Depleted Dogs hold off Hawks

South Western Times

Bunbury survived a late fightback from Augusta-Margaret River to claim a 23-point win at Payne Park on Sunday.

The Bulldogs had just one fit man on the bench by the end of the game, as the Hawks stormed home to kick four last-quarter goals in the 11.15 (81) to 8.10 (58).

After dominating the first three quarters, Bunbury had a 50-point lead at the last break, but with captain Codey Hay out with a quad injury, then Ryan Davis (broken arm) and Connor Walker (rolled ankle) taken off on a stretcher early in the last term, their personnel was spread thinly.

The Hawks took it up to the Bulldogs, but the margin was just too big for the visitors, with the likes of Travis Justins, Kyle Bassett and Patrick Farrant resolute in defence.

In just his second game Farrant, 16, was again influential for the Bulldogs, working hard down back and taking a number of strong marks.

Meanwhile, Justins was best on ground as the side’s key defender in his debut.

Aidan Clarke and Harry Creasey again dominated in the middle of the ground for the Bulldogs, with the pair of left footers giving their forward in Matt Martin (three goals) and Blair Della Franca (two goals) plenty of opportunity.

Young Hawks midfielder Mitch Lynn again proved he is one to watch this season with another stellar performance in the midfield, while the returning Kurt Kevill was also handy.

But a lack of forward options again hurt the Hawks, with Mitch Payne and Cam Melvin (two goals) the side’s only multiple goalkickers.

Reports from Bunbury are that Davis may miss the rest of the season with the broken arm, while Walker should be fit to play in this weekend’s game against Donnybrook at VC Mitchell Park.

The Hawks will be searching for their second victory of the season when they take on the Eaton Boomers at Hands Oval on Sunday.

Bunbury 4.4 8.10 11.14 11.15 81 def Aug-Marg River 1.2 4.4 4.6 8.10 58

GOALS: Bunbury – M. Martin 3, B. Della Franca, A. Preedy 2, K. Bassett, P. Farrant, H. Creasey, A. Clarke. Aug-Marg River – M. Payne, C. Melvin 2, C. White, J. Rodgers, J. Ellis, C. Rodger.

BEST: Bunbury – T. Justins, K. Bassett, A. Clarke, H. Creasey, A. Preedy, P. Farrant. Aug-Marg River – M. Lynn, K. Kevill, J. McMahon, S. Grantis, D. Hill, L. Trembath.

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