Bulldogs out run the depleted Boomers
Bunbury overran a depleted Eaton Boomers side to post a valuable 39-point win at Payne Park on Sunday.
Goalless and trailing by 26 points early in the second quarter, Bunbury then kicked 12 of the next 14 goals to win 12.11 (83) to 6.8 (44).
The Boomers’ cause was not helped by the early loss of Rannon Salmon, who copped a heavy hit to the head.
Michael Battaglia later joined him in sitting out the afternoon after a knee injury, while both Tyler Patterson and ruckman Nick Martin struggled to run out the game.
Bunbury unsurprisingly finished the game stronger, kicking five unanswered goals in the final term to win after leading by only six points at three-quarter time.
Bulldogs coach Jamie Nani praised their fightback and said he had emphasised to his team the importance of beating a fellow finals contender.
“It's the old cliche about it being an eight-point game,” Nani said.
“I think we just got the match-ups right and put more pressure on, plus kept doing all the little things and one-percenters.”
Eaton began the game well and spent much of the first term in attack, eventually being rewarded with Rohan Lilly kicking the opening two goals before Jay Walton and Heath Ryder further extended the lead.
Sixteen of the game’s 18 goals, including five for Bunbury in the second term, were kicked to the Thomas Street end, despite the absence of any meaningful wind.
Matt Martin and Brett Peake each kicked three goals for Bunbury and Peake’s influence and distribution around half-forward helped the Bulldogs get back into the match.
Bulldogs youngsters Jordan Falco and Braiden McMullen played valuable roles during the comeback.
The third quarter, which produced two goals for each side, was the only term in which both teams kicked goals and was arguably where the Boomers needed to rebuild their lead.
They were unable to though, as Bunbury narrowly extended their four-point lead to six during that term, creating an opportunity to put the tiring Boomers away.
Bunbury 0.2, 5.4, 7.7, 12.11 (83) def Eaton Boomers 4.2, 4.6, 6.7, 6.8 (44)
GOALS: Bunbury - B. Peake, M. Martin 3, B. Blake, B. McMullen, A. Clarke, A. Preedy, J. Falco, B. Della Franca. Eaton Boomers - R. Lilly 2, J. Walton, H. Ryder, T. Patterson, J. Bertola.
BEST: Bunbury - J. Falco, B. Peake, B. Della Franca, B. McMullen, C. Boyd, T. Justins. Eaton Boomers - J. Cormack, T. Patterson, W. Oelsnik, M. Kings, S. Jas, J. Wharton.
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails