Tenacious Tigers pip Eaton
South Bunbury recorded a determined 11.9 (75) to 9.10 (64) victory over the Eaton Boomers on Saturday night at Hands Oval.
Spurred on by their passionate coach Stephen Bilcich, the young Tigers showed no fear and were prepared to win the football under fierce pressure from the opening bounce.
The home side had the better of the opening exchanges, with Riley Flynn running amok all over the ground.
After his goal at the one-minute mark, Flynn continued to present well in the forward line and bring other teammates into the game.
Although not entirely off the pace, the visitors soon realised it was going to be a tough assignment, with every contest uncompromising.
One man who found this out the hard way was Boomers defender Nathan McCosker, who was comprehensively flattened in a tackle by Kelvin Lawrence at the southern end.
It will be a tackle that many of the Tigers faithful will talk about for years to come, such was the ingenuity yet legal nature of its execution. Lawrence duly went back and kicked the first of his four goals for the match and the home side led by two goals at quarter-time.
After the break, the Boomers returned with plenty of dash, particularly through the corridor.
However they were unable to shake off the tenacious Tigers, who remained focused throughout the remainder of the match.
Talented South Bunbury youngster Brayden Jones was stretchered off at the 17-minute mark of the second term with a serious knee injury, with both sides regrouping during the lengthy delay.
This break appeared to galvanise the home side, who refused to wilt any time the visitors got a sniff of victory during the second half.
Post game, Tigers coach Stephen Bilcich warmly praised his side.
“I've been rapt with the last three weeks,” he said.
“The first week we got beaten by 83 points but I still saw a lot of positives.
“They have been listening and have been trying to do what we have put in place, so it was good.”
Boomers coach Brett Maguire was succinct in his analysis.
“I was disappointed mostly with our general preparation really,” he said.
“I felt it was low key and everything didn’t feel like we were up for the challenge.
“Mentally, I just thought we were done a bit.
“It’s disappointing because I think one of our strengths is that we are able to find a way to win and we had patches of good play.
“But just across the board, too many guys were off the mark tonight.”
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails