WAFL Finals Week Two Wrap
The WAFL’s semi finals delivered in spades on a perfect September weekend for football, with the quality of the competition on full display.
After a week in the headlines, East Fremantle won their way through to the grand final for the first time since 2012, defeating Peel Thunder by five points in a thriller on Saturday.
A strong effort in the first three quarters saw the Sharks take a 21-point lead into the final break, with Milan Murdock (31 disposals) quickly finding his groove after an injury-interrupted back half of the season and Hugh Dixon (18 disposals, two goals) providing a strong target both around the ground and in front of goal.
Josh Schoenfeld’s second goal of the day extended the margin out to 28 points early in the final term, but the visitors hit back through the swung-forward Joel Hamling, Brady Grey, and Ben Middleton to close the gap to one straight kick as the clock ticked into red time.
The Thunder had their chances to win the game at the death but Riley Smith and Will Brodie both hit the post with late shots on goal as the Sharks did just enough to hold on in a tense finish.
Cam Eardley and Fraser Turner both gathered 30 disposals and kicked a goal in strong performances for the winners, as Brodie (27 disposals, seven tackles) and Corey Wagner (24 disposals) were the best of Peel’s 11 AFL-listed players.
On Sunday, Subiaco kept their season alive while ending Claremont’s campaign with a 39-point victory.
The Lions made a fast start with the first five goals of the game and could have killed off the game with better forward efficiency, taking only a 21-point lead into half-time despite having had 11 more scoring shots.
The Tigers clawed their way back into the contest with a five-goal quarter of their own in the third to set up a blockbuster finish, but spearheads Ryan Borchet and Ben Sokol stepped up by booting three goals apiece to seal the deal in the final term.
Liam Hickmott led the way for the Lions from the middle with 36 disposals, while Jaimon Alone restricted two-time Sandover Medallist Jye Bolton to only 13 disposals in what may be his last game in the WAFL.
Peel will welcome Subiaco to Lane Group Stadium for the preliminary final on Saturday, with the winner heading through to face the Sharks in the season decider at Optus Stadium on September 24th.
East Fremantle 9.6 (60) def Peel Thunder 7.13 (55) at Fremantle Community Bank Oval
Subiaco 12.16 (88) def Claremont 8.1 (49) at Leederville Oval.
IMAGE: WA FOOTBALL