WAFL Round 17 Saturday Wrap
Subiaco has again stamped it's premiership credentials, defeating West Perth by 20 points at Leederville Oval on Saturday.
Despite the late withdrawal of Sandover medallist and four time premiership player Lachlan Delahunty the Falcons were no match for a Lions outfit led by Brandon Matera, the former Docker and Gold Coast Suns star kicking 5 goals as the home side prevailed 10.12 (72) to 8.4 (52).
In other results from Saturday East Fremantle caused an upset against Swan Districts at East Fremantle Oval, Jonathon Marsh with the match winning goal in the final minute as the Sharks won a thriller by 7 points.
South Fremantle moved back in to third spot as they hammered an undermanned Peel Thunder by 116 points at Rushton Park, Reece Conca the sole Docker representative in the side as the Thunder unveiled four debutants.
West Coast won their fourth game in six matches as they hammered a listless Perth side by 56 points at Lathlain Park, leaving the Demons just percentage from bottom spot on the table.
All eyes were on Leederville Oval for game of the round between first and third on the table, Subiaco hosting West Perth.
The Lions were without star midfielder Lachlan Delahunty, who was left out of the side having only emerged from two week isolation midweek after being caught in Melbourne during a recent coronavirus outbreak.
West Perth headed in as the form side of the competition, having won their past six games to rocket in to third spot and premiership contention.
The Lions started impressively but left their kicking boots at home, kicking 1.7 to start the match as Brandon Matera looked dangerous up forward.
Matera would kick three of his side’s eventual four goals of the opening term, the Falcons failing to score at all as Subiaco jumped out to a 32 point lead at the first change.
Nathan Murray got West Perth on the board in the second term as the game became a more even contest, but the home side had the answers as Matera dribbled home his fourth goal just before half time to keep the margin at 30 points at half time.
When Ben Sokol snapped the opening goal of the second half it appeared the Lions would run away with the game, only for the Falcons to rally with three straight goals to give themselves a fighting chance, veteran midfield duo Shane Nelson and Aaron Black both outstanding along with defenders Zac Guadagnin and Noah Pegoraro.
The margin was only 19 points at the final break but Geoff Valentine’s men couldn’t get any closer as the Lions class told, Greg Clark (29 disposals) and Harry Marsh (28 and 1.2) both with telling performances in midfield with captain Leigh Kitchin quelled by Falcons tagger Thomas Boyes.
Matera was the star of the show with 5.3, while Nick Martin showed why he has attracted the interest of AFL scouts with 21 disposals, 10 marks and 2.1 as the Lions did enough to see of a gallant Falcons outfit to record their 11th win of the season.
Nelson had 34 touches in a fine midfield performance, Black with 26 while Pegoraro (21) and Guadagnin (20) could hold their heads high, seeing plenty of ball in defence as the Lions won the inside 50’s count 47-32.
West Perth’s first loss since round 8 was compounded by an ankle injury to Matthew Lloyd, who limped from the ground in the second term and failed to return.
East Fremantle broke through for their first win against a top 5 team this season, clinging on against a fast-finishing Swan Districts side at East Fremantle Oval thanks to key forward Jonathon Marsh.
In a low scoring, scrappy contest the Sharks made the most of a generous decision from Swans skipper Matt Riggio at the coin toss, the visitors opting to kick against the breeze in the first term as East Fremantle slammed on the first four goals of the match.
Sandover medallist Sam Fisher finally got his team on the board in the second term to break Easts scoring run, but it was five goals to one when the teams headed for the sheds at half time with an upset brewing.
East Fremantle then appeared to undo all their good work when they failed to score at all in the third term kicking with the breeze, Swans midfield gradually getting on top with Fisher, Frank Anderson and Jesse Turner giving their side multiple looks inside forward 50.
With the only two goals of the quarter Swan Districts closed to within seven points at three quarter time, Luke Strnadica producing East Fremantle’s first score in almost an hour of football to give the home side a 13 point lead.
Consecutive goals from Brayden Noble and Jesse Turner reduced the margin to a point as time on arrived in the final stanza.
Warwick Wilson missed a set shot that would have put his side ahead, levelling the scores at the 23-minute mark to set up a tense finish.
Jonathon Marsh stepped up to be the hero for the Sharks, kicking what proved to be the winning goal at the 27-minute mark to deliver his side’s fifth win of the season.
Remarkably Marsh’s major made him the only multiple goal kicker of the game, just 12 goals kicked in what was a low scoring arm wrestle.
Luke English (25 disposals and a goal) along with Kyle Baskerville (22) and Cameron Eardley (22) had plenty of impact for the winners, while Michael Tassone had 21 disposals and kicked his side’s first goal and big man Strnadica had the better of his ruck duel with Matthew Germs, winning 19 disposals and 38 hitouts.
Fisher (27), Turner (26) and Anderson (25) all won plenty of the football but lacked a target in attack, leading goal kicker Jesse Palmer held to just five disposals and one goal by Sharks skipper Matthew Jupp.
South Fremantle capitalised on a severely weakened Peel Thunder at Rushton Park, thrashing the home side by 116 points in a horribly one sided score line, 22.9 (141) to 3.7 (25).
A six goal to nil opening term was the catalyst for Todd Curley’s men, who were coming off a six day break and a disappointing defeat to Subiaco in their most recent contest.
In all the Bulldogs would kick the first 12 goals of the game, Blake Schlensog dominant once again in a key forward role having started the year in defence with support from Cody Ninyette.
With percentage likely to be a factor in the run towards September their was no let up from the Bulldogs after half time, key forwards Schlensog, Jimmy Miller and Mason Shaw sharing 14 goals between them in a dominant performance.
The Thunder had just one Fremantle listed player in Reece Conca, with the remainder of players choosing to quarantine to keep themselves in contention for AFL spots, unveiling four debutants including 16 year old Jackson Broadbent.
South Fremantle had 102 more disposals and a whopping 22 more inside 50’s come the final siren to go with 22 goals, producing their first 100 point win since round 21 2018.
Shaw and Schlensog each kicked five goals for the red and whites while Haiden Schloithe had 42 disposals and kicked 2 goals, midfield pair Jacob Dragovich and Tom Blechynden each with 30 disposals in a Bulldog domination.
Tyrone Thorne tried hard for the Thunder with 25 disposals and a goal, Ben Hancock (21) and second gamer Brodie Kitchingman (20) the other players to reach 20 disposals on a disappointing afternoon at home.
West Coast’s late season resurgence continued, recording their fourth win in six matches as they dominated Perth in a battle of the co-tenants at Lathlain Park.
The Eagles set up their win in the opening half, kicking 11 goals to three before the game lost it’s spark after half time, the result well beyond doubt.
Jordan Busher kicked four goals for West Coast while former Gold Coast Sun and Carlton forward Jarrod Garlett added three.
Alex Witherden pressed his claims for a recall with 40 disposals in a dominant showing, Jarrod Brander (33 disposals and 13 marks) also doing his AFL chances no harm.
Every Eagle had more than ten disposals as Perth struggled to have any impact in general play or on the scoreboard, only winning the third term with two goals to one.
Sam Stubbs kicked 3.3 in a lone hand up forward, Kristian Cary failing to score in the 15.9 (99) to 6.7 (43) result.
Defender Jack Avery had 26 disposals and 11 marks in a strong defensive showing, Corey Byrne (23 disposals and 7 tackles) his side’s best midfielder as the Demons crashed to a seventh straight defeat, now just percentage off bottom spot with four games to play.
Round 17 concludes on Sunday with East Perth hosting Claremont at Leederville Oval, the Tigers needing a win to stay in touch with Subiaco ahead of the sides meeting in round 18.
IMAGE: The West Australian.