For the third straight year the Harvey Bulls have survived an elimination match in the first weekend of the South West Football League finals – this year defeated the Augusta-Margaret River Hawks.
Under the brand new lights at Harvey Recreation Ground, the Bulls managed to overcome a slow start to prevail by 11 points in a low scoring affair.
The Hawks had all the attack in the first 10 minutes of the clash, repeatedly driving the ball inside 50 early on.
James Price slotted a nice set shot for the first goal of the game while his team mates missed a number of shots from tougher spots on the ground.
Eventually the Bulls found their feet and began to rebound the ball to their scoring end.
Harvey’s first inside 50 also gave the Bulls their first goal with Jaxon Egan kicking truly.
Brett Lofthouse soon put the Bulls infront with a major.
Just before the quarter-time siren, Augusta-Margaret River’s Steven Payne thumped the ball from just inside the 50 metre arch to give the Hawks a three point lead at the first change 2.5.17 to 2.2.14.
Four behinds in the first seven minutes of the second term gave the Bulls the lead once more before Mitch Payne managed to break a scoring deadlock with a goal.
A shot from Brendon Jones at the other end looked sure to add six points to the board before it curved just enough to nick the post.
Just when the Bulls needed a goal, it was Egan who impressed again, spearing a goal straight through the middle from a tough angle.
As soon as it had left the boot, his arms were raised in triumph and the crowd were on their feet.
At the main break, the Hawks were ahead by a single point – 3.8.26 to 3.7.25.
While both sides came out from the main break with fresh intent, the Bulls secured the first major thanks to Adam Boone.
The quarter was predominately end-to-end, with both sides playing defensively, afraid that their opponent might break away.
Mitch Lynn took a strong mark close to home and quickly played on to nail a goal and tie the scores at the final change, 4.9.33 a-piece.
With both seasons on the line, it was the Bulls who showed their experience in these pressure situations to add a fifth goal thanks to captain Darren Rumble and yet another to Egan.
The Hawks dug deep and had one more push. Cam Melvin kicked his first goal of the night but a relatively easy miss from Grant Garstone would prove costly.
The final goal of the night to Jacob Pickett sealed the win for Harvey 7.12.54 to 5.13.43.
Earlier in the day, Bunbury won the women’s second semi-final 4.9.33 to 0.0.0 over the Harvey Bulls, South Bunbury defeated Bunbury 13.14.92 to 6.6.42 in the reserves qualifying final and South Bunbury defeated Augusta-Margaret River 12.9.81 to 11.8.74 in the colts elimination final.
On Sunday, HBL and Collie will play the league qualifying final, South Bunbury and HBL will play the women’s semi final one, Collie and Carey Park will play the reserves elimination final and HBL will play Busselton in the colts qualifying final.