Busselton Magpies open team met a depleted yet determined Bunbury Bulldogs in Leschanault on Sunday with both teams bolting out of the blocks in the first half.
Multiple changes of possession gave the game a shade of Wimbledon, as both teams strove to find an edge.
The return of Jets duo Riley Culnane and Harmony Sutherland tightened up the Magpies’ defensive circle, while Brooke Gibson continued to showcase her emerging talents on the open court under consistent physical pressure from the Bunbury backline.
The third quarter saw the Magpies capitalise on uncharacteristic Bulldogs errors with Rennie Sansom and Belle Hancock responding to the call for more control and balance in attack.
With the breathing space of a five-goal lead, the Magpies relaxed a little too much going into the final quarter seeing the Bulldogs making their way back into contention.
The Magpies arm wrestled back, running off the court as three-goal victors.
It was a fairly even first quarter for the Busselton under 18’s with some back and forward play against the Harvey Bulls, which keept the scores within two goals in the Magpies’ favour.
Tessa Keane and Shukia Riley made the difference with strong rebounding and intercepts.
A mid-court change of Jaymee Dahlenberg and Imogen Milner who fed accurately to a strong Sunny Manners in goal shooter, allowed the Magpies to increase their lead.
They took it further in the third quarter with great defensive pressure from Phoebe Pethybridge and Ash Farmer, to take a good lead by the end of the quarter.
Intercepts by Hannah Taylor and strong goals from Mia Pethybridge under physical opposition finished off the game well, with the final score 40-24. Best player: Tessa Keane.
A young Magpies Reserves team took on an experienced and physical Harvey Bulls team, in an important game with a win needed to break the top four.
It was a tough fight through all four quarters, with the Magpies leading by only one at every break. Chantelle Milner communicated well with the young shooters in Mia Pethybridge and Matilda Cann, which allowed a build in confidence.
Meg Bolton and Cahli Bowman had strong defence through the centre court and kept the pressure high, causing important turnovers.
Farmer proved a reliable defender, taking the court after an injury time from GD Andrea King, resulting in a lift in intensity which brought the Magpies back into the game.
However, it wasn’t enough to get them over the line, with a late surge from Harvey seeing them snatch the win by a goal.
On Sunday all three teams play at the Geographe Leisure Centre.