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SWFLW 2023: Competition favourites win easily as three sides held goalless

Headshot of Justin Fris
Justin FrisBunbury Herald
Meg Nani (Bunbury) and Chloe Pumphrey (Carey Park) compete at a centre bounce as Milly Burns (Bunbury) waits for the ball to drop.
Camera IconMeg Nani (Bunbury) and Chloe Pumphrey (Carey Park) compete at a centre bounce as Milly Burns (Bunbury) waits for the ball to drop. Credit: Justin Fris/South Western Times

Jessica Verbrugge put in a five-star performance for Donnybrook during their 7.7 (49) to 0.2 (2) win over Eaton on Sunday at VC Mitchell Park.

Prior to the clash, coaches Maxwell (Donnybrook) and Kristy Jetta (Eaton) warmly embraced each other, with both siblings coaching against each other for the first time.

Despite exhausting a full allocation of player points (35) for the clash, Eaton were off the pace from the opening bounce — trailing by 21 points at quarter time and held scoreless.

Although dependable utility Sophie Oldfield did her best in the ruck in the opening term, the fleet-footed Dons had too much pace in the corridor and did what they liked at times.

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Verbrugge was routinely able to roam free and pick up possessions at will, with her fitness levels transcending anyone in a red and blue guernsey across four quarters.

Unfortunately for the visitors, such was the dominance against them in general play, stars Charity Ryder and Jessica Ruland were routinely camped in defence in order to stem the flow — which left Eaton short on the odd occasion when they were able to string a passage of clean disposals together.

At the Harvey Recreation Ground, the Harvey Bulls secured early derby bragging rights, after thrashing Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault 7.10 (52) to 0.2 (2).

Peter Jones’ side again received plenty of input from key forwards Laura Cheney and Emma Faulkner, while Fleur Parker also impressed in her return to the Bulls.

A day earlier, Stephen Bilcich tasted his first victory as Bunbury coach as the Bulldogs saw off Carey Park 3.5 (23) to 1.2 (8) at Kelly Park.

Although his side was missing several players from last year’s one-point grand final loss against Busselton, post-game Bilcich said he was heartened by the performances of Tara-Lee Clifford and Melinda Bobby.

Collie’s reintroduction to the women’s competition against South Bunbury at the Collie Recreation Ground was a brutal reality check, after being held scoreless during their 2.5 (17) to 0.0 (0) loss.

The Tigers, who had more than four players ruled out in the lead up to the clash, overcame a steady first half to record their first women’s victory since withdrawing from the women’s competition last June.

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