SWFL 2022: Busselton Magpies and Bunbury Bulldogs to face off in epic women’s grand final

Carly LadenSouth Western Times
Bunbury and Busselton are set to go head to head in this weekend's SWFL women's grand final.
Camera IconBunbury and Busselton are set to go head to head in this weekend's SWFL women's grand final. Credit: Carly Laden/South Western Times

It all comes down to this: Busselton v Bunbury for the 2022 SWFL women’s premiership.

The two sides are set to go head to head in a semifinal rematch at Hands Oval on Sunday to determine the 2022 premiers.

In what has been a rollercoaster season for the women’s competition, Bunbury and Busselton have managed to prevail to take the top two spots on the ladder following the regular season.

For the Magpies, it will be the prime opportunity to finally win their first premiership after previously missing out in 2020, and pull off another upset over the Bulldogs.

Busselton coach Rennie Meadmore said the thought of potentially coaching her team to a premiership in her first season as coach was an exciting prospect.

“When I agreed to start coaching back in December, I only had six players,” she said.

“To see where we have come from and what I have been able to do in my first year as coach — it is going to go down as one to remember that is for sure.

“It just gives me goosebumps thinking about what could be the outcome at the end of the day.”

Busselton's Demi Vanderleer.
Camera IconBusselton's Demi Vanderleer. Credit: Carly Laden/South Western Times

Meadmore said the squad would be training as normal in the lead-up to the big dance.

“I met with my leaders on Tuesday night to discuss things as usual but aside from that it is a normal week,” she said.

After Busselton midfielder Katie-Jayne Grieve won the Nola Marino medal last weekend, Meadmore said the team was incredibly happy for her achievement.

“We are one tight unit, that is for sure,” she said.

“Knowing that Katie-Jayne had won the Nola and having to keep it a secret from the group for a week was pretty tough.

“However it was important for us to keep it special by having the whole group there.

“It made it 10 times better.”

Meanwhile, Bunbury will be looking to claw their way back to the top of the mountain in their fifth SWFL women’s grand final appearance since the competition began in 2017, after toppling Donnybrook by 14 points last weekend.

Head coach Michelle Harris said the squad was “thrilled” with the preliminary final win but did not want to get ahead of themselves before Sunday.

“There is more hard work to be done,” she said.

“Our aim is to stay focused, stay positive and work on the things that are in our control going forward into this week’s game.

“The players are a great support network for each other, and they will all work towards keeping the group together and on the same page.”

After falling short in their semifinal match against Busselton, the Bulldogs’ first game in several weeks, Harris said it was good to string a few games together once again.

“It has definitely been a positive for us to have a few games to string together over the past couple of weeks,” she said.

“Not playing for three weeks in the lead up to finals was not ideal for our preparation, however during our training sessions we have worked hard to try and maintain our level of match fitness.”

Harris also confirmed the Bulldogs would have a full squad going into the match.

This weekend’s grand final will be the fourth time Bunbury and Busselton meet, with the Bulldogs holding the historical advantage with wins from their round three and round 14 meetings.

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