Esperance Football, Lions suffer heavy defeat against Bulldogs in Preliminary Final

Esperance had a blistering opening quarter that squashed Newtown Condingup‘s hopes of making a close contest in the Preliminary Final at Ports Oval.

It was an eight goals four point quarter to Newtown Condingup’s no score and precisely what coach Michael Harding would have asked for.

It took the heat out of the game, they tuned up their ball movement, got some game time into some previously injured players and were able to rest some players early as the game wore on.

With the return of Roger Parsons, Jamie Jones, Ryan Neill and Brian Clinch and all playing good games.

The rest of the Bulldogs players grew in confidence and ran riot to hold a massive 86 point margin at the long break.

The scoring power of Esperance was back, something they lacked against Gibson, with Cameron Bennell kicking four goals and Ryan Neill scoring three goals.

Other great performances were from Brendon White, Braydon Wood, Roger Parsons and all the back line particularly Sam Round.

For Newtown Condingup it was a case of just too many positions on the ground and they were found lacking.

Courtney Burnett battled manfully and attacked the football hard often spinning out of trouble to send the ball forward on many occasions, trying to set the tone.

Jacob Debeer did some classy work and Craig Henderson picked up many possessions but when Newtown Condingup did go forward, they were forced very wide by a well organised Esperance defence.

The second half saw Esperance score a further five goals six points to Newtown Condingup’s three goals five points in a more seesawing affair, but Esperance were already bringing their most valuable players off half way through the third quarter.

This was when Newtown Condingup looked their best with Brett Trocinski moving into the back line to match up on Ryan Neill and did a good job, Dane Holdman began taking some grabs around the ground and Elijah Wood was lively in the midfield and forward line.

For Esperance their big play makers were magnificent.

Brendon White was everywhere and a classy user of the ball, Richard Bourne was at a very high level and Braydon Wood mopped up behind play with aplomb and with Roger Parsons coming back in and picking up where he left off five weeks ago, Esperance can look ahead to the Grand Final with confidence.

Match statistics

Esperance 18-14 (122) defeating Newtown Condingup 3-5 (23).

Best Esperance players: Brayden Wood, Brendon White, Richard Bourne, Roger Parsons and Cameron Bennell.

Best Newtown Condingup players: Courtney Burnett, Jacob Debeer, Craig Henderson, Dane Holdman and Elijah Wood.

The Grand Final will be held at Esperance Oval on Saturday, September 1.

8:05am Under 14s Esperance v. Newtown Condingup.

9:30am Under 16s Ports v. Newtown Condingup.

11:00am Under 18s Ports v Esperance.

12:50pm Reserves Gibson v. Ports.

2:30pm A Grade Gibson v. Esperance.

Gate opens at 7:15am.

Donation for a budget, full price entry all day.