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SWNFL 2023: Bunbury Bulldogs hold off reigning premiers Busselton Magpies by seven goals

Headshot of Carly Laden
Carly LadenBunbury Herald
Bunbury's Sarah Leitch goes to deflect the ball away from Busselton's Mia Pethybridge.
Camera IconBunbury's Sarah Leitch goes to deflect the ball away from Busselton's Mia Pethybridge. Credit: Carly Laden/South Western Times

Despite a late fightback from Busselton, Bunbury have managed to bounce back from their round four loss in a big way, leading from the start to win by seven goals.

Bunbury hosted the reigning premiers at the South West Sports Centre during round five of the 2023 South West Netball Football League on Sunday.

From the first centre pass, Bunbury were quick to build a lead, driving the ball down the court with Cassady Osiejak and Summer Towers providing strong finishes.

Bunbury's Cassady Osiejak and Busselton's Rebekah Cook contest for the ball.
Camera IconBunbury's Cassady Osiejak and Busselton's Rebekah Cook contest for the ball. Credit: Carly Laden/South Western Times

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While Busselton looked to put the pressure on in one-on-one contests, Bunbury established control with good movement by Sarah Leitch and Maddison Nuske making a number of strong defensive rebounds.

Realising they needed to make adjustments, Maia Bratton was brought onto the court to strengthen the Magpies’ defence.

Busselton soon found themselves hitting a purple patch as Holly-Jo Delaney started getting some shots in while Lisa Millman made an impact in goal attack.

Busselton's Lisa Millman goes for a shot on goal.
Camera IconBusselton's Lisa Millman goes for a shot on goal. Credit: Carly Laden/South Western Times

However, Bunbury held strong to lead 19-13 at quarter-time.

Looking to build on their momentum from the late stages of the first quarter, Busselton were quick to get the ball down the court.

In the midst of strong defence by Bunbury, Busselton struggled to convert early, while the Bulldogs capitalised on defensive rebounds by Isabelle Szemray and Hailey Burrows to extend their lead.

While Janelle Pagan made some good takes in defence, Busselton found themselves continuing to chase Bunbury, trailing by 10 goals at the main break.

Bunbury's Hailey Burrows puts the pressure on Busselton's Holly-Jo Delaney.
Camera IconBunbury's Hailey Burrows puts the pressure on Busselton's Holly-Jo Delaney. Credit: Carly Laden/South Western Times

The contest became progressively more and more physical during the third quarter as Busselton looked to charge their way down the court to put themselves in front.

While both sides went goal for goal during the early stages, Bunbury pulled away once again to lead 51-37 at the final change.

Despite an impressive late fight back from Busselton, the Magpies were unable to swoop in on the win as Bunbury held on to claim victory 65-58.

Elsewhere, Eaton kept their undefeated streak alive by with a convincing 48-28 victory over Augusta Margaret River at Margaret River Recreation Centre.

Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault held off a determined Donnybrook Blackwood outfit 59-54 to extend their undefeated streak to a third win at the Leschenault Leisure Centre while South Bunbury held off Carey Park 45-36 in a fierce battle at the South West Sports Centre to claim their first win of the season.

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