SWFL men’s: Busselton start premiership defence with 33-point win over Carey Park in grand final replay

Josh KemptonBunbury Herald
Liam Creighton snaps Busselton's first goal.
Camera IconLiam Creighton snaps Busselton's first goal. Credit: Josh Kempton/South Western Times

Busselton started their South West Football League premiership defence with a strong showing in the 2023 grand final rematch on Saturday, taking down Carey Park by 33 points at Bovell Park.

Much evolution has taken place at the two clubs over the course of the summer, with several team changes from last year’s gripping season decider, but the result was the same — though the margin grew greatly, with the Magpies running out 13.8 (86) to 8.5 (53) victors to give new coach Matt Jamieson his first win in charge of the club.

Some of their star teammates were among the departures, but Busselton’s remaining leading lights still shone brightly, with Mitchell Fraser and Ethan Bowman leading a miserly defensive effort, Mitch Tenardi at his best as they dominated around the ball, and Liam Creighton at the forefront of a potent display in front of goals.

The winners also benefited from some savvy recruiting in the form of Jozef Parkinson — a former Manjimup Tiger who produced a best afield display in his first game for the club — and showed off their depth, with young gun Ben Ganzer among their strongest performers.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.


With their league and reserves premiership flags on proud display, the hosts made a hot start to the contest, with their first goal of the year coming by a smart snap from Creighton.

The Magpies were well on top, but battling to put their ascendancy on the scoreboard until an untimely 50m penalty allowed Tenardi to slot their second, before a tunnelling free kick saw Jon Meadmore find the major opening to boost the quarter-time advantage to 21 points.

Rory O’Brien got the Panthers on the scoreboard at the start of the second term but Busselton showed no signs of slowing down, extending their lead to 40 points at the main break.

Carey Park attacked the second half with a renewed intensity and hit the scoreboard first after Brian Hughes followed up on some good work from Manasseh Milham, but Damian Lee and Brodie Howell hit back in quick succession after a long arm wrestle to ensure the Magpies remained on top.

Hopes of a final-term comeback flickered after Hughes booted two quick majors to cut the margin back inside five goals, but Busselton had done enough to secure the four points, with Tenardi’s third proving the sealer.

Panthers skipper Jaxon Bell was excellent across half-back for his side, with Bill Brown and Reece Payne among their other strong performers.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails