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Warren-Blackwood Bombers are the runner-ups for 2023 Year 10-12 Girls South West Junior Football League

Daniel HockingManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault players jump for joy on the final siren.
Camera IconHarvey-Brunswick-Leschenault players jump for joy on the final siren. Credit: Jon Gellweiler

The Warren-Blackwood Bombers have ended their junior football season as the runner-ups of the Year 10-12 Girls South West Junior Football League (WA) after losing against the Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault Lions in the grand final over the weekend.

The Bombers faced the Lions at Hands Ovals in Bunbury on Saturday afternoon after beating South Bunbury in the preliminary finals the weekend before, hoping to take the flag back home to the lower South West.

The girls wore their NAIDOC jumpers with symbols representing the Warren-Blackwood region, designed by Bombers vice-captain Shirley Pickett, in honour of their grand final game, having previously worn the jumpers at their match during NAIDOC Week.

Bombers' Nikki Pollard and Lions' Isabelle Hart
Camera IconBombers' Nikki Pollard and Lions' Isabelle Hart Credit: Daniel Hocking

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In the first quarter the Bombers and the Lions both had a bit of a slow start, with both sides unable to hold possession for long enough to convert to a goal.

The two teams were able to score a point before the quarter was up, but were unable to make any goals with a score of 0.1 (1) to 0.1 (1) and left the field needing a new plan.

In the second quarter, the Lions were able to put the heat on the Bombers, converting attempts into a goal and more points, while the Bombers went head-to-head on the offence and roughed up the Lions.

The Lions ended up taking the lead. The Bombers were unable to score any points to narrow the Lions’ lead, with a half-time score of 1.2 (8) to 0.1 (1).

Bombers' Taylah Barber
Camera IconBombers' Taylah Barber Credit: Daniel Hocking

In the third quarter the Lions had two more goals kicked to extend their lead, while the Bombers showed signs of slowing down and struggling to turn the tide in their favour.

The Lions ended the quarter leading by 22 points, 3.5 (23) to 0.1 (1).

In the final quarter, the Bombers pushed back and showed more aggression and intensity, even if it led to some tumbles and the roughening up of some of their own players.

However, by the time the siren rang, the Bombers had accepted their place as runner-ups in the grand final, as the Lions celebrated their win with a final score of 4.7 (31) to 0.3 (3).

Bombers' Taylah Barber tackles Charli Stewart.
Camera IconBombers' Taylah Barber tackles Charli Stewart. Credit: Daniel Hocking

Bombers coach David Horn said the girls had played a good game, despite their dwindling numbers compared to the Lions.

“I think at the first half, the girls were in the game, although we did suffer a few major injuries, including a concussion today and a netball injury last night, so numbers-wise we were a little short, compared to the opposition,” he said.

“The girls really came along and tried their best, but essentially they couldn’t keep up.”

The Bombers’ spot in the grand final came as a surprise for Horn, who wasn’t certain about whether they’d make it, but was still pleased when they won their preliminary final.

“I didn’t think they’d make it into the grand final, but they played a good game and won last week, which was a surprise but still a great outcome,” he said.

Bombers' Payten Della
Camera IconBombers' Payten Della Credit: Daniel Hocking

Horn also said the girls did well as a team, despite the distance between players and the difficulty of organising players together, due to the remoteness of some players.

“It’s been a very good year, we’ve had a few first year players, and it’s difficult getting the girls together, since one is in Donnybrook, and others are in Boyup Brook, Bridgetown, Manjimup, Nannup, Northcliffe and Pemberton, so it’s pretty hard to get them all at once, but it’s been pretty good and the girls have done well on talent alone,” he said.

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