BUSSELTON Magpies will go into round eight of the South West Football League season full of confidence, having completed a ‘treble’ of victories against Harvey Bulls with the league, reserves and colts all prevailing last weekend.
South Bunbury is this week’s opponent, with a trip to Hands Oval for what will be the Magpies third consecutive Saturday fixture, and the chances of another treble are strong.
South Bunbury’s league side have proven to be a shadow of their 2011 team, with last season’s beaten grand finalists fielding an almost-entirely different line-up in 2012.
The Tigers have only posted one win from seven matches, against Donnybrook, and sit second last on the table.
It is difficult to take much from their match last weekend, with a 4.7 (31) to 2.5 (17) loss against Augusta-Margaret River played in atrocious conditions.
Busselton will fancy their chances, even away from home, after getting back into form with a 25-point win last weekend.
Power forward Leigh Kelly kicked another six goals to take his season tally to 29, keeping him second in the competition.
If the Magpies strong midfield brigade, with the likes of Dan McGinlay, Nick Hammond and Tim Ioannou can gain control, the youthful Tigers could be in for a long evening.
The reserves fixture is almost identical in its outlook; with Busselton enjoying a 5-2 record compared to South Bunbury’s 1-6.
The ninth-placed Tigers were beaten by 51 points last week, only kicking a single behind after quarter time.
Busselton, conversely, were totally dominant in dispatching Harvey Bulls by 106 points.
That win entrenches Busselton in fourth spot, and they now sit only one win from the top, and boast a superior percentage to ladder leaders Carey Park, who Busselton beat comfortably last month.
Key to Busselton’s chances will be their forward line, with Brock Monck (four goals last week, 20 for the season), Chris Hutchins (four last week, 20 for the season) and Sean Trombetta (three last week, 17 for the season) all sitting in the reserves competition’s top six goal-kickers.
The colts match looms as potentially the most intriguing, with South Bunbury placed higher on the ladder but the two sides going in with completely contrasting form.
Busselton’s 251-point win over Harvey Bulls will clearly be a confidence booster, while the Tigers slipped up with a 13 point loss to Augusta-Margaret River.
A win for Busselton would move them ahead of the Tigers, and potentially up to fourth place.
Beau Chinnery returned from injury last week and kicked eight goals for Busselton, taking his season tally to 15 from just four games, while best-on-ground Brendan Millar kicked seven last week.
The test for Busselton will be to play with some consistency, and ensuring the match coach Dave Whitehead described as “one of the best colts games I’ve been involved in” is not just a one-off performance.
The colts kick off proceedings at 1.45pm on Saturday, ahead of the reserves at 4pm and the league at 6.10pm. All matches are at South Bunbury’s home ground of Hands Oval.