The Collie Eagles Football Club league side has affirmed its place in the upcoming SWFL finals series with a 65 point victory over Donnybrook in round 17.
VC Mitchell Park saw strong fan bases on both sides brave squally conditions on Sunday afternoon.
Collie was coming off a 55 point victory over Busselton while Donnybrook was on a high after taking down Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault in round 16.
Celebrating his 150th game, Collie’s Mathew Michael was given a thunderous reception by Collie and Donnybrook supporters.
Tough, quick play saw midfielders running down the ground and providing numerous opportunities for the forward line.
The Dons got off to a rollicking start, with Dion Parker kicking the game’s first goal in front of an enthusiastic home crowd.
Forward Joel Houghton kicked his first before Jayce Fontana’s snap shot along the ground hit the post.
Tempered flared on and off the field as Blake Shanahan and Kieran Hug came close to taking frustrations out on one another.
Gaps in Collie’s defence led to Shane Cristaldi and Samual Lowrie extending the Dons' lead midway through the quarter.
Joel Houghton asserted his dominance in Collie’s forward 50, scoring two more goals to give his side the lead before quarter time.
Michael stopped one of the Dons’ attempts on the goal line. Donnybrook’s Bradley Epis then kicked his side’s fourth for the term.
Both sides missed opportunities late in the term before Eagles Taine Scolari and Travis Cleggett extended Collie’s league.
High tackles and unlucky bounces led to increased turnovers throughout. Collie held on for a 5.6.36 to 4.1.25 lead at the first change.
Eagles coach Clint Swallow told his side to play it quarter by quarter and not give Donnybrook’s forwards any new opportunities.
Joel Houghton scored his fourth early in the second quarter, with his side determined to grab second place on the ladder.
The Collie forward was seemingly unstoppable, kicking accurately to further extend his side’s lead.
Collie fans called for a 50 metre penalty after Dons player Bradman May knocked Fontana over after he took a mark.
Soon after, Donnybrook’s Cody Miller gave away a 50m penalty over a high tackle.
Things got worse for Donnybrook in the second quarter, with May and Miller crashing into each other while going up for a mark.
Ahead 11.11.77 to 5.1.31 at half time, Swallow warned Donnybrook would come back if Collie dropped by even one or two per cent.
He said the game was priming his side for where they wanted to be going into the finals series.
Dons Hug and Jacob Green kicked thrilling goals to help their side catch up in the third quarter.
The home side’s inaccurate kicking proved costly (scoring four consecutive points) while May was helped to his feet after taking another hit.
Donnybrook kept the majority of play in their froward 50, numerous winning rucks and contests.
Collie’s Blair Malatesta landed a set shot close to the goalsquare, while Houghton kicked another three goals to put the game out of reach.
Trailing by 51 points at the final change, Donnybrook coach Julian Burgess pushed his side to adjust the game, put pressure on the kickers and keep the ball in their forward half.
He noted lapses in concentration against quality sides caused huge losses.
The Eagles kept Donnybrook to one goal and two points in the final term.
Thanks to Bailey Moloney and Michael Florio’s accurate kicking, the home side’s fans became increasingly frustrated.
The Eagles made their mark with a 19.18.132 to 10.7.67 win.
Collie secured second place on the ladder behind Bunbury. Meanwhile, Donnybrook will finish sixth for the third consecutive year.
Collie will lay it on the line against Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault in round 18 and The Dons will go up against Harvey Bulls on Saturday.
Goals: Joel Houghton (10), Travis Cleggett (2), Bailey Moloney (2), Paul Rinder (1), Michael Florio (1), Rhy Chappell (1), Blair Malatesta (1), Taine Scolari (1).
Best on ground: Joel Houghton (1), Paul Rinder (2), Kyle Shanahan (3), Mathew Michael (4), Travis Cleggett (5), Corey Griggs (6).