The Augusta-Margaret River Hawks made their intentions for the 2017 South West Football League finals clear with a 37 point defeat of league leaders Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault in round 17.
The Hawks entered the game on the back of five straight wins and Sunday’s victory all but guarantees them a place in this year’s finals.
It was the Lions who had the best of the contest at Brunswick Oval early, spending the best part of the first 10 minutes in attack.
Zachariah Piper opened the scoring with a terrific snap around his body for a goal while Ty Anderson added a second five minutes later, dribbling a scrappy ball over the line for six points.
The Lions increased the margin further with Rhys Gelmi tucking a hurried shot around his body for a major.
The Hawks didn’t get their first shot on goal until close to the 17 minute mark but Harrison Morgan hooked the attempt to the left.
The visitors were given the chance to atone soon after with James Price kicking truly. Jacob Payne added a second soon after while the Lions were able to add a fourth before the first break, thanks to a free kick for a high tackle.
At the first change, HBL were in front 4.1.25 to 2.3.15.
Augusta-Margaret River had more of the play early in the second, but struggled for accuracy from set shots.
Mitch Gerrans, Steven Payne, Mitch Payne and Morgan all missed shots on goal before Mitch Gerrans finally found the right gap between the posts.
Grant Garstone and Mitch Lynn were playing brilliantly through the midfield and racked up plenty of possessions in the second term.
A goal to Seve Grantis gave the Hawks the lead and a major to James Price just before half time gave the Hawks a 10 point advantage at the main break, 5.7.37 to 4.3.27.
Having kept the Lions goalless in the second term, the Hawks decided to turn up the heat in the third.
Jacob Oakes opened the term with a major before Mitch Payne soccered a goal off the deck.
Continuing to press into attack, Morgan missed his second set shot of the afternoon before Mitch Gerrans added another major from 40 metres out.
The Lions were finally given the chance to break their drought at the other end with a second goal to Anderson but the time to panic was definitely now.
Augusta-Margaret River went into the final huddle, leading 8.10.58 to 5.5.35.
Once again getting the better start of a term, Augusta-Margaret River scored the first two majors of the term through Mitch Lynn and Mitch Payne.
Jake Bloomfield missed a tough set-shot from a tight angle for the home side before a Steven Payne goal put the final nail in the coffin.
HBL were able to peg back one major late thanks to a solid 40 metre bomb from Kale Triplett but James Price sealed the deal with the last goal of the game.
The final siren saw the Hawks prevail 12.10.82 to 6.9.45.
In the final round of the regular season, Augusta-Margaret River host South Bunbury while Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault travel over the hill to take on the Collie Eagles.