A six goal to one final quarter was enough for the Eaton Boomers to get their season off to a flying start with a 17 point win over reigning premiers Bunbury.
Trailling by 12 points at three quarter time, the Boomers came out firing in the final term and and piled on the goals to record the 15.9 (99) to 12.10 (82) come-from-behind win.
Eaton forward Brandon Jetta was the star of the day, kicking seven goals, including four important majors in the last quarter as the Boomers rallied home.
Eaton coach Brett Maguire said he was impressed by the ‘spirit’ his players showed in the win.
“We’ve done it pretty hard for the last couple of years,” he said.
“So I just said [at three quarter time] you have to believe that some day it will turn around and hopefully today is it.
“We thought we were a rough chance but we didn’t really know where we stood.
“To start the year off like that, especially when a lot of people out there don’t really think we’re going to be much, that was the pleasing thing.”
Bunbury had control of the game for most of the day after a fast start in the first quarter saw them kick the first four goals and take an early 25 point lead.
It took until late in the first quarter for Eaton get their first major on the board when Jetta kicked his first, but the Bulldogs replied with another soon after to take a 24 point lead into the first break.
It could have been worse for the Boomers though as Bunbury failed to capitalise on their dominance and missed several simple set shots which could have pushed the margin out further.
The Bulldogs extended the lead early in the second quarter with two goals to Brett Peake, including a beautiful set shot from the boundary that split the middle.
However, with time running out in the first half, the Boomers kept themselves within touching distance as they ended the quarter with a three goal flurry from Heath Ryder, Rohan Lilly and Jetta to bring the margin back to 12 points.
The Bulldogs and the Boomers traded goals in the third quarter and the margin at the final break was again 12 points after Eaton’s Michael Thompson slotted a goal after the siren.
However it was all the Boomers after the break as the midfield regularly got first hands on the ball and bombed it long into the forward line.
Eaton got an early goal after a snap from Keren Ugle and less than three minutes later they had the lead for the first time all day after Jetta slotted his fourth and fifth goals of the game in quick succession.
Another goal for Lilly and two more for Jetta had the lead out to 22 points with less than 10 minutes left and from that point on, Bunbury could only peg back a single goal.
Maguire said the performance, and in particular the final term, would give the team confidence heading into their round two game against Collie on Sunday.
“Collie’s a different challange. Going by their results this week and where they’ve been for the last few years, it’s a hard gig,” he said.
“We understood our first three or four games were going to be tough, so we’ll set ourselves and continue bring it.”
Bunbury will also be looking to next week as they host Busselton, who put on a strong performance in a 10 point win over Harvey, on Sunday.