SWFL 2022: Carey Park break through for first win at Payne Park since 2015

Headshot of Justin Fris
Justin FrisBunbury Herald
Kelvin Lawrence tucks the football under his arm in a bid to evade Bunbury's Hamish Hall on Sunday.
Camera IconKelvin Lawrence tucks the football under his arm in a bid to evade Bunbury's Hamish Hall on Sunday. Credit: Justin Fris/South Western Times

Carey Park emphatically recorded their first win at Payne Park since 2015 on Sunday afternoon, after running out deserved 11.14 (80) to 5.9 (39) victors over Bunbury.

Even the most ardent of Panthers diehards would have found it difficult tipping their boys to spring a surprise heading into the clash, given the fact Brett Maguire’s men were thumped 17.13 (115) to 2.11 (23) by Donnybrook at home eight days earlier.

However Carey Park’s elite young talent, coupled by a strong desire to show no mercy against a genuine premiership threat, was enough for them to record one of the upsets of the season.

Despite missing exceptional ball magnet Jesse Gribble, the Bulldogs began the game brightly and looked confident moving the ball into their forward line.

Early goals to Tyson Wood and Dylan Heasman gave the home side a tidy buffer, before SWFL journeyman Kelvin Lawrence — donning a classic long sleeve guernsey — began to assert himself on the contest.

Helping himself to several of Nick Bonomelli’s hit-outs, Lawrence raised the stakes at the 18-minute mark of the opening term by palming off a Bulldogs rival and kicking truly.

Lawrence’s deeds were echoed by exceptional youngster Bryce Fiorentino, who put the Panthers in front in the dying seconds of the term.

Fiorentino, who has spent some time at Peel Thunder in the colts and reserves this year, firmly placed his creative genius on display, after cleverly snapping a goal in the right forward pocket under pressure.

The Bulldogs were unable to get their noses back in front prior to three-quarter-time, however there were enough signs to suggest they were capable of charging home in the final term.

Leading by example as always was Patrick Farrant, who again displayed why he is one of the most skilful players in the competition.

Whether it was evading opponents while in possession, taking difficult marks or slotting critical goals, Farrant did it all against the Panthers.

With the game up for grabs, and determined not to undo their good work, the Panthers shut the gate at the kennel during the last quarter by kicking four goals during an unforgettable nine-minute spell.

Fittingly, two of these majors were kicked by Fiorentino, who left no one in any doubt as to why Maguire is so passionate about the club’s local development focus.

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