WAFL Wrap: Finals race heats up a fortnight to go
Round eighteen of the WAFL breathed more life into the race for the top five, with seven clubs in the race for five positions.
East Fremantle emerged victorious in the top-of-the-table clash at the WACA Ground, defeating East Perth by 14 points.
Hugh Dixon put in an excellent all-round performance for the Sharks with 23 disposals, 27 hit-outs and three goals and had strong support from Harry Marsh (27 disposals, eight tackles), as Mitch Crowden (26 disposals, nine tackles, one goal) gave his all for the Royals.
Reigning premiers West Perth kept their finals hopes alive with a 36-point defeat of South Fremantle at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.
The Falcons lost Aaron Black early in the day to a hamstring injury but fellow members of the old guard Luke Meadows (32 disposals, six tackles) and Shane Nelson (29 disposals) stepped up to get the job done, but young gun Roan O’Heihr (28 disposals, two goals) and debutants Ashton Ferreria (26 disposals) and Ed Graham (11 disposals, two goals) gave an exciting glimpse into the Bulldogs’ future.
Peel Thunder were too good for Claremont at Lane Group Stadium, emerging victorious by 32 points.
Will Brodie (29 disposals, six tackles), Ben Hancock (23 disposals), and Brady Grey (19 disposals) led the way for the Thunder, while the Tigers’ fourth loss in a row increases the precariousness of their top-five position.
Swan Districts kept their slim finals hopes alive with their fourth win in a row over Perth by 28 points at Steel Blue Oval.
Both sides lent heavily on the players who have served them so well this season - Jesse Palmer (34 disposals) and Aidan Clarke (17 disposals, three goals) were excellent for the Black Ducks as Charlie Thompson (32 disposals, one goal) and Jack Avery (26 disposals) continued to battle hard for the Demons.
Subiaco showed off their offensive firepower in a 69-point beatdown of West Coast at Leederville Oval.
Taj Schofield, the son of West Coast assistant Jarrad, was excellent for the Lions with three goals from his 25 disposals and Ben Sokol stayed in the race for the Bernie Naylor Medal with five goals, with Zane Trew (25 disposals, two goals), Isiah Winder (28 disposals), and Rhett Bazzo (22 disposals, 11 marks) the most impressive of the AFL-listed Eagles.
IMAGE: WA FOOTBALL