SWFL 2017 rd 1: Bunbury defeat Eaton | photos, video

The Bunbury Bulldogs have clinched a tight win against the Eaton Boomers in the last game of round one on Monday afternoon.

An impressive crowd attended the Easter Monday game to support the two sides in a hard fought battle from the first to the last siren.

The Bulldogs started with a a huge goal from Matt Martin from well outside the 50 metre arch. He backed it up with another goal shortly after.

The Boomers struggled to find an answer early, scoring just two points in the first term.  

A brawl between Eaton's Jack Wharton and Cullen Boyd drew attention away from the ball. Both players were yellow carded and spent the rest of the term on the bench.

Clumsy hands from the Boomers and another spectacular goal off the ground from Bulldog Blair Della Franca saw the score at the first break stand at 3.3.21 to 0.2.2. 

Eaton forward Jay Walton's accuracy was off early in the second term, notching two behinds and it was Rohan Lilly who scored the away side's first major, followed by another from Brandon Janssen who slotted it from an impossibly tight angle.

With the breeze in their favour, the Boomers continued to dictate play as the Bulldogs scrambled to put defensive pressure on their explosive opponents. 

Brendan Craig, the man with arguably the best mullet in the SWFL, slotted a great goal from a tight angle in the second term to trim the margin to just three points. Walton then kicked his first to put the Boomers in front, 4.8.32 to 4.4.28 at half time.

The close score saw tensions brew in the third quarter with a warning to the Eaton bench early in the third term and a number of small clashes between the sides.

Wharton sealed the first goal in the second half for Eaton with a run right into the goal square all on his own, thanks to the shepparding efforts of his teammates.

Chris Atthowe quickly followed with another goal for the Boomers after a controversial decision not to call 'holding the ball' from the umpires, which infuriated the Bulldogs bench.

Fellow Boomer Blake Piggott was yellow carded for a high hit on Bunbury's Connor Walker that forced him off the field.

Goals from Martin, Aidan Clarke and Bassett saw the Bulldogs regain a lead of 10 points at the final change. 

Eaton coach Brett Maguire's orders were clear at three-quarter time - stop pointing the finger at each other and play as a team if you want to win.

The Boomers came out firing but it wasn't enough to keep the Bulldogs in the kennel with impressive work again by Martin and young gun Patrick Farrant.

At the final siren, the scoreboard favoured Bunbury 9.7.61 to 7.11.53. 

Coach Jamie Nani told Footy HQ – WA after the match he was particularly happy with his defenders who stood tall when it counted. 

At the end of the first round, South Bunbury, Collie, Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault, Bunbury and Augusta-Margaret River took home wins.