Panthers defeat depleted Busselton in entertaining Kelly Park clash

Headshot of Justin Fris
Justin FrisBunbury Herald
Bailey Taylor flies to take the mark of the day at Kelly Park on Saturday.
Camera IconBailey Taylor flies to take the mark of the day at Kelly Park on Saturday. Credit: Justin Fris/South Western Times

Carey Park’s hopes of a return to finals football received a boost on Saturday night at Kelly Park, after they defeated a depleted Busselton 8.13 (61) to 7.5 (47).

Despite Magpies coach Daniel Delaney having to make wholesale changes before the clash because of COVID-19 health and safety protocols, his side started with plenty of promise.

With chains of quick handballs pioneering their raids into the forward line, dangerous duo Liam Creighton and Beau Chinnery were able to present well.

Ironically though, it was a former Magpies midfielder — Carey Park’s Ethan Maguire — who ultimately helped the home side gain their foothold in the contest.

After being subjected to a series of tough tackles against his old teammates, Maguire responded perfectly by kicking a brilliant goal midway during opening quarter, which appeared to galvanise the Panthers.

If watching one former star hurt them on the scoreboard early in the game was bad enough, former Magpies colts spearhead Bailey Coshott, who recently crossed over to Carey Park, doubled the pain for Busselton’s supporters in the outer.

Both sides traded goals for the remainder of the first half, although the Panthers always slightly appeared to have greater control of the contest in general play.

Leading by nine points at three-quarter-time, the Panthers were able to hold their nerve for the remainder of the game — although some wasteful kicking towards the end hurt their chances of gaining some much-needed percentage.

Earlier in the afternoon, the Panthers recorded a strong victory in the reserves — 17.13 (115) to 6.1 (37) — which have few and far between over the Magpies in recent years.

James Wallam booted five goals for the home side, while Blake Helgeland and Jesse Callaghan were among their side’s best.

In the colts grand final rematch, Carey Park also tasted success, downing the Magpies 13.8 (86) to 6.13 (49).

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