A scoreless third-term has made a sixth-straight Landmark Country Football Championship victory a hard prospect for the South West Football League after a 15 point loss to the Peel Football League in round one.
The Peel side were up-and-about early in the first quarter at Bunbury's Hands Oval with Joel Houghton kicking the first two goals.
Turnovers across half-back hurt the South West side with Cavaliers forward Paul Mugambwa adding a third goal for the visitors.
Riese Wilkey added a fourth for Peel before Jaxon Bell opened the home team's account. At quarter time Peel led 4.3.27 to 1.3.9.
A calmer South West team emerged in the second term and both sides wrestled to take control of the ball.
After nearly 10 minutes of consistent back-and-forth Joel Mahar snapped the South West's second goal.
Former Bunbury Bulldog turned Halls Head star Jesse Gribble promptly returned fire with his first goal before Jay Walton kicked the South West's third to trim the margin to 13 points at the main break.
On the stroke of half time, Peel's Callan Eddy went down with an injury to his right leg and needed two trainers to help him from the ground.
Gribble kicked his second to start the third-term with Mugambwa quickly following suit.
The South West lacked communication and were made to pay. Houghton kicked his third before former Bunbury ruckman Jacob Williams added two more goals. At three-quarter time the Cavaliers led 10.8.68 to 3.4.22.
With the wind in their favour, the South West side meant business in the final term. Maher kicked his second in the first 30 seconds of the quarter before Jack Hick nailed a solid set shot.
Gribble, a two-time Hayward Medalist with plenty of experience on Hands Oval, found plenty of space to kick his third before South Bunbury's Anthony Tsalikis boomed a major from 60 metres out which rolled in across a vacant goal-square.
Kelvin Lawrence kept Peel in front with a goal before the South West went on one final charge.
John Meadmore opened his account and Tsalikis scored his second before Peel's Rhett Mason was given a yellow card for a late hit on the South West's Ty Armitage. The Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault Lion was awarded 50 and made light work of a shot on goal right in front.
Tsalikis kicked his third-major late but the final siren saw Peel home 12.10.82 to 10.7.67.
After the game Hick was named best-on-ground for the South West side while Gribble was best for Peel. Both players were presented with a match ball.
The competition continues on Saturday, July 9 when the South West meet Great Northern and Avon at HBF Arena in Joondalup. On the same day Peel play the Lower South West and Upper Great Southern with the best two sides facing off in the grand final on Sunday, July 10 at Medibank Stadium in Leederville.