A come-from-behind final quarter from the Busselton Magpies has seen the team cause another round one upset in the South West Football League.
Busselton defeated the Harvey Bulls, who were touted as the stronger side after defeating the Magpies on multiple occasions in 2017.
Busselton’s 91 to 81 victory on Saturday was followed by an upset at Glen Huon Reserve when last year’s premiers Bunbury were beaten by the Eaton Boomers.
The game at Sir Stewart Bovell Park was dominated early by the Magpies, with captain Aidan Fraser leading the way, booting three goals from inside 50.
Signs of accuracy problems were evident from the start for Busselton, with four goals and five behinds in the first quarter.
They led the Bulls 29 to 8 going into the second, however Harvey upped the ante kicking five goals, two points versus the Pies three goals, four behinds.
At half time, the Maggies 21 point deficit was down to just 11 points.
In the third, the Bulls charged again, managing to slot four goals, four points to Busselton’s two goals, five points, resulting in an even scoreboard at three quarter time.
Heading into the final term, Steve Lester’s side needed to lift but the Bulls responded by scoring the opening two goals of the quarter.
However, those two goals and an additional point were all they could muster, as Busselton went full throttle, converting three goals and five very handy behinds to secure a 10 point win.
Fraser and Jed Kemp both ended the game with five goals. Coach Steve Lester told the Mail there were many positives to be taken from the side’s first outing.
“That first quarter was a great start, we had our hands on the footy but there were a few wasted opportunities in front that would be a trend in the game,” he said.
“The positive is the amount of inside 50s and shots on goal.
“We can take that away and just need to straighten up.”
Something else the side could take away was the fight and spirit shown to get the result, Lester said.
“Harvey had some really dominant patches and we were trying to hang on and in those stages we held on when we needed to,” he said.
“I’ve got to give the guys credit for that, to get over the line.
“I’m very pleased as it shows we now have more maturity in that situation. Games like that we would have lost last year. Coming from behind to win builds a bit of character within the group so that holds us in good stead going into the season and is something we lacked the last two seasons.”
The match featured solid performances from Mason Hislop and Jon Meadmore, who returned to the club this season.
“They are a great acquistion,” Lester said.
“We played Mason in a bit of a different role and he was very influential around the ball.
“Jon showed a lot of leadership in the back half.”
Lester listed Ethan Bowman as a stand-out player, who stepped up to the plate and took responsibility all over the field.
Busselton will now face Bunbury in round two.
Lester said given Bunbury’s shock defeat at the hands of the Boomers, he expected to be going head-to-head with a fired up outfit.
“The first round upsets show this season could be relatively even,” he said.
“The question is can we back it up.
“We’ve beaten a side that was set to be pretty strong this year but it seems like Bunbury took their foot off the pedal in the last quarter so they’ll be coming out hard.
“I’d much prefer to be playing them after a win as they might be a bit more relaxed but they’ll be hungry.”
Busselton play Bunbury on Sunday, April 22 at Payne Park.
Bounce down is at 2.30pm.