Dons home in a thriller
The Donnybrook Dons experienced their first taste of victory in 10 months on Saturday with a hard fought eight point win over the Busselton Magpies in Round one of the Dale Alcock South West Football League.
The Pies were gallant in defeat leading at half time and squandering several chances to steal victory in the final five minutes.
Busselton stormed to an early 17 point lead kicking three goals to none in the first quarter as nerves from the long pre season crept into the Dons goal kicking.
After managing only five behinds in the first quarter Donnybrook steadied with two goals to none in the second term to head into the main break only five points adrift.
Dual Hayward Medallist Jace Cormack endured a quiet first half before Dons coach Julian Burgess swung the champion midfielder onto the wing in the second half freeing up the silky left footer who provided classy ball use to help set up many attacking thrusts.
The heavily contested game opened up in the third quarter with both sides trading goals. Magpies captain Jackson Arbon was a bull around the stoppages and hard running from Connor De Campo and Mitch Tenardi helped the Pies to generate plenty of momentum forward of centre.
However, new recruit Sam Bevan was the difference for the Dons, taking several contested marks in the forward half and winning contests at will on his way to five goals in his SWFL on debut.
Bevan beat two Busselton defenders to mark just before the three quarter time siren and calmly slotted the set shot after the siren to give the Dons a three point lead heading into the last quarter.
Inaccurate kicking from the Dons left the door ajar for the Pies who threatened to pinch the four points when full forward Jed Kemp had a set shot to bring the margin within a goal.
Unfortunately for Pies fans the usually accurate Kemp missed from 35m out on a slight angle despite little wind.
Desperate for a comeback win Busselton continued to fight as the passionate home crowd became involved in the tense dying stages of the contest but turnovers on the half forward line cost the Magpies and Donnybrook clung on for a tough away victory.
After the game Magpies coach Dave Lewis rued his sides poor disposal efficiency when entering the attacking fifty.
“We won our fair share of the footy but we had something like 32 turnovers today which I think killed us at times,” he said.
“We had 42 inside 50s but one of the main areas where we turned the footy over was half forward so that was disappointing. We had our chances but we made poor decisions.”
In contrast, Burgess praised his defenders and the contested intensity of the game.
“It was a really tough game. When we had ascendancy we would push up and defend well and they did the same to choke us a bit,” he said.
“Our back half for that last quarter was awesome, we dropped one back and they held up.”
Final score: Busselton Football Club 6.11-47 Donnybrook 7.13-55
Goals: Busselton: E. Bowman, M. Tenardi, J. Arbon, K. Decke, J. Armstrong, D. Patterson. Donnybrook: S Bevan 5, L. Lucev, H. Hutton.
Best: S. Bevan, T. Gregory, C. De Campo, M. Tenardi, K. Wilson.
Busselton will look to defend the Busselton Toyota Cup at Gloucester Park on Saturday against fierce rivals the Augusta Margaret River Hawks. Bounce down in Margaret River is 2.20pm.
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