The Harvey Bulls have got themselves back on the board with a win this week against the Augusta Margaret River Hawks, following a tight loss last week to Bunbury.
The Bulls dominated at the Harvey Recreation Ground on Sunday afternoon from the very beginning of the match, restricting the Hawks to just one goal in the first quarter.
With goals from Thomas Smith and Brett Lofthouse, the Bulls were quick to take the lead.
Harvey worked hard to put defensive measures in place to keep the Hawks at bay, even in their forward 50.
The Bulls went into the first break up by 17 points, leading 4.1.25 – 1.2.8.
Harvey Bulls coach Paul Fimmano reminded his team at quarter time to focus on their tackling and be the first to any spoilt balls.
“When we don’t let them get away, that’s Bulls football,” he said.
“I want 2,3,4,5 goals this quarter.
“Up the intensity now, put them back in their box.”
His pep talk worked, with Nick Carney sealing another major for the Bulls within minutes of the start of the second term.
Dean Buszan for AMR looked quick to return the score with an easy set shot not far from goal but it fell too far left and resulted in just a behind for the Hawks.
Yet another missed set shot from AMR player Grant Garstone gave the Bulls a chance to kick their second for the term but the Hawks stepped up the intensity with another behind and a goal.
A number of controversial umpire calls sent the crowd into a frenzy, the AMR bench particularly unhappy with a 50m penalty awarded to Smith to give him his third of the game.
The Hawks came back fired up with fiesty tackles and fierce chasing forcing the home side to pick up the pace.
But an ill-disciplined tackle from Bull Dean Miller saw him yellow-carded and sent off the field to consider his unnecessary aggression.
But it didn’t stop the Bulls with another two goals from Lofthouse and an additional major from Carney.
An epic display of skills from young Bull Jaxon Egan outrunning and dodging his defender to put a left foot on the ball in an attempt at goal could only be converted into a point as the siren rang for half time.
Harvey went into the main break with an extended lead, 9.3.57 – 2.8.20.
The Hawks kicked the opening two goals for the third term suggesting a potential comeback for the away side, thanks to the efforts of the AMR forward line.
But these were quickly returned by the Bulls who were taking easy marks in their forward 50 and had the skills to convert their opportunities.
Goals from Brendon Jones and Jacob Pickett helped Harvey get up to a 49 point lead at the final change, AMR trailing 12.9.81 – 4.8.32.
Hawks coach Matt Jamieson remained calm as he rounded up his team in the break, reminding them not to leave the mark, go to wide or make silly skill errors.
“You’re controlling the first few minutes of the game,” he said.
“Let’s hustle hard and get some balance out of the contests now.”
But the Bulls were far from finished dishing out the pain with a quick goal to open the final term.
Hawks forward Christopher White returned the score with a major of his own but yet another controversial 50m penalty saw Harvey’s Rhys Anzellino kick a set shot goal from just metres in front.
The home side then turned their attention to allowing Richard Shaw to kick a goal to honour his 150th game, which got the team over 100 points for the match and incurred an epic celebration from all over the ground.
AMR had a number of set shot opportunities from right in front but couldn’t convert them into major scores.
Fumbling under pressure and allowing the Bulls too much space in their forward, the Hawks fell further and further behind as the quarter came to a close.
Ryan Mooney was yellow carded in the final minutes of the game but the final siren mercifully blew for the Hawks with the Bulls claiming a 67 point victory to take those all-important premiership points, winning 16.12.108 – 5.11.41.
Shaw was picked up by teammates and carried off the field to celebrate his milestone as the crowd cheered and a deflated Hawks side watched on.
Harvey now look to next week’s fixtures when they host the Eaton Boomers on Sunday, while the Hawks will head home to host top-of-the-ladder HBL Lions in another difficult clash.