WAFL Colts weekly wrap: Reigning premiers keep their season alive

AS the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts clubs grow closer to welcoming back their state Under-18 heroes to the fold, it was up to those players that remained at Colts level to help their teams over the line in Round 13.

WAFL Colts Round 13

Subiaco 11.14 (80) defeated East Fremantle 5.10 (40)

A longer list of contributors and a more potent forward line were the key elements in Subiaco’s 40-point win against East Fremantle at Leederville Oval on Saturday morning.

This clash shaped as a early elimination final with both teams sitting adrift of the top five (Subiaco by two and a half games and East Freo by an extra game). So while for the loser it was lights out for season 2019, the winner still had an opportunity to put some pressure on those above them. Subiaco came into this fixture with the better form having won two of their last three games, while the Sharks were in terrible form having lost their last eight in a row.

The reigning premiers kicked the first goal of the game courtesy of some quick ball movement ending with a goal to Jacob Peletier and their lead was soon doubled by strong forward play by Abraham Clinch. The Sharks were trying to get their running game into action but despite a few forward thrusts they were repelled by the Subiaco defence.

Harvey Bishop made it three goals without reply for the Lions, but some fine forward line pressure by Mitchell Cusworth caused his opponent to drop a mark and then was able to maintain his efforts by laying a fine tackle which set up Jack Carroll for the Sharks’ first major of the day. East Fremantle’s intent was certainly there, they just needed an outlet to finish off their hard work. The quarter time score saw the Lions up by 10 points but both teams had the same amount of scoring shots.

Subiaco ramped up their pressure early in the second quarter and Abraham Clinch was the beneficiary, taking a uncontested mark from the square to give the Lions a three goal lead, and soon after, he kicked his third for the first half. However, the Sharks kept fighting and their best move of the match led to a goal from Tom Muskarovsky. Light rain then hit Leederville Oval which saw a already heavy surface due to a week of constant rain become just that bit more boggy. It led to plenty of stoppages and Subiaco held sway by 18 points at the long break.

The third quarter saw Subiaco break the game open as they kicked four goals to one to set up a 37 point lead. Sandon Page, Peletier and Clinch were all crucial with their efforts in the term while East Fremantle’s lone goal came from a strong mark and goal from Reuben McGuire. Once again it was not about effort by the Sharks, it was about finding the end product in the forward 50 to capitalize on their hard work.

The Sharks started the final term strongly when McGuire goaled from the square cutting the lead to 29 and offering just a glimmer of an opportunity. However Subiaco’s forward pressure was too much to handle leading to a Patrick Mullane goal.

Some adept round ball skills by Page were very handy on the slick surface leading to his second of the day. A final margin of 40 points was probably a fair reflection of the contest. When Subiaco attacked, they did so in numbers and had terrific outlets in place to convert their opportunities. Meanwhile, East Fremantle had to work extremely hard for whatever they could conjure up and they lacked the targets that their opposition had.

Star of the day:

Despite the ups and down in their premiership defence, Subiaco have had a few constant figures who have shone come victory or defeat. One of them had been Abraham Clinch and Saturday was no exception. The top ager was exceptional, floating in between midfield and forward to rack up 35 disposals, nine marks, seven inside 50s six tackles and three goals. Clinch has averaged 28 disposals in 2019.

Other notable performances:

Benjamin Golding has also had a very impressive season to date. A year younger than Clinch, Golding tallied 28 disposals (one more than his season average), seven marks, four tackles and six inside 50s. Sandon Page was a excellent target inside 50 where he had 20 disposals, eight marks and kicked two goals. For the Sharks, Reuben McGuire was tireless with 17 disposals and two goals while Dylan Curley worked hard across the ground with 15 disposals and a goal.

The future

Subiaco are walking a tightrope with one slip likely ending their title defence. If today was an elimination final, next Friday night is their grand final against Claremont – where a victory will see them close the gap to the Tigers to under two games. Meanwhile, East Fremantle will continue their quest to end their long losing streak, this time against Swan Districts at home.

In other games:

Claremont 13.10 (88) defeated South Fremantle 5.4 (34)

The Tigers made it five wins from their last six games with a resounding 54-point victory against South Fremantle at Claremont Oval.

After a extremely even first half which saw Claremont down by three goals at one point, a nine goal to one onslaught after the break saw the Tigers win in emphatic fashion with South Fremantle kicking just one goal after quarter time. Charlie Malone’s impact was a real catalyst for change with three of his four goals coming in the all-important third term. That was where the home team slammed on eight goals to one behind and turned a two point lead at the long break into a 51-point advantage. Jack Buller gave his midfielders supreme service around the ground with 36 hit-outs along with 20 disposals, five tackles and four marks. Bottom-ager Logan Young was tough and hard with nine tackles to go along with 17 disposals and a goal. For the Bulldogs, Jack Musika was tireless in his efforts with 21 disposals, seven inside 50s and six tackles.

East Perth 8.9 (57) defeated Swan Districts 6.7 (43)

The mid-season woes of Swan Districts continued as they fell to their fourth consecutive defeat, this time a 14-point loss to East Perth in Bunbury on Saturday afternoon.

The teams were separated by less than a kick throughout the first three quarters, and the Black and Whites took a seven-point lead into the final 25 minutes after holding the Royals scoreless in the third term. But with Swan Districts down to just one fit player on the bench, East Perth took advantage kicking four goals to one to run out 14 point winners. The victory is East Perth’s fourth straight and sees the Royals join Swans and on 7-4 and one step closer to sealing a finals berth.

West Perth 13.8 (86) defeated Perth 7.5 (47)

A six goal to nil opening half set up West Perth for their eighth win of the season and take sole possession of second place in the process as they defeated Perth by 39 points on Joondalup Arena on Sunday afternoon.

The victory was the Falcons’ fourth in succession and at this moment they are playing the type of football that puts you well and truly in premiership contention. The goalscoring load was shared between nine individual players with bottom age trio Cooper Blackburn, Tommy Taylor-Shreeve, and Corey Rundle along with Ryan Hudson each kicking two. The score could have gotten very ugly for the visitors when the Falcons kicked the first of the third term to make it seven goals to nil, but to the Demons credit, they outscored their opponents from that moment seven goals to six.

In terms of disposals it was the regular duo of Tyron Hindmarsh (31 disposals, seven marks and four inside 50s) and Koopah Todd (25 disposals, nine marks and five inside 50s) who led the way. The ruck duo of bottom ager Michael Mallard(25 hit/outs) and Adam Gerritsen (18 hit/outs) gave their following divisions great service all day. For Perth, the duo of Kaden Elliott (27 disposals and six inside 50s) along with Simon Hayward (26 disposals and five inside 50s along with a goal) gave wholehearted displays throughout the four quarters.

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