The Augusta Margaret River Hawks look likely to have secured their spot in the South West Football League final series.
Their 50 point win over Busselton on the weekend has seen the side retain fifth spot on the ladder.
The win also dashed the Busselton Magpies’ hopes of playing finals football, with a minor miracle and a huge percentage required for the Pies to claw their way into premiership contention.
The Hawks’ results over the next two rounds holds Busselton’s fate in the balance.
For the Pies to have even the slightest chance of finals action, Augusta Margaret River would need to lose their next two matches and Busselton win theirs.
This task seems unlikely, given Busselton face the number one side and premiership favourites Donnybrook and fourth placed South Bunbury, while the Hawks take on lower placed Carey Park and Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault.
The Magpies hosted the Hawks on Saturday under lights at Sir Stewart Bovell Park.
It was a tight contest early, but in the second half the Hawks ran away with it.
At quarter time, the Pies were scoreless with two behinds and the Hawks had a goal on the board and two points.
The second term felt closer than the scores reflected.
Hawk Mitchell Payne opened the scoring and things took a downward turn for the Magpies when one of their best and most consistent players, Bailey Sanford, went down injured.
Sanford had to be helped from the field and the Hawks stuck the boot in with another goal, this time from Mitchell Gerrans.
Busselton finally had a break through when captain Aidan Fraser scored a goal, bringing the score to 1.3 (9) to 3.2 (20).
A great intercept from Magpie Joshua Embry looked likely to produce a major but Jed Kemp wasn’t able to convert.
Fraser stepped up again, scoring another six points for the home side, but the Hawks would soon return the favour.
Hawk Matthew Jukes, while copping a monster tackle from Magpie midfielder Liam Creighton, dropped the football on his boot and snapped a goal.
Magpie Jaylen Colegate had an opportunity to bring his side back into contention but could only manage a behind.
An attempt by Creighton was touched and Augusta Margaret River capitalised on these near misses.
Jukes won out against Pies defender Zack Conroy and spun around to dribble the ball through for his second goal for the quarter.
Busselton weren’t able to clear the ball from the Hawks forward 50 and possession went back to the Hawks.
The half time siren went before more damage was done and the Hawks led 6.5 (41) to Busselton’s 2.7 (19).
In the third, Payne again opened the scoring with a mark on the line and another goal from the Hawks prompted some push and shove between the teams.
Fraser managed to score from a set shot in front and also bagged another, which Hawk Jack McMahon claimed was touched.
Fraser’s gallant efforts weren’t enough and a clash between two players led to tensions boiling over with both sides shirt-fronting their opponents left, right and centre.
The Hawks were able to keep clear heads and slotted two more goals through before the quarter was out, leading 10.7 (67) to 4.7 (31).
In the final term, the Hawks dominated, piling on an additional three goals and four points, to Busselton’s one goal, two behinds.
Missed opportunities in front of the big sticks proved costly for the Pies, especially with the Hawks making the most of every chance to and dominating stoppages to claim the Busselton Toyota Cup 13.11 (89) to 5.9 (39). Hick and Fraser were named best on ground with five and four goals respectively.
Hawks win over Pies in the Colts
Augusta Margaret River Hawks Colts side defeated the Busselton Magpies by a slim margin over the weekend.
Just five points separated the teams, who sit at second and third on the ladder behind Bunbury.
Busselton won the first quarter, leading 4.2 (26) to 3.1 (19).
In the second, the Hawks turned the match on its head.
They held the Magpies to the same score and added three goals to go into the major break 6.6 (42) to 4.2 (26).
In the third, Busselton were only able to score one goal, one behind, while Augusta Margaret River managed three goals, two points.
Going into the final term, Hawks led 9.8 (62) to the Magpies’ 5.3 (33).
Busselton stormed home to almost claim the win, but the Hawks held them off.
The Hawks only scored two points, whereas the Magpies kicked four goals.
It wasn’t enough, and the Hawks claimed the win 64 to 59.
In the Reserves, the Magpies blitzed the Hawks with a 91 point victory. The Hawks didn’t score a goal until the final term.
Busselton showed no mercy and finished on 15.12 (102) to the Hawks’ 1.5 (11).
Magpie Luke Hutchins bagged eight goals and Hawk Clayton Ireland was the sole goal scorer for his side.
Busselton’s win earned them fifth place on the ladder and keeps them in finals contention.