Kojonup Football Club have been crowned 2023 premiers in the Lower South West Football League competition. The Cougars celebrated their second league win since joining the LSWFL association on Saturday after defeating the minor premiers Bridgetown Football Club in one of the closest games all season. The thrilling game at Boyup Brook was sent into 10 minutes of overtime after Kojonup kicked a goal on the final siren. The momentum was clearly enough to spur the Cougars to a win with the final score 15.11 (101) to 14.8 (92). Bridgetown took an early lead, however, the game was highly competitive and close from the start. The first quarter score was 5.4 (34) to 3.4 (22), followed by a half-time score of 7.6 (48) to 6.7 (43) with Bridgetown remaining in the lead through the entire first half. Kojonup came back firing in the second half of the game, when just how well-matched these two teams became clear. At three-quarter-time, the crowds’ heart was in their throats with the exact same score of 9.8 (62) for both teams. Seconds before full time, Bridgetown was in front 92-86 but a quick mark and after-siren goal by Kojonup Cougars’ Jamie Marinoni plunged the game into overtime. With two five-minute halves, it was a mad scramble for the ball as tensions rose and the crowd’s cheering intensified. Kojonup landed a couple of free kicks in the final few minutes of the game — including one just metres from the goal — which made it near impossible for Bridgetown to keep up. In his speech after the game, Kojonup Cougars coach Gavin Norrish said he was grateful to the LSWFL for the “magnificent day” and the Boyup Brook Football club for hosting the event. “To Ray and the Bridgetown boys, huge respect for your footy club... well done and commiserations,” he said. “To my boys, this probably started about five years ago. . . we probably nearly closed up five years ago but to see where we are today, I think we had a vision and in our 100th year I think it’s worked out really well — go Koji footy club.” In his president’s address after the game, Bridgetown Bulldogs coach Ray Masters congratulated Kojonup and said it was a “close game that could have gone either way”. “It was overtime again, we have been a victim of those again. . . and Kojonup was just too good,” he said. “To my boys, I am really proud of you. We were going for three, there were some of you that weren’t able to get one when we really felt you deserved one so it is a bitter pill to swallow. “It will make us go even stronger.” The game was umpired by Tristan Mead, Matt Dodgson and Ryan Tindale, who determined Kojonup’s best players were Jamie Marinoni, Matthew Marinoni, Brent Clarke, Harry Taylor, and Kyle Smith. The Harvey Giblett medal for fairest and best was awarded to a very deserving Jamie Marinoni. Bridgetown’s best players were Brendon White, Jackson Oliver, Brett Wilson, Kyle Wilson, and Callum Jupp. Leading goalkickers for the match were Brendon White and Patrick Farrant, of Bridgetown, with five and four goals respectively. It was a more even spread across the Kojonup team, with three goals each for Harry Taylor, Dionne Woods and Mitchell Blakers.