Bulldogs beat brave Bulls

Justin FrisSouth Western Times
2018 Nola Marino Medalist Carly Allen holds the cup aloft with coach Sean Creasey.
Camera Icon2018 Nola Marino Medalist Carly Allen holds the cup aloft with coach Sean Creasey. Credit: Jon Gellweiler

Bunbury completed an undefeated season in the SWFL women’s competition after holding off a valiant Harvey Bulls by nine points in Sunday’s grand final at Hands Oval.

The Bulldogs, who were put under extreme pressure by the visitors early, made use of the strong breeze favouring the city end in the second term and broke the game open with four unanswered goals.

Although they were goalless in the second half, Sean Creasey’s Bulldogs showed grit throughout their 5.3 (33) to 3.6 (24) premiership victory.

The Bulls had the better of the opening exchanges, with their midfielders pushing hard to keep the football entrenched in their forward line.

After Zoe Worsfold kicked truly from point-blank range, the visitors had three shots at goal in a minute, however all registered as behinds.

Starved of possession, the Bulldogs broke clear in the corridor with under a minute left in the opening quarter, with league leading goalkicker Casara Hill majestically snapping a goal from the left forward pocket as time expired.

Hill’s major rejuvenated the league leaders, who opened the second term with three goals in six minutes. When Georgia Mahony put the Bulldogs up by 21 points at the 11-minute mark, some may have thought the Bulldogs were about to put their foot on the gas pedal.

But courageous Bulls vice captain Fleur Parker had other ideas.

Aware her side needed a boost, Parker threw herself in every contest, which lifted her teammates, young and old.

The Bulls charged towards the city end in the third term and peppered the goalface without making the most of their opportunities.

Unfortunately for Bernie Murnane’s side, they added only 2.2, although they appeared capable of causing an upset as the match reached its crescendo.

However, Bulldogs trio Lilly Taylor, Kloe Bassett and tireless worker Carly Allen were having none of it.

Taylor’s second half work-rate ensured she was awarded best on ground post-game.

The Bulldogs managed to lock the game up in the final term – by forcing multiple stoppages and denying the Bulls any opportunity to break away quickly.

On the final siren, Bulldogs players heartily embraced each other as their season of perfection was completed.

Although defeated, the Bulls took comfort in knowing they forced the back-to-back premiers to work hard for the win under pressure.

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