Unprecedented drama as grand final ends in a draw

MAD Monday will have to wait another week.

It seems only appropriate that an extraordinary season for the Busselton Magpies would have a bizarre twist at what seemed its conclusion.

Sunday’s league grand final draw against Collie means the teams will have to return to Hands Oval this Sunday to again decide the destination of the trophy.

The obvious image that comes to mind of drawn grand finals is the 2010 AFL decider, and remarkably this match had the exact same final score.

Busselton kicked 9.14 (68), the same as Collingwood did, while Collie’s score of 10.8 (68) was identical to St. Kilda’s effort – and Busselton will hope history again repeats itself with the Magpies winning the replay.

There was confusion on Sunday when the siren sounded, with both players and spectators unsure about whether extra time or a replay would occur, with this being the league’s first drawn grand final.

With one of Busselton’s co-captains, James Price, off the field due to a late yellow card, it was left to the team’s other leader, Sam Shepherd, to meet with the umpires and find out the news that a replay would be required. 

Shepherd admits it was a ‘weird feeling’ and said there was mixed views from the players about the prospect of a replay.

“A few of the lads were keen for extra time, personally I was coming down with a bit of cramp, so I would have struggled to run it out, but probably we would have rather finished it yesterday,” he said.

“It was pretty flat afterwards, but (coach Darian) Cheffers tried to get us up and about. He said it’s another opportunity to play in a grand final.

“We haven’t lost yet, and after 16 years between grand finals we get two in two weekends.”

Magpies star Dan McGinlay, who also kicked two goals, was awarded the Pike Medal for best on ground in the match.

The game ebbed and flowed, with Collie opening out a 17 point lead at quarter time after kicking with the wind.

Busselton worked their way back into the match in the second quarter, however a strong third term by the Eagles saw them hold a handy 16 point lead at the last change in what had been a low scoring game.

Three final quarter goals to Leigh Kelly spurred Busselton on, and the premiership dream seemed alive when they led by two goals late in the match.

Collie hit back though, with the goal that levelled the match coming from a controversial 50m penalty following a late hit from Price in a marking contest, which also saw him yellow carded. 

Neither side could manage a decisive late score.

“We were pretty disappointed, we slackened off in the last 10 minutes thinking we had the game won considering we were kicking with the win and were too loose in defence,” Shepherd said.

With so much hype based around the grand final, Busselton now face another week of build-up and must mentally prepare to do it all again.

“We tried to relax on Sunday night and take it all in, we commiserated with the reserves, had recovery on Monday afternoon and will try to have a normal week,” Shepherd said.

“The lead-up might be different, and warming up on the ground might be different with no games before us, but once the siren goes I think everyone will be up and about pretty quickly.”

The league said Sunday’s replay is scheduled for a 2pm start, with entry prices likely to be reduced to normal finals prices – $10 for adults and $7 for concessions.

Special buses will travel to Bunbury for the game, leaving the Magpies clubrooms at 11.45am and noon.

The cost is $10, and those interested in travelling need to pre-register their interest with Callows Corner News, and be ready to depart by 11.30am on Sunday.

Should any match details change later in the week, it will be communicated via the Mail’s Facebook page.

For more grand final coverage and photos, see pages 42 and 43

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