back in the qualifying final against the Boomers.
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails