WAFL Wrap - the race to the finish line
The race to finish in the WAFL’s top five will come down to the last weekend of the regular season, with three teams in the mix for two finals spots after an exciting round 19.
East Fremantle shored up their position at the top of the ladder, taking down Perth by 49 points at Mineral Resources Park.
Cody Leggett bagged a seven-goal haul for the Sharks as their even spread of contributors was highlighted by Fraser Turner (37 disposals) and Jackson McDonald (28 disposals) having big days, while Charlie Thompson (26 disposals, six tackles) continued to fight hard for the Demons.
West Perth capitalised on their chances and held off a late Peel Thunder charge at Lane Group Stadium, picking up their fifth consecutive victory by eight points to keep their premiership defence alive.
Tyler Keitel moved clear in the Bernie Naylor Medal race with five goals for the Falcons as Shane Nelson (36 disposals, seven tackles) and Luke Meadows (26 disposals, one goal) stepped up in the absence of the hamstrung Aaron Black, with the Thunder now needing a win next weekend to seal their top-five spot despite a strong percentage.
Claremont went a step closer to securing their finals place and ended the September hopes of Swan Districts with a 32-point win at Revo Fitness Stadium.
The Tigers lost returning captain Declan Mountford to a new injury only minutes into the contest but Jye Bolton (31 disposals, two goals), Bailey Rogers (29 disposals, two goals) and Ben Edwards (32 disposals) stepped up to get the job done in the middle, while Alex Manuel was the most prominent of seven multiple goal-kickers with four.
East Perth were wasteful but took care of business against West Coast at Leederville Oval, winning by 48 points.
Co-captains Hamish Brayshaw (27 disposals, three goals) and Christian Ameduri (23 disposals, eight tackles, three goals) led the way for the Royals, as Isiah Winder (29 disposals, two goals), Rhett Bazzo (27 disposals, 13 marks) and Callum Jamieson (23 disposals, 15 hit-outs) were the most impressive of the Eagles.
Subiaco defeated South Fremantle by 30 points at Fremantle Oval to ensure they will appear in the finals.
Aaron Drage continued a standout start to league life for the Bulldogs with 32 disposals and five tackles in just his third game at the level, but Stefan Giro (32 disposals, one goal), Liam Hickmott (29 disposals) and Taj Schofield (27 disposals) stepped up for the Lions in the absence of rested skipper Leigh Kitchin.
Next week, Claremont must defeat Perth and Peel Thunder must get over Swan Districts to ensure their finals places are completely locked away, while West Perth could jump into the top five if they can defeat East Perth and other results go their way.
Claremont 18.15 (123) def Swan Districts 14.7 (91)
Perth 9.9 (63) def by East Fremantle 17.12 (114)
Peel Thunder 9.18 (72) def by West Perth 12.8 (80)
South Fremantle 9.9 (63) def by Subiaco 13.15 (93)
East Perth 15.24 (114) def West Coast 10.6 (66)
IMAGE: WA FOOTBALL