WAFL Round 7 Wrap
Updated: May 24
Perth has continued it's recent stranglehold on South Fremantle, producing the upset of the 2021 season at Lathlain Park on Saturday.
The reigning premiers were held goalless after half time as the Demons made it four straight wins over the red and whites with the 11.8 (74) to 7.12 (54) triumph.
On a wet Saturday afternoon around the West, all matches were hard fought in slippery conditions, Claremont and Subiaco showing their class with wins over East Fremantle and Swan Districts respectively.
Keegan Knott's six goals were the cornerstone of West Perth's 28 point win over Peel Thunder at Rushton Park, while East Perth broke through for their first victory of the season with a 57 point hammering of West Coast at Leederville Oval.
Perth's season was on a knife edge heading in to round seven, sitting at 2-3 after a loss to Peel Thunder before the state game bye earlier this month.
Things weren't expected to get any easier against reigning premiers South Fremantle, despite the Demons having won the past three matches against the Bulldogs.
In a high quality opening to the match the teams traded goals in the first stanza, eleven goals shared between the sides before the heavens opened.
Garry Moss' side was taking their opportunities in front of goal, kicking five straight goals to only trail by eight points at quarter time.
It became a ground ball game once the rain arrived, bringing Perth back in to the game as skills became hard to execute with a slippery ball.
South Fremantle were missing Noah Strom in defence, Kristian Cary able to capitalise with three first half goals as the home side closed to within three points at the half.
The Demons broke the game open in the third term, kicking the only two goals as they began to gain the ascendency around stoppages, Corey Byrne having a telling impact in midfield.
Small forwards Sam Stubbs and Doulton Langlands thrived in the wet conditions to hit the scoreboard, the Bulldogs unable to find an answer as Perth pushed away in the final stanza to win by 20 points.
Todd Curley's men failed to kick a goal after half time and kicked just one major in the last three quarters, struggling to find their best football in season 2021 after a memorable premiership last year.
Dylan Main made a positive return in his first game since round 2 with 34 disposals and two goals, Jacob Dragovich with 26 touches in the Bulldogs second defeat of the season.
No Perth player had more than 21 disposals with defender Matthew Taylor leading all comers for the winners, Byrne with 19 touches and 10 tackles in a supreme performance.
Andrew Fisher completely blanketed Bulldogs star Haiden Schloithe, keeping the Sandover Medallist to just 12 disposals in a superb shutdown role.
Cary snared four majors for a second straight week, Perth outside of the top five only on percentage after seven rounds.
Claremont's class shone through on a wet afternoon at East Fremantle Oval, handing the Sharks a 42 point defeat set up by a six goal opening term.
The Tigers bigger bodies in midfield proved vital in 91.3 Sport FM's broadcast match, Jye Bolton, Bailey Rogers and Ryan Lim dominating the early exchanges.
Jack Buller had two majors by quarter time, Lim and Rogers hitting the scoreboard as well as the Sharks squandered their chances going forward.
A 27 point lead at quarter time was a decisive one for the visitors as the rain arrived, East Fremantle bringing a renewed level of intensity in the second term but unable to make an imprint on the scoreboard, still a 27 point margin at the half.
As the rain tumbled in the second half the goals continued to flow for the Tigers, Lim slotting his second to open the third term as the visitors kicked four goals to one to put the contest to bed, closing things out in the last for a 14.4 (82) to 6.10 (46).
Fresh off his fourth Simpson medal Jye Bolton was best afield with 33 disposals and a goal, well supported by running half back Lachlan Martinis (33 disposals) and fellow midfielders Rogers (25 disposals and 2 goals) and Lim (23 disposals and 2 goals).
The Sharks had few winners on a tough afternoon, Luke English with 29 touches in midfield while Jonathon Marsh tried hard with 21 disposals and 1.2, Finn Gorringe with a moment to remember with a courageous mark back with the flight in the second term on WAFL debut.
West Perth small forward Keegan Knott produced the best performance of his 67 game WAFL career, snaring six majors to lead his side to a 28 point win over Peel Thunder at Rushton Park.
The Falcons prevailed 12.8 (80) to 7.10 (58), the win set up by a dominant six goal to one second quarter that gave the visitors a three and a half goal advantage in wet conditions, the Thunder unable to find a way back in the contest.
Knott and key forward Tyler Keitel shared nine goals between them in a superb display up forward, Shane Nelson with 37 disposals including 25 in the first half to be the key midfielder on the ground.
Peel Thunder's best were gut running midfielder Jackson Merrett (37 disposals) and dual premiership forward Blair Bell (3 goals) while Dockers listed ruckman Lloyd Meek had 19 disposals and 47 hitouts to dominate his battle with Troy Yukich.
Fremantle defender Alex Pearce didn't return after half time after pulling up sore on his troublesome right ankle, the luckless 25 year old set for scans to determine if more time on the sidelines is required.
Subiaco held on for a gutsy win at Bassendean Oval against Swan Districts, conceding the lead in the final term only to bounce back with the final goal of the match through usual defender Michael Braut.
As was the theme for the day with the wet weather the goals came early in the contest, Subiaco kicking five goals to three in the opening stanza, midfielders Leigh Kitchin and Greg Clark everywhere in the opening passages.
The Lions lost forward Ryan Borchet early with an ankle injury, Swans hanging in despite Subiaco having more class around the contest.
Jesse Palmer was providing a focal point in attack for the black and whites, Corey Gault and Lachlan Delahunty having an absorbing battle in the ruck with stoppages becoming the norm for the day as the heavens opened.
Swans edged back towards parity in the third term as Palmer found the major opening, Subiaco held goalless in an absorbing contest.
Adam Pickering's side was in front at the four minute mark of the final term when Palmer kicked his third, setting up a grandstand finish.
A Liam Hickmott behind put the Lions back in front before Michael Braut kicked what proved to be the match winner at the 15 minute mark of the final stanza from a stoppage, Swans unable to score again in the term after Palmer's major.
The 8.10 (58) to 7.8 (50) result was Subiaco's 12th straight win over Swans dating back to 2015, but Claremont's percentage booster against the Sharks relegated Beau Wardman's men to second spot on the table with a 5-1 record.
Clark (30 disposals, 12 tackles and 2 goals) was his side's best player, Harrison Marsh with 32 touches and captain Kitchin 29 to go with 10 inside 50's.
Sam Fisher had 21 touches and Jesse Turner 20, but it wasn't enough in stalwart Tony Notte's 250th WAFL game, still outside of the top five on percentage with a crunch clash against the Sharks in round eight.
East Perth won the battle of the cellar dwellars against West Coast at Leederville Oval, their first win of the season to break a five game losing streak.
The game was hard fought for three quarters before the Royals ran riot in the last term, kicking seven goals to one to put the finishing touches on a contest they largely controlled.
Rohan Kerr (31 disposals and a goal) and Aidan Lynch (29 disposals and 1.4) enjoyed the ground level contest, Mitchell Dobson with two majors and 21 touches as the Royals finished with a whopping 103 more possessions than the Eagles.
Elliot Yeo got through the game unscathed in his first match since last August after overcoming osteitis pubis, finishing with 13 disposals and 8 tackles having played 60% of the contest.
Fellow premiership Eagle Mark Hutchings had 28 disposals to press his claims for an AFL return, the only West Coast player to have 20 disposals or more in a tough loss.
The defeated was soured by an ankle injury to Jarrod Cameron, who had to be helped from the field early in the second quarter.
East Perth didnt escape unscathed either, with defender Jaxon Cahill straining his hamstring in the opening minute of the match and Nick Robertson tweaking his ankle.
Claremont and Subiaco both sit on 5-1 records while South Fremantle remain third despite their defeat, Peel Thunder and East Fremantle also in the five on percentage from Swan Districts, West Perth and Perth.
East Perth are two games further back in ninth, while West Coast now sits a game clear on the bottom after seven rounds.
Round eight sees Subiaco host Peel, Claremont taking on East Perth, South Fremantle at home to West Coast, West Perth playing Perth in a rematch of last season's semi-final at Arena Joondalup while the Sport FM broadcast match is Swan Districts v East Fremantle at Bassendean Oval.