In a fierce start to the 2023 Lower South West Football League season, the Southerners’ colts grade team defeated Deanmill by just seven points last Friday night with a goal right on the final siren. Both teams came out hard and fast at Deanmill Football Club, however it was Deanmill’s Jakob Reeve who scored the first goal, triggering a whopping round of applause from a packed crowd. The Southerners soon responded, with the quarter continuing score-for-score. An impressive play by Tate Paganini and Ethan Dimitriou resulted in a quick handball from midfield to Dimitriou for a fantastic goal from just inside 50 that further lifted Deanmill’s momentum. However, the Southerners quickly matched the pace and ended the quarter leading by two points, 2.3 (15) to 2.1 (13). Deanmill again scored first after the break, regaining the lead. An impressive goal from Dimitriou stretched the margin further and the crowd went wild. The Southerners weren’t to be shut down, continuing to match the pace and going into half-time trailing 6.1 (37) to 4.8 (32). The Southerners kicked the first goal of the third quarter to wrestle back the lead. Soon after an intercept mark by Justin Bailye in Deanmill’s forward 50 resulting in a quick goal that had the Southerners scrambling to adjust. The third quarter ended with Deanmill again in front, 8.3 (51) to 6.11 (47), despite an incredible effort by the Southerners’ hardworking midfield. The scales tipped in the fourth quarter after the Southerners’ Samuel McRae smashed out three consecutive goals out of his seven total for the match. Some great marking skills by Deanmill kept them in the game however the Southerners played like a team on a mission and would not be denied. A Southerners’ goal on the siren had the fiercely competitive season starter done and dusted with the margin of only seven points, 10.12 (72) to 10.5 (65). In the other match of the Friday night double-header, the Bulldogs took on reining premiers the Tigers. In a fantastic display of football prowess and skill, the Tigers dominated, finishing 15.6.(96) to 8.6 (54) winners. LSWFL will take a week’s break for the Easter holidays and will return on Saturday April 22 at 10:15am, where the Imperials will play their first colts game against Bridgetown at Bridgetown Sports Oval and the Tigers will take on the Southerners at Rea Park in Manjimup. The reserves and league will also return for 2023 on April 22 at 2pm, where Deanmill will take on Kojonup at Deanmill Football Club and Imperials face the Tigers at Manjimup Recreation Ground in both grades.