Back-to-back flags for the Bulls

Photo (Kevin Bullen and Clem Rodney - Presentation of the Bullen Medal)

In a thrilling game, Broome Bulls captured the WKFA premiership for the second year in a row. After an even first half, it was in a brilliant third quarter where Bulls won the game, kicking 4.4 to Beagle Bays's one point to establish a 27 point lead going into the final quarter. Through the Bay threw everything they had at the Bulls in the final term they were unable to bridge the gap and Bulls ran out winners 8.10 (58) to 5.10 (40), a margin of 18 points.

At the start of play, Bulls kicked to the airport end with the aid of healthy, though often swirly, breeze but it was Beagle Bay that made numerous moves into their forward line early, though unable to capitalise from a series of set shots. Brendan Cox, Charlie Dick and Matthew Lawson held sway in the midfield and generated most of the Bays' opportunities. Bulls defence worked tirelessly and effectively under the constant pressure and the efforts of Mark Walker, Mark Bushell and Wes Hardiman were instrumental in restricting scoring opportunities for the Bay. Up forward, Bulls kicked one goal for the quarter due mainly to a gallant Beagle Bay defence in particular John Wright who played on Muddy Waters for the day and, in a strong performance, held him to just two goals.

Clem Rodney was moved deep into the forward line early in the second quarter to offer a second option to his team and most times he and Muddy played in the forward 50m. The loss of Donald Heslington with an ankle injury early in the game robbed Beagle Bay of their key tall defender, which put extra pressure on the likes of Russell Gregory and Patrick Cox, playing at centre half forward, who often had to run deep into defence to cover the Bulls tall forwards.

During the second term Andrew Black began to have a strong impact on the game supplying the ground skills in the forward line, as did Warwick Roe who dominated in the ruck, bringing his mid fielders such as Jamie Finlay into the match. Patrick Cox took control at centre half forward during the second term, booting two goals and offered a strong avenue for Beagle Bay to use, resulting in the Bay closing the gap and heading into the half time break trailing by only one point.

A huge melee between the two teams erupted on the halftime siren which lasted for several minutes and could have soured the game, however, it was a credit to players from both sides that they put that behind them going into the second half and focused their concentration back on the ball in their pursuit of the Premiership Cup and the rest of the game remained incident free.

The third quarter is traditionally known as the premiership quarter and this was where Bulls secured their win, outscoring Beagle Bay by 27 points. All the Bulls players stood tall during the quarter and contributed well, particularly Clem Rodney who took several strong marks and kicked two goals.

Jamie Finlay got countless possessions midfield and Leigh Jolly was creative across half forward and kicked one sensational goal after a boundary throw in from 50m out. The Beagle Bay running players had far less impact during the term and it was Matthew Lawson, David Barbour, Darren Cox and Wayne Edgar who worked hard during the quarter to leave the door open for an opportunity for Beagle Bay to get back into the match.

The final term was pressure packed as Beagle Bay constantly drove forward trying to bridge the gap and generated six scoring opportunities to the Bulls two. Patrick Cox, Keith Kitchener and Brendan Cox were at their creative best and along with Matty Lawson and Russell Gregory provided he opportunities for a win. The Bulls defence was equal to the task and repelled many Bay attacks.

Darren Banfield, Trevor Cosh, Greg Thomas, Gary Walker and Mark Bushell all had outstanding quarter to ensure a Bulls victory. Mark Bushell was awarded the Father Mc Mahon Medal having been judged best player on the ground.

Other top players for Bulls included Jamie Finlay, Mark Walker, Warwick Roe, Leigh Jolly, Greg Thomas, Clem Rodney and Wes Hardiman.

John Wright was Beagle Bay's best on the day following a strong performance on Muddy Waters. Other good players included Brendan Cox, Russell Gregory, David Barbor, Matthew Lawson, Patrick Cox, Nelson O'Reeri and Darren Cox.

Goals: Shaun Waters, Clem Rodney 2 each, Leigh Jolly, Matt Varney, Mark Walker and Andrew Black 1 each.

Beagle Bay: Patrick Cox 2, Keith Kitchener, Benedict Victor and Russell Gregory 1 each.

(Courtesy of the Broome Advertiser)