A stunning seven-goal best-on-ground performance from Brett Eades has seen Donnybrook claim its first South West Football League premiership in 18 years.
The Dons blew defending premiers Bunbury away in the first half with their pressure around the ground to set up the 39-point drought-breaking win on Sunday at Hands Oval.
Donnybrook came into the game with confidence after beating the Bulldogs in the semi final two weeks ago and it showed as the Dons midfield dominated the clearance battle from the first bounce.
Star midfielders Chris Atthowe, Jace Cormack and Kieran Hug regularly got first hands on the ball and pushed the ball forward with ease, to give the Dons every chance to get ahead.
Sam Lowrie got the first goal on the board for Donnybrook, before Jesse Gribble evened it up with a set shot at the other end.
But it was all Donnybrook from that point on as Eades kicked the next three goals in quick succession after continually finding himself in space around the goals.
Already 28 points up at quarter time, the Dons didn’t let up. The midfield picked up where it left off and limited the Bulldogs’ opportunities to get into their forward.
However, the Bunbury defence held strong in the second term and made sure the Dons were taking their chances from difficult positions, resulting in a three-quarter time margin of 46 points.
With the game in danger of becoming a 100 point loss, the Bulldogs needed to lift in the second half and they did so, with the midfield pushing forward and making the most of their opportunities.
However, they couldn’t make a huge dent in the margin as every time they looked to have the momentum, Donnybrook snagged one back.
With a 34-point margin to make up in the final term, Dylan Heasman did his best to drag the Bulldogs back but the game was as good as over.
Eades continued his Pike medal winning performance with three more important set shot goals in the final term before the siren sounded on the 16.16 (112) to 11.7 (73) victory.
Donnybrook coach Julian Burgess said it was a ‘special feeling’ to finally lift the premiership cup after 18 years.
“It’s been a long time with not many finals and not much success in between, so it’s just good for our players and our town,” he said.
He said the Dons’ pressure around the ground was the key to the game.
“That first half I thought was pretty sensational. The pressure that we brought, they just couldn’t cope with it. It was something we’ve brought all year,” he said.
“We had a clear plan from the start of the season – we didn’t just want to make finals. We thought half way through the season that we could probably play in a grand final and we just kept on going, and here we are.”
If you’d like to relive the win, check out the live blog from the game to see how the day panned out.
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