WAFL Round 12 Wrap
Swan Districts have broken a 12 game losing streak against Subiaco, beating the Lions by a solitary point at Leederville Oval on Saturday.
It was the closest of a superb round of WAFL fixtures, three games decided in time on of the last quarter with East Perth rallying to come from behind against Peel Thunder at Rushton Park, West Perth triumphing by 14 points over Claremont at Arena Joondalup while South Fremantle and West Coast recorded comfortable wins over Perth and East Fremantle respectively.
Coming off a rare defeat to the bottom placed West Coast in round 11, Subiaco were chasing quick retribution against Swans at Leederville Oval, looking to extend their winning streak to 13 over the black and whites dating back to 2015.
A strong first quarter from Adam Pickering's men laid the foundations for the eventual result, kicking 2.4 in the opening stanza to their opponents 1.1.
Aidan Clarke and William Reidy were having an impact forward of centre for Swans, while midfield trio Jesse Turner, Josh Cipro and Frank Anderson were finding their fair share of the ball.
Jesse Palmer was looking dangerous as the focal point in attack but squandered opportunities, finally slotting a major on the cusp of half time as Swan Districts led by 16 points at the half.
Swans were controlling the game but letting themselves down in front of goal, kicking 1.4 in the third term before late majors from Brandon Matera and Michael Braut had the home team back in the contest.
Lachlan Riley produced the moment of the match in the final term, chasing down Subiaco midfielder Wil Hickmott inside forward 50 before going back to slot what proved to the decisive goal of the contest.
Subiaco refused to give in, with the majority of play in their forward half in the final 10 minutes.
The returning Max Walters snapped truly in the 17th minute to give the Lions a boost.
The game was on a knife’s edge for the remainder of the game, with neither team willing to give an inch.
Subiaco captain Kitchin received a free kick inside 50, and kicked truly, but it was too late as the Swans held on for the one-point victory, 7.12 (54) to 8.5 (53).
Turner (27 disposals and 8 marks) was superb in midfield for the winners, Cirpro (22) and Fisher (20) also impactful while Corey Gault (16 disposals and 17 hitouts) had an absorbing battle with Lachlan Delahunty.
Kitchin had 25 disposals while Harrison Marsh (24) and Delahunty (23) were their usual selves, but it wasn't enough as Beau Wardman's side suffered consecutive defeats for the first time since 2014.
It was Swans first win over the Lions since 2015, remarkably also winning that clash by a point as they solidified their spot inside the top 5.
West Perth produced their best performance of the season to topple ladder leaders Claremont at Arena Joondalup, winning by 14 points to spoil champion Tigers midfielder Jye Bolton's 100th game.
The Falcons led for most of the contest but appeared to be overrun late in the match as the Tigers found their best football after half time, only for the home side to kick the final three goals of the contest, victorious 10.10 (70) to 8.8 (56).
It was a scrappy opening half on a perfect day for football, the Falcons more efficient going forward with key forward Tyler Keitel with three goals by half time.
Alex Manuel sparked a fightback from the Tigers in the third term, kicking two majors to give his side the lead for the first time since the opening minutes.
Rudy Riddoch was the spark for the Falcons in the final stanza with the game on the line, kicking two goals to give his side the lead before Dean Munns kicked the sealer deep in time on to give Geoff Valentine's men three wins in a row for the first time this season.
West Perth skipper Aaron Black was superb with 34 disposals and 12 tackles, fellow midfielders Shane Nelson (25) and Tristan Hobley (22) influential while defender Zac Guadagnin (27 disposals) played a superb game deep in defence.
Milestone man Bolton had 29 disposals for the Tigers, Ben Edwards with 25 and ruckman Ollie Eastland having a superb match with 22 disposals and 39 hitouts as he dominated his battle with Ben Delaporte.
Bailey Rogers kicked a career high 3 goals to match Keitel's effort for the Falcons, but it was the team in the red and the blue celebrating at the end of the contest as they maintained fourth spot on the table.
East Perth produced one of the comebacks of the season to storm past Peel Thunder at Rushton Park, handing the home side their third straight loss by less than ten points in their 13.10 (88) to 12.9 (81) triumph.
Peel looked in complete command courtesy of a nine goal to four opening half, kicking six goals in the second quarter as Dockers trio Connor Blakely, Stefan Giro and Bailey Banfield all hit the scoreboard.
East Perth whittled down the 33 point half time deficit with four unanswered goals in the third stanza, forwards Jayden Magro and Eddie Simpson capitalising on the work of returning skipper Jackson Ramsay and his deputy Angus Scott to make a game of it.
In a pulsating last quarter both teams traded the lead before Simpson stepped up and won the game for the visitors, taking a strong pack mark in the goal square in the 30th minute of the final quarter, enough for Jeremy Barnard's side to clinch consecutive wins for the first time this season.
Magro kicked four second half goals in a fantastic contest, Ramsay outstanding with 32 disposals and 9 inside 50's in his first match since round 2.
Scott also had plenty of it with 29 disposals while Angus Schumacher had 23 classy touches for the winners, while Peel were best served by Blakely (27 disposals and 2 goals) and Nathan O'Driscoll (26 disposals and 10 marks).
The loss is Peel's third straight defeat by less than ten points, making finals a tough task in season 2021 with the Mandurah based club now holding a 3-7 record despite a healthy percentage.
In 91.3 Sport FM's broadcast game South Fremantle kept their hopes of a top two finish well and truly alive with a comfortable 34 point win over a lacklustre Perth side at Fremantle Oval.
A six goal opening term set up the result, with key forward Mason Shaw kicking three goals in the first 25 minutes to help put a buffer between the two sides.
Young ruckman Hamish Free was having an impact in just his third match, winning five disposals and 12 hitouts in the opening quarter as the Demons struggled to move the ball with any fluency.
The red and whites were deadly accurate in front of goal, kicking 10.0 in the opening half while Perth went goalless in the second quarter, the margin a whopping 40 points at half time.
Garry Moss' side played with more fluency in the second half but couldn't get any closer than 28 points, forwards Mitchell Browne (2.4) and Samuel Stubbs (0.3) squandering opportunities in front of goal.
Shaw finished with 4 goals while Nick Suban was in everything early, finishing with 22 disposals to be amongst his side's best.
Tom Blechynden (27 disposals) and Chad Pearson (31) both had plenty of the ball, Jarrod Salmeri (hamstring) unable to finish the match for the winners.
Perth had few winners on a tough day, Brady Grey (20 disposals and 8 tackles) and Kasey Nicholas (17 disposals and a goal) having an impact despite being on the wrong side of the 15.5 (95) to 8.13 (61) result.
West Coast made it consecutive wins in the 2021 season with a crushing win over East Fremantle at East Fremantle Oval.
Having been beaten by 125 points when the teams last met in round 6, the Eagles produced their finest performance of a tough season in the 15.9 (99) to 6.12 (48) win.
After scores were level at quarter time the visitors pulled away from there on in, kicking three goals to none in the second term as the Sharks lacked targets in attack in the absence of Jonathon Marsh (jaw).
The goals kept coming in the second half for West Coast, Jarrod Garlett, Zac Langdon and Keiran Hug all with three majors.
Mark Hutchings continued his push for an Eagles recall at AFL level with 26 disposals, Alex Witherden producing a commanding performance with 25 disposals of his own as the Eagles ran away with the game in the last term to win by more than 8 goals.
The Sharks had no multiple goalkickers and kicked only six majors on the day, Blaine Boekhorst (31 disposals and a goal) as well as defenders Kyle Baskerville and Morgan Davies (both 30) finding enough of the ball but unable to impact the contest.
The top five teams have now pushed away from the rest of the pack, two games now separating Swans in fifth spot and East Fremantle in sixth spot.
Claremont remain a game clear on top despite their loss thanks to Subiaco who sit second, South Fremantle, West Perth and Swan Districts all firmly entrenched inside the five with 8 games still to play.
East Fremantle and Perth are both 4-6 with their finals hopes fading fast, Peel Thunder and East Perth both with 3-7 records and West Coast still bottom despite recording back to back wins.
Round 13 sees Claremont host Swan Districts at Revo Fitness Stadium, East Perth play East Fremantle, Perth faces West Perth, South Fremantle and West Coast do battle at Fremantle Oval and Peel Thunder play Subiaco at Rushton Park, with the match moved to Sunday due to the WAFLW Grand Final being played at the same venue on Saturday.