WAFL Round 5 Wrap
Reigning premiers Subiaco produced a barnstorming final term to power past Swan Districts, winning by 14 points at Sir Richard Moore Oval in Kalgoorlie on Saturday.
The Lions were staring down the barrel of slipping to 1-4 when they trailed by 20 points at the final change, only to kick five goals and keep their opponents scoreless to record a memorable triumph.
In other results Claremont overcame a sluggish start to hand East Perth a third straight loss by 47 points at Revo Fitness Stadium, East Fremantle won their fourth game in succession despite the absence of key forwards Jonathon Marsh and Dillon O’Reilly to win by 26 points over Perth at Lathlain Park while South Fremantle defeated Peel Thunder by the same margin in our 91.3 Sport FM broadcast game, despite the visitors having 12 Fremantle listed players in their side.
West Perth continued the misery for the West Coast Eagles reserves side, winning by 80 points at Arena Joondalup as forwards Tyler Keitel and Keegan Knott shared 8 goals between them.
All eyes were on the gold mining town of Kalgoorlie as round five of the WAFL commenced on Saturday, Subiaco taking a game to their profitable country zone to face Swan Districts.
Fittingly local lad Ryan Borchet kicked the first goal after less than two minutes for the Lions, but Swans would kick the next four as they started the better of the two teams, co-captain Chris Jones’ great recent form continuing with two majors in the opening 15 minutes.
Subiaco fought back strongly in the second term to bring the game back on an even keel, Leigh Kitchin again in everything for his side with good support from Lachlan Delahunty, Stefan Giro and Liam Hickmott.
The rain arrived to make skills difficult for both sides, Subiaco missing key playmaker Brandon Matera who exited the game with injury before half time.
Swan Districts seemed to have the answers for each Lions challenge, Ryan Kemp dangerous around goal while Jones kicked his third major in the third term as the black and whites turned for home with a 20 point lead.
Staring down the barrel of just one win from five games Beau Wardman’s side responded emphatically in the last term, forwards Borchet and Ben Sokol standing up under pressure to share the five goals their side would score for the term, storming past Swans to win 12.10 (82) to 10.8 (68), Swan Districts failing to score at all in the last quarter.
Sokol and Borchet each kicked four majors for the winners, while Kitchin (33 disposals) continued his fine start to the season in midfield with support from Delahunty (29), Giro (28) and Liam Hickmott (28).
Sandover medallist Sam Fisher had 35 disposals in slippery conditions, Jesse Turner (33) and Aidan Clarke (24) having their say on the game but sadly unable to impact late when it counted.
Claremont’s fine start to the season continued, overcoming a goalless first quarter to thump East Perth by 47 points at Revo Fitness Stadium.
The Royals started well kicking the game’s first three goals, Harley Sparks in particular making a good start to the match.
Claremont lifted in the second term, Jye Bolton winning his fair share of the ball and giving forwards deeper opportunities, Alex Manuel and Jack Buller able to hit the scoreboard.
East Perth still led by 16 points eleven minutes in to the second term before the Tigers turned up the heat, kicking six consecutive goals heading in to half time to completely blow the game open, Buller and Callan England with two goals each for the term.
East Perth hung around to keep things interesting with Sebit Kuek looking dangerous up forward before another Tigers burst blew the game apart late in the third stanza, Manuel with two goals in quick succession to give his team a buffer that would only grow in the final 40 minutes of the match.
Manuel would finish with four while Buller finished with three, England registering 2.3 for the day to have a real impact up forward against his former WAFL side.
Kuek kicked three for the Royals to continue his breakout season, Hamish Brayshaw with 31 disposals along with Angus Scott for the Royals.
The 14.13 (97) to 7.8 (50) result takes Claremont to a 4-1 win loss record, one of the form teams of the competition through the opening five rounds of the season.
East Fremantle also moved to the same win-loss record with an impressive win over a misfiring Perth outfit at Lathlain Park, the 13.20 (98) to 10.12 (72) win made more impressive by the fact they were without forwards Dillon O’Reilly and Jonathon Marsh due to injury.
Perth started the better of the sides, taking their chances inside forward 50 to lead by four points at quarter time.
The Sharks were looking for different avenues to goal without their spearheads and were getting enough inside 50’s to capitalise, Milan Murdock bobbing up with two goals for the term while former Demon Luke English also hit the scoreboard to give the visitors a 21 point lead at the half.
The Demons hit back hard in the third term, Sam Stubbs a livewire inside forward 50 while Corey Byrne provided speed in midfield, a four goal to two quarter bringing Perth within seven points with a quarter to play.
Again the Sharks showed their class to weather the Demons challenge and power away from their opponents, kicking the first four goals of the final quarter to end the game as a contest.
Murdock was outstanding for East Fremantle with 32 disposals and 2 goals, Cameron Eardley with 28 and Tom Bennett 21 while Alex Montauban kicked three goals, the blue and whites with 33 scoring shots without their focal points in attack.
Perth were best led by Stubbs up forward with three majors, Byrne with 25 touches and Austin Davis 24 in a solid defensive showing.
The Sharks maintain equal top spot on the table having won four straight games after a round one loss to Peel Thunder, the Demons now 2-3 and needing to find some more consistency if they are to contend for finals this year.
In the 91.3 Sport FM broadcast game South Fremantle hosted Peel Thunder at Fremantle Oval, both teams entering the contest at 2-2 and looking for a circuit breaking win.
The visitors had 12 Fremantle listed players for the clash, the Bulldogs without captain Dylan Main and veteran Nick Suban due to injury but able to welcome back premiership player Zachary Strom to add a target in attack.
Jimmy Miller hit the scoreboard first for the Bulldogs in the opening two minutes as Souths made the fast start, only for Liam Henry to respond quickly for the Thunder in an entertaining start to the game.
Jake Florenca’s remarkable rise continued, fresh off both an AFL appearance for West Coast and selection in the Western Australia side for the state match in the previous fortnight, kicking two goals from 11 first quarter disposals as the Bulldogs slammed on six first quarter majors.
A shellshocked Peel never really recovered, the second term an error riddled quarter from both teams on a perfect day for football.
The Dogs still led by 27 points at the major change with Peel’s forward line unable to have any impact, Jye Amiss getting the scoreboard moving after half time to bring his side within four goals.
Peel squandered several chances in the term while Souths took theirs up the other end, Riley Colborne and Hamish Free kicking their first goals of their fledgling WAFL careers to keep their side on top.
Sam Sturt kicked two final quarter goals as the Thunder got the margin back to 18 points at one stage in time on but never threatened a comeback victory, Mason Shaw kicking his third second half goal after the final siren to push the margin to 26 points, 13.11 (89) to 9.9 (63).
Florenca further strengthened his claims for a mid-season rookie draft spot with 41 disposals and 2 goals to be clearly best afield, Toby McQuilkin with 29 touches as he also firms to be picked up by an AFL club.
Darcy Tucker responded well to his omission at AFL level with 29 touches, Connor Blakely with 26 and Mitch Crowden 25, none able to impact the game like South Fremantle’s midfield on the afternoon.
West Perth’s clash with cellar dwellars West Coast went according to script, the Falcons able to grab top spot back from East Fremantle with an 80 point demolition at Arena Joondalup.
The Falcons kicked 5 goals to one in the first term to set up the dominant win, Tyler Keitel registering 3.2 in the first term alone as he capitalised on precise delivery inside 50.
The Eagles only had two scoring shots in the first three quarters, West Perth doing as they pleased as they shared the goals around.
11.13 to three quarter time meant the home side had been wasteful with their dominance, able to slam on six goals to four in the last term to push away to a 17.17 (119) to 6.3 (39) victory.
Keitel finished with five majors as opponent Zane Sumich fought hard after a poor first term, fellow state player Keegan Knott with three goals as the dynamic duo shared eight goals between them.
Shane Nelson had 35 disposals for the winners, Trent Manzone (30) and Aaron Black (29) both their usual industrial selves in a dominant display.
Young midfielder Josh Browne worked tirelessly for the Eagles to finish with 36 disposals, Harry Creasey with 32 and Josh Burke with two majors as one of few targets in attack.
The ladder sees West Perth, East Fremantle and Claremont at 4-1 through five rounds, South Fremantle in fourth spot followed by Peel Thunder.
East Perth, Swan Districts, Subiaco and Perth all sit at 2-3 to be outside of the five, the Eagles winless after five matches.
Round six sees Peel Thunder host Claremont at Rushton Park, East Perth face West Coast at Leederville Oval, Swan Districts host South Fremantle at Bassendean, West Perth take on Perth at Arena Joondalup while 91.3 Sport FM’s broadcast game is the return of WAFL football to the WACA, East Fremantle playing Subiaco in a big early season contest.
IMAGE: The West Australian.