WAFL Round 8 Wrap
East Fremantle has returned to top of the ladder, defeating West Perth by two points to stamp their top five credentials as part of round 8 of the WAFL on Saturday.
In other matches Swan Districts defeated a strong Peel Thunder side in another close finish by four points at Bassendean Oval, Claremont overcame an improved West Coast by 38 points at Revo Fitness Stadium, Subiaco steadied their flailing season with a 14 point triumph over Perth at Lathlain Park while South Fremantle won a scrappy contest with East Perth on Sunday afternoon at Leederville Oval, solidifying their spot in the top five with an eight point win.
West Coast had 13 AFL listed players for their clash with Claremont at Revo Fitness Stadium, the AFL side with the bye and several key players returning from injury.
The winless Eagles looked on song early, the two Ryan’s Ambrose and Liam scoring goals inside the opening three minutes.
Dom Sheed was everywhere in the opening stanza with 12 disposals as he closes in on his first game at AFL level, the Eagles leading by 12 points at quarter time.
The game opened up in the second term as the Tigers lifted their game, kicking four goals to two as debutant Coen Jackman hit the scoreboard for the home side, Tyron Smallwood also with an outstanding snap from deep in the pocket.
The arm wrestle continued in the third term as the sides traded goals, Claremont grabbing the lead heading in to the final break as their midfield group led by Sandover Medallists Bailey Rogers and Jye Bolton gained ascendency.
West Coast ran out of legs in the last quarter as the Tigers ran away with the game, kicking five goals to none to turn a tight result in to a comfortable one, running out 38 point victors 13.10 (88) to 7.8 (50).
Rogers had 35 disposals to go with a goal to be one of the best afield, Ryan Lim’s great season continuing with 34 touches on a wing and 29 possessions for Bolton in Claremont’s sixth win of the season.
Sheed had 34 disposals in his third WAFL match back from an ankle injury, Luke Foley with 22 disposals and Ambrose Ryan finished with 22 disposals and 2 goals, Willie Rioli relatively quiet with 13 disposals and no score.
The 91.3 Sport FM broadcast match took us back to the WACA for a top of the table encounter between East Fremantle and West Perth, the Falcons looking to go two games clear in first spot while the Sharks were looking to avenge their two-point loss to South Fremantle in the WA Day derby.
The home team burst out of the blocks, kicking the first three goals of the game inside 15 minutes before Rudy Riddoch responded with two of his own for the Falcons.
East Fremantle was spreading better from the contest with Milan Murdock continuing his good form, West Perth arresting the momentum in the second term as three quick goals gave them the lead.
Cody Leggett was looking imposing inside forward 50 for the Sharks, the only multiple goalkicker of the first half to give his side a narrow 15 point lead the half.
The Falcons again fought back early in the second half as captain Aaron Black hit the scoreboard within two minutes, Keegan Knott then kicking a major that became two in a minute when he was felled by opponent Matthew Burton without the ball returning to the centre, West Perth in front.
The teams traded goals from there on in in what was an absorbing quarter of football, Leggett with a goal of the year contender from the right forward pocket as he was able to break a Noah Pegoraro tackle and roll through a superb major for the Sharks.
West Perth kicked 4.8 for the term, Knott with three goals as the visitors turned for a home with a narrow two point lead.
Leggett bobbed up with his fourth early in the last before Jackson McDonald kicked his first goal as a Shark to give Bill Monaghan’s men some breathing space.
Cameron Eardley’s recent errors by foot reared its head again when he coughed up a goal attempting to switch play across his defensive 50 metre arc, Anton Hamp pouncing on the loose ball to bring the margin back under a goal.
Aidan Lynch missed a chance to put his team back in front moments later, East Fremantle whisking the ball down the other end where Leggett kicked his fifth goal to push the margin out to nine points.
West Perth attacked relentlessly in the final ten minutes, Mitch Dobson missing a simple set shot before atoning with a strong mark and goal in the final moments to give his side a glimmer of hope.
Tyler Keitel missed a hurried snap in the 30th minute that would prove to be the final score of the match, a marathon final quarter ending after 32 minutes of toil and desperation from two sides, East Fremantle triumphant 13.12 (90) to 12.16 (88) in another incredible WAFL contest.
Leggett was the match winner with five goals from 23 disposals, captain Matthew Jupp outstanding on spearhead Keitel in keeping him goalless while winning 20 disposals and claiming 10 marks himself.
Shane Nelson was among his side’s best with 28 disposals while Knott had a big day with 4.5, missing a couple of gettable goals in a tight contest that saw West Perth slump to their first loss since round one.
The result takes East Fremantle back to the top of the table ahead of a meeting with Claremont next Saturday, West Perth set for a crunch home clash with Swan Districts at Arena Joondalup.
Swans will head in to that game full of confidence after toppling Peel Thunder at Bassendean Oval, producing a five goal final term to overcome a strong Fremantle laden opponent.
11 Dockers turned out for Geoff Valentine’s men in what loomed as a tight contest, the Thunder missing some opportunities in the first term while Swans took theirs, kicking two goals straight to be within four points at the first change.
Connor Blakely, Haydn Matthews and Mitch Crowden were all having a say for Peel at stoppages, creating enough looks inside 50 to help their side to a handy 14 point lead at half time.
Swans were playing solid football but struggling to find avenues to goal, the game breaking open in the third term as the black and whites managed four goals to three to close to within nine points at the last break.
Second gamer Guy Barnes was having a telling impact up forward, kicking three goals to the final change to emerge as an unlikely hero for the visitors.
Captain Chris Jones kicked the first goal of the last term for Swans to reduce the margin to under a goal, but majors to Ben Middleton and Liam Henry pushed the margin back out to 14 points with time ticking down for the home team.
Consecutive goals for Swans to Jesse Palmer and Sam Fisher was answered by Sam Sturt for Peel, but Jones would be the hero for Swan Districts, kicking the final two goals of the game early in time on to give his team a pulsating victory, winning 12.6 (78) to 11.8 (74).
Jesse Turner was magnificent for Swans, winning 40 disposals on a wing to be best afield while Jones kicked five majors, three of which arrived in the final quarter.
Fisher (27 disposals and 2 goals) also showed his class along with Aidan Clarke (20 touches) in a nail biting win, Swan Districts third straight win at Bassendean to improve to 5-3, having been 0-2 to start the season.
Connor Blakely had 38 touches to continue his fine season, Barnes and Middleton with three goals each and Haydn Matthews also having an influential game with 27 disposals, not enough to give Peel the points.
Subiaco’s season found a much needed boost against Perth at Lathlain Park, overcoming a plucky Demons outfit to record their third win of the season.
In a free flowing opening to the game eight goals were shared between the sides in the opening term, the Lions kicking five goals to three to open up a two goal lead.
Perth went to another gear in the third, kicking five goals of their own to head in to the sheds with a narrow lead.
Debutant Harry Quartermaine slotted two goals in an impressive start to his WAFL career, Corey Bryne dominant in midfield to give his side a sniff at their first win since round four.
Staring down the barrel of dropping to 2-6 and almost certainly out of the finals hunt Beau Wardman’s side lifted in the third term, kicking the only four goals to push way from their opponents thanks to the midfield work of Stefan Giro and Lachlan Delahunty.
Despite losing Harry Marsh to injury early in the match the Lions had enough in the tank to overwhelm their opponents, winning a fairly tight battle 12.9 (81) to 10.7 (67).
Giro was magnificent with 34 disposals while Delahunty had 30 touches, 27 of them kicks to go with 7 marks and 21 hitouts, Ryan Borchet with three goals up forward.
Byrne fought a lone hand in midfield for Perth with 36 touches as he firms for back to back best and fairests, Michael Sinclair with 23 disposals and 9 marks but taken to hospital after the match with after copping an internal blow late in the game.
The reigning premiers stay alive in season 2022 with a big result, while Perth now face an uphill battle after slumping to 2-6.
A rare Sunday WAFL clash took place at Leederville Oval, wet and windy conditions greeting East Perth and South Fremantle in the final game of round eight.
Jimmy Miller started the game impressively for the Bulldogs, booting the game’s opening two goals to give the red and whites a terrific start.
Tom Medhat got the Royals on the board before Bulldogs big man Hamish Free beat his opponent Scott Jones in a race towards goal to slot a major, Souths with an eleven-point lead at quarter time.
Jake Florenca’s fine season continued with a goal in the second stanza, but he exited the game minutes later with a left hamstring injury, depriving his side of an important part of their engine room.
Just as Souths looked set to head in to half time with a comfortable lead late goals to Medhat and Ben McGuire reduce the Bulldogs lead to just eight points, still anyone’s game as the heavens opened.
With Florenca out of the game Haiden Schloithe lifted for South Fremantle, kicking a third term major from a free kick, one of only two goals in the third term as the visitors arrested momentum, keeping the Royals to just one behind for the quarter to turn for home with a 22 point advantage.
The game looked done and dusted when Brandon Donaldson kicked truly at the start of the last term, only for East Perth to throw caution to the wind with half back Stan Wright launching many an attacking foray, the Royals with 19 inside 50’s for the final term but unable to overcome a deficit that got out to 26 points at one stage, running out of time despite kicking the final two goals of the game.
The 8.9 (57) to 6.10 (46) result was well deserved for South Fremantle, who led all day and were the better side despite a gallant effort from the home side without key players Jackson Ramsay and Nick Robertson.
Toby McQuilkin was outstanding in a scrappy contest for the Bulldogs, winning 42 disposals and holding 11 marks in a fine defensive game, Schloithe with 24 disposals and six inside 50’s for the winners.
Angus Scott finished with 40 disposals in a hard-working performance for East Perth, Angus Schumacher (32) and Wright (29) also having an impact while Medhat finished with 3.2 in a strong performance in attack.
After eight rounds East Fremantle sit atop of the WAFL table on percentage from West Perth and Claremont, South Fremantle and Swan Districts rounding out the top five.
Peel Thunder is a game behind in sixth spot, East Perth and Subiaco a game further back with 3-5 win/loss records.
Perth sits in ninth spot while West Coast are yet to record a win in season 2022, occupying bottom spot on the table.
Round nine sees West Coast play Subiaco at Optus Stadium, East Fremantle against Claremont at the WACA, West Perth host Swan Districts at Arena Joondalup, South Fremantle are at home to Perth at Fremantle Oval while 91.3 Sport FM's broadcast game is Peel Thunder and East Perth at Rushton Park.
IMAGE: The West Australian.