SWFL 2023: Donnybrook spoil Jesse Gribble’s 250th game celebrations on Sunday at Payne Park

Headshot of Justin Fris
Justin FrisBunbury Herald
Bunbury and Donnybrook players remonstrate on Sunday at Payne Park.
Camera IconBunbury and Donnybrook players remonstrate on Sunday at Payne Park. Credit: Justin Fris/South Western Times

Four time-on second-quarter goals in five minutes paved the way for Donnybrook’s 11.8 (74) to 4.12 (36) win over Bunbury at Payne Park on Sunday.

Sadly, this game will not likely be remembered for this burst of brilliance, nor for Jesse Gribble’s 250th league game.

Instead it will likely be remembered for the spiteful simmering nature of the contest, which was not nipped in the bud during the early minutes.

Cries of “you’ve lost control” and “what about a duty of care for the players” were heard from the outer throughout the match, directed at the umpires.

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Despite several melees, trips and instances of tunnelling, only one player to date has been reported — Donnybrook’s Jacob Kendle — for allegedly striking Bunbury’s Harry Creasey.

Before the game there was a joyous atmosphere, as Gribble and his teammates burst through a banner.

The Game AFL 2024

Keen to deliver a match-winning performance for their club legend — a two-Hayward medallist and six-time best and fairest — the Bulldogs started strongly, with Gribble and youngster Trae Field in the thick of the action.

After soaking up early pressure, Donnybrook made their move midway during the second term, when their tendency to stick to the corridor finally paid off.

Goals to Ben Howlett and Jeff Smith in the space of three minutes put the Dons in front, before Shane Bolton’s side put their foot down during time-on.

A spate of ugly incidents marred the early stages of the third term, before a major to Matt Martin appeared to galvanise the home side.

This optimism was short-lived, as two quick goals to the visitors quickly restored their control of the game.

Fortunately for the welfare of all players, the sting went out of the game during the final quarter, resulting in a tame ending under the floodlights — switched on at 5pm amid dark skies.

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