WAFL Round 19 Saturday wrap
East Fremantle has caused one of the boilovers of the season, defeating top of the table Subiaco by 44 points at Leederville Oval on Saturday.
Hugh Dixon, Jonathon Marsh and Dillon O’Reilly shared eight goals between them as the Sharks tall forward line stretched a Lions outfit that lost Jordan Lockyer moments before the match due to injury, becoming the first team to kick 100 points or more against Subiaco since round 1 2017, some 84 matches ago.
In other matches Swan Districts celebrated the 60 year anniversary of their maiden WAFL premiership in style against East Perth, winning by 41 points at Bassendean Oval.
Perth defied ladder positions to push Claremont all the way to the finish line at Lathlain Park, the Tigers winning by just 8 points thanks to a late Jye Bolton goal.
Subiaco had taken down top five clubs South Fremantle, West Perth and Claremont in the space of three weeks heading in to their round 19 clash with seventh placed East Fremantle at Leederville Oval, the Sharks expected to be no match for the competition’s juggernaut.
East Fremantle wasted their opportunities in the opening stanza despite having the better of general play, kicking 1.6 for the quarter as Subiaco pulled away late to lead by 17 points at the first change.
The Lions lost prolific midfielder Greg Clark in the opening minutes of the match with a hamstring injury, having already lost Leigh Kitchin (suspension) and defender Lockyer heading in to the game.
East Fremantle were without experienced midfielder Cameron Eardley who was also a late withdrawal, Tim Bockman joining the casualty ward in the opening half with both sides down on personnel.
The Lions appeared to be running away with the match in the second term as they pushed out to a 27 point lead.
From there the game took a remarkable transformation, the Sharks slamming on an astounding 12 consecutive goals from the 22-minute mark of the second term to the 6 minute mark of the last, Subiaco failing to score at all in that time as East Fremantle led by 41 points.
Forwards Jonathon Marsh, Hugh Dixon and Dillon O’Reilly were all imposing inside forward 50, ruckman Luke Strnadica also getting forward to kick two majors as the Lions were caught short.
There was no miraculous comeback from the shell shocked Lions, the Sharks recording a famous victory 16.12 (108) to 9.10 (64).
Marsh won the sibling rivalry with older brother Harry, dominating for the visitors with 27 disposals and 3 goals while Kyle Baskerville (27 disposals), Michael Tassone (25 disposals) and Tom Bennett (22 disposals and 2 goals) all had a decisive impact on the result.
Sandover medallist Lachlan Delahunty won 32 disposals to fight a lone battle in midfield in the absence of skipper Kitchin and talisman Clark, Jack Mayo the only multiple goal scorer with two majors for the Lions.
It was East Fremantle’s first win over Subiaco since May 2016, and just the sixth time the blue and whites have tasted success over the Lions in 46 matches dating back to 2002.
Swan Districts made a certainty of finals football for the first time since 2017 on a famous day at Bassendean Oval, the club celebrating it’s first ever premiership in 1961 some 60 years on with a 41 point win over East Perth.
With the modern Swans wearing replicas of the famous 1961 premiership jumpers made famous by legends Bill Walker, Haydn Bunton and others, the fifth placed Black Ducks burst out of the blocks with the opening six goals of the contest, catching a sloppy Royals outfit on the hop.
Brayden Noble and Aidan Clarke each had two majors by quarter time, the parochial home crowd loving every minute of the action as Swans lead pushed out to 36 points.
Goals to Angus Schumacher and Scott Jones either side of quarter time got East Perth back in to the game, before two goals in three minutes from Warwick Wilson steadied Swans, who looked the better side from the outset.
Jesse Turner was having a superb match in midfield wearing Bill Walker’s famous 29 guernsey, Clarke kicking a career high four goals in his finest showing at league level.
The Royals battled on to make a game of it, reducing the margin to three goals early in the final term, Swans steadying with the final four goals of the match to win 14.11 (95) to 8.6 (54).
Turner (27 disposals) finished his side’s leading disposal getter, defender Brandon Erceg (20 disposals) and inside midfielder Josh Cipro (19 disposals) all having a telling impact, as did veteran defender Tony Notte (19 disposals and 7 marks).
Noble and Clarke shared seven goals between them up forward, while Wilson could have kicked a bag himself but returned an inaccurate 2.4.
Rohan Kerr had 32 disposals for the Royals and acting skipper Angus Scott finished with 32 disposals but a wasteful 0.3, including two behinds early in the match when his side desperately needed to hit the scoreboard.
Perth and Claremont looked a gross mismatch on paper, the Demons having lost their past eight matches and Claremont looking to bounce back from two narrow losses.
The Demons hadn’t won a WAFL match since round 8 when they accounted for West Perth, and weren’t expected to challenge a Tigers side with star power all over the ground.
In a scrappy opening term the Demons pushed out to an early lead, 100th gamer Brent Edmonds kicking a goal that was met with a rousing cheer from the locals at Lathlain.
Perth led at quarter time for just the second time this season and first time since round six, eight points to the good of a lacklustre Tigers outfit who were playing without any spark on a perfect day for football.
Having been held to just two first quarter disposals by youngster Brodie Gray Jye Bolton slotted a superb boundary line goal to help spring his side in to action in the second term, midfielders Ben Edwards and Bailey Rogers prominent as Claremont produced a six goal to one term to lead by 24 points at half time.
Just as it looked like the visitors were set to push away from their opponents the Demons produced a strong third term, closing to within 12 points courtesy of goals to Edmonds and second gamer Zac Sanderson.
The Tigers had the answers though, Timm House a real presence up forward as his side maintained a four goal buffer at the final change.
The Demons produced another comeback in the final term, forwards Kristian Cary and Sam Stubbs able to kick accurately as Claremont struggled to find a steadying goal.
House provided it as the margin pushed back out to 14 points at the start of time on, only for former Tiger Jack Richardson to bob up and kick two goals in five minutes for Perth to set up a grandstand finish.
Having been well held for most of the day Bolton was on the end of a Ryan Lim kick inside 50, kicking truly from 45 metres out at left half forward on an angle to seal the game for Claremont.
It was an unconvincing performance from last season’s Grand Finalists, but it did break a two game losing run with the 11.10 (76) to 10.8 (68) result.
Rogers was the star of the show, recording 31 disposals and 10 inside 50’s in another supreme midfield performance, well supported by Ben Edwards (30 disposals and 8 inside 50’s).
House and Bolton each kicked three goals, Claremont going in to their bye in third spot with work to do to retain that position with two games remaining.
Perth were best served by Austin Davis (26 disposals), Andrew Fisher (18) and youngster Connor McPartland (17 disposals and 8 tackles) just not quite enough to cause an almighty upset for Garry Moss’ men.
Round 19 concludes on Sunday with West Perth hosting West Coast at Arena Joondalup, Peel Thunder and South Fremantle both having the bye.