WAFL Round 5 Wrap
Reigning premiers South Fremantle have ended Subiaco's unbeaten run to start the 2021 season, defeating a wounded Lions outfit by 18 points at Fremantle Oval on Saturday.
Beau Wardman's side lost midfield pair Max Walters and Rowen Powell in a sickening first quarter collision that left both players concussed, forced to play three quarters with only 20 fit men, Hayden Kennedy and Jacob Miller also battling injury as the contest progressed.
Other results saw Swan Districts hold on for a 13 point win over East Perth at Leederville Oval, Claremont remained undefeated with a 52 point thumping of West Perth at Revo Fitness Stadium, Perth produced a barnstorming six goal opening term to set up their 30 point win over East Fremantle at East Fremantle Oval, while Peel Thunder handed West Coast a fourth straight loss with a 79 point triumph at Rushton Park.
In 91.3 Sport FM's broadcast game the Bulldogs hosted the unbeaten Lions, the two premiership sides of the past two seasons going head to head on a beautiful afternoon for football at Fremantle Oval.
In a scrappy start the Lions took a seven point lead in to the first change in an error riddled contest, Walters and Powell ruled out following their collision in an effort to spoil Bulldog Blake Schlensog during time on of the first term.
The reigning premiers lifted their game in the second stanza, kicking seven goals straight for the term to Subiaco's 2.1 as they opened up a 22 point lead at the major break.
Cody Ninyette broke free of Jacob Miller to kick two goals for the red and whites, providing the spark after a sluggish start from the home side, Brandon Donaldson and Ben Rioli also providing highlights with running goals from distance.
Haiden Schloithe and Mason Shaw were dominant in the third term as the lead pushed out to seven goals, Shaw with two majors for the term and Schloithe racking up the disposals to go with a goal of his own to continue his fine start to the season.
37 points down at the final change the Lions defied the odds with 19 fit men to kick the only three goals of the final term, reducing the deficit but unable to get close enough to put pressure on the Bulldogs, who held on to win 12.8 (80) to 9.8 (62) in front of 1,918 fans.
Schloithe was best afield with 39 disposals and 2.2 for the winners, Shaw with 3.2 to continue his solid start to the season that sees him tied for the Bernie Naylor Medal after four matches.
Greg Clark battled hard for the Lions with 30 disposals in midfield, Harry Marsh with 23 touches and Nick Martin and Ben Sokol the multiple goalkickers, Beau Wardman's side licking their wounds with Powell and Walters ruled out of their next clash against Claremont due to the 12 day concussion protocol.
Claremont flexed their muscle against West Perth at Revo Fitness Stadium, posting their fourth consecutive 100 plus score of the season as they accounted for the Falcons 16.11 (107) to 8.7 (55).
The visitors burst out of the blocks with four of the first six goals of the contest to lead by 12 points at quarter time, only for the Tigers to respond emphatically, kicking eleven goals to two across the second and third quarter to blow the Falcons away.
Claremont's high octane, fast ball movement was on display once again, half back Lachlan Martinis outstanding as he racked up 42 disposals to set the tone out of the back half.
Jack Buller dominated up forward in just his fourth senior game, kicking 5.4 and hauling in six marks in a breakout performance from the key position player.
The Falcons had few winners but Connor West had 35 disposals in midfield while ball magnet Shane Nelson had 39 but little impact, spearhead Tyler Keitel held goalless by Tigers defender Dylan Smallwood.
The result was compounded by a hamstring injury to half back Trent Manzone, who left the game early due to a hamstring injury.
Bailey Rogers continued his superb start to the season with 30 disposals while Oliver Eastland dominated the ruck with 25 disposals and 30 hitouts, as the Tigers roared to a 52 point win at home.
Swan Districts looked set for a big win against the bottom placed East Perth when they led 38-1 at quarter time, but the Royals showed grit and determination to push Swans all the way to the line in a 10.8 (68) to 7.13 (55) result to the black ducks at Leederville Oval.
Swans had six individual goal kickers in the opening term, reigning Sandover medallist Sam Fisher in dominant form as he racked up 13 disposals and kicked a major to help his team to a 37 point quarter time lead.
The Royals responded in the second quarter, kicking four goals to one as midfield duo Angus Scott and Aidan Lynch found plenty of the ball, Scott Jones and Ajang Ajang playing out an absorbing duel in the ruck with Swans big man Corey Gault.
The Royals dominated the third term and should have turned for home with the lead had they kicked straight, recording 2.10 for the quarter, Swans lucky to hold a five point lead with a quarter to play.
Adam Pickering's side maintained their lead in the final term, kicking two goals to one as the Royals were left to rue their third term missed opportunities, now winless through four matches.
Fisher finished with 37 disposals, 23 of those in the first half as he continues his fantastic start to the season, Frank Anderson with 35 disposals to play a great support role in midfield, while Gault outworked both Jones and Ajang to finish with 20 touches, 28 hitouts and a goal.
Eddie Simpson fought a lone hand up forward to kick a career high five majors for the Royals, Scott with 36 disposals and Lynch 35 as their wait for a win continues in season 2021.
Perth bounced back for their first win since round one as a dominant first quarter set up their 11.8 (74) to 6.8 (44) victory over a disappointing East Fremantle at New Choice Homes Park, kicking six goals to one to establish a margin that would never be overhauled by the home side.
Both teams lost key players before the game, midfield pair Luke English and Josh Schoenfeld ruled out for the Sharks while veteran Chris Masten was also a late scratching.
The Sharks lost key forward Dillon O'Reilly early in the game itself after a heavy hit in the opening minutes saw him ruled out with concussion, his team mates not feeling much better as the Demons kicked six goals to one in the opening stanza.
Doulton Langlands kicked the opening goal of the match while Sam Stubbs had two goals by quarter time, the Demons controlling the stoppages and making the most of their entries inside 50.
East Fremantle won the second quarter but were only within 23 points at the half, never able to put scoreboard pressure on the Demons as repeated turnovers hurt Bill Monaghan's side's chances of a second half comeback.
The injury carnage for the home side continued as young midfielder Milan Murdock suffered a fractured leg, likely to rule him out for the remainder of the season as the Sharks slumped to their second loss of the season.
Brady Grey was outstanding in midfield with 29 disposals and 11 inside 50's, Haydn Busher impressing on his return to Perth for his first game since 2014 with 19 disposals playing mainly off a wing.
Langlands kicked three goals for the winners, the former Saint with his best game in red and black.
Cameron Eardley had 32 disposals for East Fremantle but lacked support, Morgan Davies with 21 disposals across half back, the Sharks without a multiple goalkicker on a tough day.
Peel Thunder recorded their highest ever WAFL score in a 79 point pummelling of West Coast at Rushton Park, Blair Bell, Josh Treacy and Sam Sturt sharing 15 goals between them in the 24.12 (156) to 12.5 (77) thrashing.
The Thunder were never headed after a six goal opening term, leading by 44 points by half time with Bell slotting five first half majors.
The depleted Eagles won the third term but little else as Peel piled on seven goals to two in the final term, omitted Dockers forward Josh Treacy responding strongly to losing his place as he finished with five goals of his own.
Sam Sturt kicked four goals as the Thunder forwards capitalised on 63 inside 50 entries for the match, finishing with a whopping 448 disposals in their highest ever team total in a WAFL match.
Tyrone Thorne had 33 disposals and kicked two goals for the winners, Ben Hancock with 34 disposals while Stefan Giro dominated on a wing with 33 touches and a goal.
Jarrod Cameron kicked three goals as he builds some form and confidence back from a pre-season battle with osteitis pubis, while skipper Hamish Brayshaw had 29 touches in another comprehensive defeat for the Eagles WAFL side.
Claremont are top of the ladder as the only undefeated team after four games and five rounds, Swan Districts, Subiaco and South Fremantle all 3-1 while Peel's percentage booster puts them in the top five from Perth and East Fremantle who are both 2-2.
West Perth are 1-3 in eighth spot, while East Perth and West Coast are both winless from four games.
Sport FM 91.3's round six broadcast match is Subiaco v Claremont at Leederville Oval, other matches seeing Perth host Peel Thunder, West Perth up against Swan Districts, South Fremantle are at home to East Perth and East Fremantle play West Coast.
IMAGE: South Fremantle FC.