The last time Busselton played at Hands Oval, they arrived with all the hope in the world and left with their heads in their hands. After retaining some of the Lower South West Football League superstars that joined them last year, they would have started this season with the same optimism, and led by six goals at quarter-time. But after Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault chipped away at their lead and ran over the top of them last week, Busselton now return to Bunbury’s home of football at 0-1. South Bunbury presents a chance for the Magpies’ all-star midfield to rebound and get their season back on track, while for the Tigers, their young group will have their toughest challenge yet. Souths recruit Cody Nelson could be the most important player on the ground when the two sides meet on Sunday, but is likely to attract the attention of Magpies defender Matt Welburn. The Magpies were off to a flying start during the first term, with Aidan Fraser kicking two goals, along with an impressive goal under pressure by Reagan Mrsich. Despite glimmers of hope in intercepts, the Lions struggled to drive the ball forward, with the Magpies shutting them down at almost every turn. Although the Lions were left scoreless to the Magpies’ 6.2 (38) at quarter-time, the Lions rebounded from the slow start with a quick goal from Jarrod Humphries. What followed was a magnificent redemption as the Lions clipped the Magpies’ wings and staged an early comeback with goals from Humphries, Taine Williams and Jack Fletcher. Despite a number of behinds bringing goal-kicking accuracy into question, the Lions were back in contention by half-time, keeping the Magpies to scoring just one behind for the quarter. At the main break, the Magpies led the Lions, 6.3 (39) to 5.6 (36). The second half was when the match really kicked into high gear as both teams began to resort to whatever it took to shut the other down. Early goals from Jacob Ness and Daniel McGinlay gave Busselton a head start, only for the Lions to quickly respond and take the lead for the first time in the contest with majors from Humphries, Williams and Tingey. Not willing to give up the fight, Busselton held on to trail by 10 points at the final change and quickly turned to Aidan Fraser and Dylan Patterson for some help up forward in staging a last-quarter comeback. Despite the strong showing by Busselton early, the Lions had found a ball magnet in Williams, who went on to kick a total of six goals for the match to seal the deal for the Lions, When the dust settled, the Lions had emerged victorious, winning 14.9 (93) to 13.4 (82). Nelson kicked four goals in his side’s loss last week, but this week faces one of the league’s best back lines. Former Eagles-listed player Tom Gorter will also have a big job on Sunday, needing to counter the likes of Mitch Tenardi and Jaxon East in the Magpies midfield. Another former Eagle, Adam Hunter, is a chance to return to the league side this week. Hunter started the season in reserves last week, where he kicked four goals in a 90-point victory. Busselton’s return to Hands Oval will be available to watch live and on demand at thewest.com/swfl. On the other end of the South West Augusta-Margaret River made a brilliant start to the 2021 season after brushing off the Collie Eagles by 23 points at Gloucester Park. In an extremely entertaining season opener, the slick ball movement of the Hawks gradually wore down the Eagles, who were unable to find an extra gear when it mattered. The sides went goal for goal during the first half, with the tide turning midway in the third term. Thanks to the efforts of new recruits Lainee Rasmussen, Simon Moore and Harry Taylor the satisfying victory was secured with an impressive 81-58 defeat. The Harvey Recreation Ground was full of epic celebrations as the Harvey Bulls led at every change to defeat Carey Park by 16 points, marking their first win in two years. Donnybrook held off South Bunbury at VC Mitchell park in a nail biting six-point win ending the club’s four-game losing streak. Bunbury Bulldogs however brought in the winning celebrations in a 34-point win over Eaton Boomers at Payne Park thanks to a strong midfield hitting the scoreboard throughout the afternoon.