Hawks in nailbiter
Augusta-Margaret River held on for a thrilling five-point victory over Eaton Boomers in Sunday’s first semifinal at Glen Huon Reserve.
In an uncompromising contest, both sides were unrelenting in their pursuit of the ball carrier, with the big crowd treated to a memorable finals clash.
After building an early lead, the Hawks managed to survive a valiant fourth-quarter fightback from the home side and run out 12.15 (87) to 12.10 (82) winners.
The Boomers dominated early, however were unable to convert in front of goal.
Once soaking up waves of attacking raids, the visitors composed themselves and headed into quarter-time with a tidy 10-point buffer.
Momentum ebbed and flowed between both sides, who went goal for goal heading into time-on in the second term.
It was here where the match began to turn.
Trailing by two points at the 20minute mark, the Hawks booted consecutive goals through Jack Hick and Mitch Gerrans to reinstate their 10-point advantage at the long break.
Those goals were a major component of the Hawks’ five goals booted in time-on across the afternoon, whereas the Boomers kicked none.
The second telling moment arrived at the 19-minute mark of the third quarter.
Trailing by six points, Brandon Jetta had a relatively straightforward shot at goal from 30m out directly in front.
However, instead of levelling the scores, the Boomers fans looked on in horror as Jetta had the ball taken off him due to an off-the-ball indiscretion by a teammate.
The visitors promptly responded with two goals in five minutes to lead by 20 points at the final change, with Hawks duo Mitch Lynn and Mitch Payne in everything. Aware that only half an hour potentially remained in their season, Brett Maguire’s men charged home with five goals in the term and appeared to be on course for a memorable comeback.
Although their forward entries were limited in the final term, the visitors managed two majors — both courtesy of Matthew Jukes — which gave the Hawks a lift when they needed it.
The Boomers proceeded to kick two late goals through Jarrod and Herman Humphries to pull within two points at the 18-minute mark, but that would be as close as they would get.
As the final seconds trickled away, the Hawks managed to lock the ball up at their end of the ground and deny the home fans a miracle they dared to dream of.