Mids battle key

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Former Swan Districts and Boomers player Ethan Maguire, now a Magpie, faces his old team tomorrow.
Camera IconFormer Swan Districts and Boomers player Ethan Maguire, now a Magpie, faces his old team tomorrow. Credit: Trevor Collens/The Sunday Times, Trevor Collens

A defensive press and accountable midfield will be the focus for the Busselton Magpies on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Glen Huon Reserve to face last year’s grand finalists — the Eaton Boomers.

Busselton accounted for a hapless Carey Park on Saturday with a 73-point win at home.

The Pies will look to continue their dominant clearance work when they go head to head with one of the South West Football League’s best midfields.

Former Boomers follower Ethan Maguire starred for the Pies last week, comprehensively outpointing Panthers Sandover medallist Rory O’Brien.

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Maguire and teammates Jackson Arbon, Mitch Tenardi, Jackson East, Reegan Mrsich, Jon Meadmore and Austin Styles dominated in transition against Carey Park, with coach David Lewis labelling his deep midfield Busselton’s strength.

“Every team has a breaking point and we pushed Carey Park over that in the second half and dominated uncontested possession,” he said.

The game will see former Boomers grand final coach Brett Maguire return to Eaton after joining good friend Lewis to become the Pies defensive coach.

Busselton has been stingy this year, conceding 159 points from three games, becoming the third best defence in the league, but will miss full-back Tom Begley, who suffered an ankle injury late in last week’s game.

Eaton are coming off two consecutive defeats to premiership contenders Bunbury and Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault but Darren Rigby’s men are a much better outfit than their current seventh spot on the ladder would suggest.

The Boomers pushed reigning premiers HBL all the way to the final siren in round two, enjoying more scoring shots but going down by two points.

However, Eaton were made to look second rate in the rain against a rampaging Bunbury outfit, who smashed them around the contest on the way to a 60-point victory.

After the game last week, Rigby lamented his side’s inability to adjust to the wet.

“Both sides started similarly. We could not get the ball in the slippery conditions and Bunbury were able to adjust to those conditions a lot better,” he said.

Eaton will get another chance at wet weather footy with rain and heavy winds forecast in Bunbury on Saturday afternoon for the pivotal contest between two finals aspirants.

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