Clarke, Hawks too strong for Imperials

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times
Imperials' Jack Waideman and Deanmill's Brettney East scramble for the loose ball.
Camera IconImperials' Jack Waideman and Deanmill's Brettney East scramble for the loose ball. Credit: Pictures: Shannon Bochenek / Manjimup-Bridgetown Times

Deanmill’s exciting brand of football flourished as they comprehensively defeated Imperials by 73 points to claim the Todd-Cooper Cup at Deanmill Oval on Saturday.

Bunbury premiership star Aidan Clarke kicked five goals for the home side, who beat Imperials 19.7 (121) to 6.12 (48).

Touted as the clash of the year, the contest commenced in torrid fashion, typical of the rivalry, as players relentlessly clashed with each other.

This period of football did not show both team’s discipline and structure, with players pushing frenetically to the ball and each other.

Hawk Brett Giblett left the ground as a casualty of the ferocious contest, putting the home side a man down.

Clearly facing more pressure than in recent weeks, the Hawks had to stick to their game plan and completed this task in overwhelming fashion with a blistering nine-goal second term.

Deanmill's Kester Decke and Imperials' Ryan King.
Camera IconDeanmill's Kester Decke and Imperials' Ryan King. Credit: Shannon Bochenek

With hard run, strong tackling and superb use of the ball, the Hawks produced a tsunami of attacks to ruthlessly push the Magpies’ defensive press.

The Hawks quickly assumed full control through Kester Decke, who continued his dominant form to bring to the fore the skills of Clarke, Connor Walker and David Markotis, who collectively pushed Imperials’ defence to the brink.

Connor Walker eyes off the loose ball.
Camera IconConnor Walker eyes off the loose ball. Credit: Pictures: Shannon Bochenek, Shannon Bochenek.

The Hawks’ defence of Connor De Campo, Riley Hutchinson, Kane Pitts and Thomas Johnstone also featured strongly, as they propelled the ball long and deep to allow their forwards in Jaxon East (two goals) and Clarke to get into open space and kick goals.

Although missing key players, the Magpies strung together some clean passages of play with Mitchell Daube, Ryan King, Tyler Ipsen, Todd Gibson and Lance Lucas all useful contributors.

Ben Farquhar takes a mark for Deanmill against Imperials' Reid Chatley.
Camera IconBen Farquhar takes a mark for Deanmill against Imperials' Reid Chatley. Credit: Shannon Bochenek.

The Hawks’ flying start to the season should continue next week against Kojonup, while Imperials have to reload to face Southerners in the annual Micky Fox Cup.

Aidan Clarke gets a kick away under pressure.
Camera IconAidan Clarke gets a kick away under pressure. Credit: Shannon Bochenek.

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