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SWFLW 2022: Bunbury to get ideal dress rehearsal for finals series on Sunday at Payne Park

Headshot of Justin Fris
Justin FrisSouth Western Times
Shana-Lee Beardman is an integral part of Bunbury's forward line.
Camera IconShana-Lee Beardman is an integral part of Bunbury's forward line. Credit: Justin Fris

Bunbury’s opportunity to have a full finals dress rehearsal will present itself on Sunday afternoon at Payne Park, when they square off with fellow premiership contender Donnybrook

While they hold a 12-2 record and a two-game buffer over Busselton in second, Michelle Harris’ side are somewhat disadvantaged heading into the finals series.

With South Bunbury’s withdrawal from the competition, coupled by the fact they have a bye in the final round of the home-and-away season, Bunbury will not play a women’s game from Sunday afternoon until at least September 10.

That’s three weeks in a row with no local football, or WAFLW clubs for players to train with or play during their downtime.

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Therefore the Donnybrook match is imperative for the Bulldogs, who will be keen to fine-tune their potent team heading into the business end.

This match is likely to be won in the midfield, where both sides have no shortage of talent. Spectators are in likely to be in for a treat, should Swan Districts teammates Charli Wicksteed (Donnybrook) and Ruby Mahony (Bunbury) line up on each other.

In attack, the Bulldogs have been able to add the versatile Ebony Bilcich from Peel Thunder (via South Bunbury), who has provided additional polish and slick decision-making under pressure.

Over the past month, both Bilcich and experienced sharpshooter Shana-Lee Beardman have routinely swapped in and out of an isolated full-forward position during games, which has yielded results for the league leaders.

Throw red-hot talent Charity Ryder into the mix and you have a forward line capable of kicking a winning score. However, against a side like Donnybrook, it will need to be accurate kicking, as the Dons are too good of a side to keep hanging around in a game.

The Dons, who themselves have just finished a series of byes, are likely to enter this game full of run and keen to bank a win in all of their remaining games down the final stretch.

Bouncedown is at 1.30pm on Sunday.

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