2017 SWFL grand finals: South Bunbury upset HBL in the reserves decider

South Bunbury pulled off a stunning upset on Sunday to claim the 2017 South West Football League reserves premiership. 

The Tigers faced off against a rampant HBL. The Lions last lost a reserves game in 2015 and back-to-back undefeated premierships seemed all but a formality. 

Tiger Kale Francis was up and about early, kicking the first two goals of the clash. 

As the crowd at the ground began to build, the normally reliable Lions looked nervous early on. 

The Tigers last line of defence was rock solid and HBL were unable to score a goal in the opening term, trailing 2.2.14 to 0.5.5 at the first change. 

The Lions first goal came after the side had posted nine behinds with Matt Bignell finally finding the right gap between the posts. 

Francis kicked a third late in the term to give the Tigers a 3.5.23 to 1.10.16 lead at the main break. 

Brayden Harris got the Lions back into the game in the third, opening the term with a real pie-floater somehow finding its way past the defenders. 

Cameron Hill then kicked his first of the day for HBL to give the Lions their first lead of the match. 

A shot on goal from South Bunbury’s Dale Wilkinson hit the post but Jonathan Dix managed to add a major to see the Tigers up 4.9.33 to 3.13.31 at the final change. 

HBL's Ryan Chandler was sent off with a yellow carded for head high contact to Gia Nguyen after the South Bunbury player took a mark close to the boundary line. 

Wilkinson kicked his first goal in the final term before Bignell’s second major trimmed the margin back to two points. 

Fans were on the edge of their seats in the dying minutes but a second goal from Dix sealed a memorable victory 6.10.46 to 4.15.39. 

Francis was awarded the best-on-ground medal for his impressive efforts in front of the big sticks as the Tigers unfurled the premiership flag. 

This story South Bunbury upset HBL in the 2017 SWFL reserves grand final first appeared on Bunbury Mail.