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SWNFL 2023: HBL Lions hold off Eaton by three goals in nail-biter to remain undefeated

Headshot of Carly Laden
Carly LadenBunbury Herald
HBL's Marley Haisma and Amber Byrne defend against Eaton's Jessica Knight.
Camera IconHBL's Marley Haisma and Amber Byrne defend against Eaton's Jessica Knight. Credit: Carly Laden/South Western Times

In a thrilling top-of-the-table clash, Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault have remained undefeated and broke Eaton’s unbeaten streak in the process by just three goals.

The Lions and Eaton went head to head with their respective undefeated streaks on the line during their round six match-up at the Leschenault Leisure Centre on Saturday.

The Lions were off to a flyer with quick goals by Katie Martin, confident feeds by Jasmine Barrett and strong interceptions by Amber Byrne in defence.

However, the match soon became evenly matched as Eaton pushed back with Courtney Collard putting the pressure on in the mid-court and Jessica Knight making several shots on goal.

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The Lions held on to lead 11-8 at quarter-time.

HBL's Jessica Repacholi puts the pressure on Eaton's Jessica Knight.
Camera IconHBL's Jessica Repacholi puts the pressure on Eaton's Jessica Knight. Credit: Carly Laden/South Western Times

The even contest continued into the second quarter, with Byrne and Alicia Colik both putting on strong defensive performances for their respective teams.

As Kasey Joy completed several defensive rebounds, Eaton capitalised to bring the scores level.

While an impressive pass on the move by Khea Borkowski paid dividends for the Lions with Martin making the goal to get back in front, Eaton quickly responded to trail by a single goal at half-time.

Quickly building momentum following the main break, Eaton again levelled the scores, with Knight capitalising off a strong deflection by Collard.

In the midst of the high-pressure contest, Eaton took the lead for the first time and began pulling away, only for the Lions to fight back in what became a back and forth contest.

An interception by Jessica Repacholi earned the lead back for the Lions by three-quarter time, setting up an intense showdown for the final term.

Eaton's Eleanor Yates and HBL's Meg O'Hare go airborne for the ball.
Camera IconEaton's Eleanor Yates and HBL's Meg O'Hare go airborne for the ball. Credit: Carly Laden/South Western Times

As excitement built around the Leschenault Leisure Centre, both sides matched each other goal for goal early in the final term.

Despite Colik making a number of impressive defensive rebounds, the Lions remained composed and started pulling away.

The contest came down to the wire as Eaton dug deep to fight back, but the Lions held on to claim the win 48-45.

Meanwhile, Carey Park held off a determined Donnybrook Blackwood outfit to secure their second win of the season, leading from the outset to win 54-40 at Donnybrook Recreation Centre on Sunday.

Carey Park's Emily Brough and Donnybrook Blackwood's Jasmin Culverwell contest for the ball.
Camera IconCarey Park's Emily Brough and Donnybrook Blackwood's Jasmin Culverwell contest for the ball. Credit: Carly Laden/South Western Times

While the Panthers were quick to build up a lead, the Ravens certainly did not make it easy for them, with a number of strong interceptions and fantastic one-on-one contests at either end of the court.

Elsewhere, Busselton were back to their dominant ways, defeating South Bunbury 70-45 at the South West Sports Centre.

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