Author: Jason Harris

West Australian Colts weekly wrap: Swans maintain perfect record to the start the season

THERE is always a lot of uncertainty in the early stages of a new season. Getting a jump on your opposition can certainly be worth its weight in gold. Swan Districts experienced grand final heartbreak in 2018, but are determined to go one step further. So far in 2019, they have been up to that challenge.

Colts wrap: Round Two

 

Swan Districts 10.12 (72) defeated Perth 6.6 (42)

Swan Districts made it three wins from as many games as they beat Perth by 30 points at Steel Blue Oval on Saturday morning.

The home team made a fine start to the game with two early goals to Kade Walldrot and Bailey Kane. They then pushed the lead out to three goals when Ashley Brockbernd snapped truly. Jamieson Ugle made it four goals in a row to the Black and Whites who were playing with a real sense of freedom. Bottom-age talent Logan McDonald who was Perth’s most lively key target in the first quarter had a chance to get the Demons on the board but his kick on the siren just fell short. Swans were well deserving of their 24-point lead.

The second quarter started with a good move on the outside wing by the Demons which included Simon Hayward who fed the ball to Oscar Morcombe for a astute finish. The presence of Kane was too much for the Demons defenders and he took a great one hander and finished off with aplomb to give back Swan Districts their four-goal lead. The Demons were able to answer through Kaden Elliott and some hard running from Zac Sanderson helped set up Kajie Slater for another goal and the Demons had well and truly worked their way back into the game. A fantastic chase down tackle by Owen McClelland on Jake Pasini set up Morcombe for his second of the half and it was now a goal the difference. A few minutes later, a pin-point kick by Elijah Taylor set up McClelland and remarkably the Demons had locked up the scores at 5.4 a piece on the stroke of half time.

The Demons had now completely turned the momentum of the game on its head and they would have rued the siren as it gave the Swans coaching staff time to speak to their chargers and reset before the second half. One thing for certain was that we were set for a terrific second 50 minutes of action. Swans had taken the ball into their Forward 50 nine more times in the first half (24-15) but their efficiency was not at the level they would like. Zane Trew had the ball on a string in the first 50 minutes with 24 disposals and five tackles while the ever present Walldrot had 13 disposals. For the Demons it was the running power of Regan Clarke and Elijah Taylor who were big factors in getting the visitors back in the game.

It was a real tense and tough first 10 minutes for the third term and the breakthrough finally came through some good quick ball moment ending with Ugle’s second. They followed that soon after with Kade Screaigh setting up Jermarl Daly who finished with a very clever snap. Perth constructed some forward thrusts but they were to no avail with the Swans defence holding strong. Brodie Newman kicked the Swans’ third of the term to give them a handy three goal lead. While that seemed to be a comfortable margin, Perth were kicking to the scoring end in the last term where 12 of the 13 goals had been kicked for the game.

The first 12 minutes of the quarter was a real stalemate. That suited Swans fine as it was the Demons who needed some quick goals. It eventually came when Taylor set up McDonald to cut the margin to 16 points. However, Swans kicked a crucial goal when the hard working Kane set up the running Benjamin Taylor for a goal from the square. The big ruck/forward got his true reward for his hard work kicking his third for the game on the siren giving the Black and Whites their third win from three games to start the season with a 30-point win.

Star of the Day

A superb hard running 41-disposal and 10-tackle game from Zane Trew wins the bottom age midfielder the deserved honour.

However a special mention has to be given to Bailey Kane. The 206cm and 100kg man-mountain from Karratha was a telling presence in the forward 50 with 10 disposals, seven hit-outs, six marks and four tackles. For the gallant Demons, Elijah Taylor set up plenty of forward attacks with his run and finished with 20 disposals, seven tackles and four inside 50s while Simon Hayward was tireless in his efforts with 20 disposals and 13 tackles.

Key factors

The ability of Swans to respond after they had lost momentum in the second quarter. They don’t call the third quarter the ‘Premiership Quarter’ for nothing, and the home team kicked 3.2 to 0.2 which really set up their push for victory. Try as they might, Perth couldn ot find a way back in the last term. You also are not going to win a game of footy by kicking one goal across three quarters which is what the Demons did.

 

In other games:

 

Peel 10.11 (71) defeated East Fremantle 6.6 (42)

Peel Thunder are the other team with a 100 per cent record after defeating East Fremantle by 29 points at David Grays Arena.

There was nothing more than a couple of goals between the teams for the majority of the contest, but a 3.4 to one behind final term was all the difference. Tyrone Thorne was a influential figure kicking three goals and constantly pressuring the Sharks defence with eight tackles. Jarvis Pina was also excellent in this regard with nine tackles to go along with 19 disposals. Jai Jackson was tireless for the Sharks with 23 disposals and 12 tackles.

 

Claremont 10.8 (68) defeated East Perth 6.5 (41)

In keeping with the pattern of the Easter weekend fixtures, The Tigers produced a dominant period of play outscoring their opponents nine goals to one in the second and fourth quarters to set up their victory.

After the Royals held a 21-point lead at quarter time, Claremont responded in kind kicking 5.2 to no score to have a 11 point lead at the long break. Once again the Royals took the honours in the third term kicking two goals to one to cut the margin to seven points, but the final 25 minutes was all Claremont as they kicked the last three goals of the game to seal their first four points of the season.

Fremantle Next Generation Academy player Liam Henry kept up his fine start to the season with 24 disposals, five marks and four goals. He was supported well by Jye Clark who compiled 29 disposals and five marks. Harley Sparks was a ball magnet for the Royals once again with 28 disposals and five tackles. Sparks has averaged 29 disposals from his three games so far.

 

West Perth 9.7 (61) defeated South Fremantle 8.7 (55)

In the closest game of the round on Easter Sunday, it was West Perth who got the chocolates, defeating South Fremantle by a goal at Fremantle Oval.

The margin did not exceed 14 points throughout the topsy turvy contest. The Bulldogs got out to their biggest lead of the game when Adam Correia put them two goals in front 10 minutes into the final term, but the visitors kicked the final three majors of the contest to seal their second win from three game.

Koopah Todd and Jaxon Prior were two of the key driving forces of the victory. They each accumulated 29 disposals, while also kicking a goal in West Perth’s final term comeback. For the Bulldogs, George Wessels was terrific compiling 28 disposals, ten marks and six tackles.

West Australian Colts weekly wrap: Swans and Sharks setting the early pace

ROUND 2 of the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts was split over Saturday and Sunday with two games played at Steel Blue and East Fremantle Oval giving talent scouts terrific opportunity to watch the next generation of stars.

WAFL Colts: Round Two

West Perth 8.7.55 defeated Claremont 5.10.40

West Perth made it two wins out of two defeating Claremont at Steel Blue Oval by 15 points.

The Falcons got the first goal of the day through Callum Johnson and that was increased soon afterwards by a smart snap by Ewan Brazier. Johnson was setting the tone for others to follow with his hard running and a third major soon followed for Lachlan Scurria. West Perth had winners all over the ground and the Tigers needed to find a way to get on the scoreboard before too long.

An opportunity came through via a long kick came into their forward 50 but the exciting prospect Liam Henry could only register a minor score. For all the Tigers toil, the Falcons were making every post a winner in their Forward 50 when Brazier kicked his second of the quarter the Falcons had a impressive 25 point lead. That remained the margin at the first break and it was a tale of effiency with both teams entering their Forward 50 on ten occasions, but the only thing that counted was that West Perth had six scoring shots to Claremont’s one.

The Tigers looked more fluid at the start of the second quarter with several attacking thrusts but were still unable to put the ball between the big sticks. A free kick from the the goalsquare to Michael Mallard added to their woes and then Ben Johnson converted to pile on the pain. Bottom ager Joel Western got the Tigers on the board midway through the quarter and the game switched into a holding pàttern of sorts. However another indiscretion before the siren led to another 50 metre penalty with Zak Patterson goaling from the square. The 37 point-lead was fully deserved by the Falcons who had winners all over the field led by Jaxon Prior with 20 disposals and Ben Johnson with 14.

The Tigers started the third term with real purpose with Callum Jamieson taking a fine mark and covering from the square and that was soon followed by Charlie Malone kicking their second in quick succession and narrowing the lead to four goals.

For the first time in the contest, the Tigers were running at their opponents and puttting the Falcons under constant pressure. West Perth were well off their game compared to the first two quarters but kicked a steadier right before the siren through Tyron Hindmarsh after some fine ball movement further afield which extended their lead to 30 points. The positive for Claremont was that their effort was certainly now matching their opponents and all they needed was a high level of conversion to finish it off. They got what they were after courtesy of Jack Buller to cut the margin to 20 points. A free kick to Max Minear saw him convert from 40 metres to give them a real chance with eight minutes remaining. However some smart possession football by West Perth saw them withstand the fight back and claim a 14 point win, their second to start the season.

Star of the day

A player that offered so much run from half back was Jaxon Prior who amassed 34 disposals, eight marks, three tackles and countless rebounds from defensive 50 and fully deserved that honour.

Other Falcons who were fine players on the day included Tyron Hindmarsh (28 disposals and eight tackles), Koopah Todd (28 disposals and eight marks) and Ben Johnson (27 disposals and seven marks. A real exciting prospect for the Tigers is mobile 200cm ruck/forward Callum Jamieson with 14 disposals,five marks 13 hit-outs and a goal.

Key factors

The slow start was crucial to the outcome. It is not desirable to give a team a 4-5 goal head start in today’s footy otherwise you are playing catchup for the remainder of the game, however it is still early in the season and there is plenty to work on for both teams. The first half and the ability to show poise under pressure in the closing minutes would please Falcons coach Ryan Lascock and his assistants. Meanwhile, it would have been easy for the Tigers to drop their heads, however they hung in there which was a big positive for the Tigers coaching group. The amount of ball that Claremont took into their forward 50 will also be a pleasing factor (49-33), although they need more players to step up and help convert that advantage.

 

Swan Districts 10.8 (68) defeated East Perth 8.4 (52)

The second game of the double header saw Swan Districts erase a 27-point first half deficit to claim a 16-point win and make it two wins from two games to start the season.

The Royals started the better of the two teams with a number of forward entries. Jaxon East crumbed the ball expertly to kick the first of the game. They then increased their lead through Joshua Ladhams with a mark and goal and just like the previous game one team got off to a flyer with Sam Van Diemen kicking his first under very little pressure. Swans finally got onto the board with their best passage of play leading to a soccered goal by Sebastian Bright from the square. Ladhams put a exclamation point on a great quarter when he marked and goaled from 40 metres as the Royals led by 21 points at quarter time.

Swans got off to the perfect start on the second when Jayden Farrant snapped truly from 15 metres, but Van Diemen replied a few minutes later to give East Perth their their four goal lead once again. Some good forward line pressure saw Sebit Kuek earn a shot at goal which he duly converted and the Royals were out to their biggest lead of the day.

Defender Jack Pasini made the most of a infringement by the man on the mark to kick Swans’ third of the day. The two teams then traded goals towards the end of the second term and East Perth went into the long break with a 21 point margin. The Royals strength throughout the first half was their ability to generate inside 50s (25) and though they only scored on 10 occasions, the weight of numbers told the story. In comparison, Swans only had four scoring shots from their 15 entries. Harley Sparks continued his form from his impressive first game of the season against Subiaco compiling 15 disposals for the half. Meanwhile Kade Wallrodt was a tireless worker for Swans with 14 disposals and two marks.

Bottom ager Ayden Cartwright gave Swans’ the perfect start to the third term with a goal within two minutes. The next 15 minutes was a war of attrition with both teams launching attacks but to no avail. The home team finally broke the deadlock when bottom ager Jamieson Ugle got them to within seven points which seemed inconceivable a quarter ago. The Black and Whites had outscored East Perth 2.2 to no score in the term, but in truth it felt a lot more than that and it was certainly all to play for in the last quarter.

Some clever play early in the last quarter by Narkle set up Cartwright for his second of the game and the scores were now level. East Perth were seemingly running on the spot with Swans all over them like a rash. Cartwright soon kicked his second for the term and Swans had the lead for the first time in the game.

With East Perth needing to find a target in their forward line it was Kuet who stepped up to the mark and cut the deficit to one point. The next goal was always going to be pivotal and it was bottom ager Zane Trew with a fine snap from 35 metres for the home side. The icing on the cake came just before the siren when Jermarl Daly won a free kick and kicked his first major to seal a stirring 16 point victory.

 

Star(s) of the day

There were many candidates with Harley and Connor Sparks amassing 54 disposals, seven marks and seven tackles for the Royals.

But in truth, you could pick a handful of Swan Districts players and not go wrong.
Kade Wallrodt was tireless with 33 disposals and five marks, Zane Trew kicked a decisive goal to go along with his 26 disposals and seven tackles, while bottom ager Ayden Cartwright kicked three goals including two in the all important last term.

However it was the double act of Brenton Hilton and Jake Pasini who really stemmed the tide in the first half. In truth, it would have been a eight goal game without them holding the fort. Then in the second half they were imperious, impassable, impeccable or any other complement you want to pay them. The duo are key to Swan Districts premiership hopes this season.

 

Key factor

Momentum is massive in football and you have to make the most of it when you have it. East Perth had it in the first half but didn’t make the most of it. Swans had it in the second half and kicked six goals to one. That is the game in a nutshell.

 

In Sunday’s games:

East Fremantle 12.8 (80) defeated Subiaco 3.5(23)

East Fremantle made it two wins from two to start the season after a 57-point win. In the clash between the last two premiers it was the home team mastered the greasy conditions from the get-go kicking four goals to no score in the first quarter and the reigning premiers could not respond. Subiaco also were unable to kick a goal in the third term as the Sharks kicked six without reply. Exciting talents Luke Jackson and Trey Ruscoe combined for 40 disposals, nine marks and four goals while Trent Rivers was tireless with 29 disposals and six tackles. With a number of changes to playing personnel and a new head coach, it will take a bit of time for Subiaco to gel. The prolific Tristan Hobley never stopped working hard with 29 disposals and eight tackles.

 

Perth 9.12 (66) defeated South Fremantle 6.9 (45)

Perth kicked six goals to three on the second half to break open what was a low scoring scrappy affair and claim a win in their first game of the season by 21 points. The Demons made the most of their advantage when it came to forward 50 entries (46-33) and scoring shots (21-15) leading as much as 35 points in the last term putting together a impressive performance. Bottom-age talents Nathan O’Driscoll and Cain Evans were terrific for the Demons. O’Driscoll had 32 disposals and five marks while Evans compiled 19 disposals, five tackles and two goals. Meanwhile, Jack Musika was a willing worker with 26 disposals and five tackles and bottom ager Shannon Neale kicked three goals which was a fine effort in a team that only scored six for the game.

WAFL Colts weekly wrap: The journey begins again

THE team you support may have finished well adrift in the finals race the previous season, but round one brings a whole lot of hope and expectation to fans across the nation. In terms of the WAFL Colts, we saw a terrific conclusion to the 2018 season with Subiaco edging out Swan Districts in an absolute thriller. There are bound to be plenty of storylines and young stars looking to put their names in front of the AFL gurus. With all that said, let’s get on with the action.

WAFL Colts - Round 1

Swan Districts 9.9 (63) defeated South Fremantle 8.11(59)

Swan Districts started their quest for Grand Final redemption in strong style after holding off a gallant South Fremantle outfit by four points at Steel Blue Oval on Saturday morning.

After South Fremantle controlled the early passages of play without converting truly it it was Jermarl Daly who got the first goal of the season for the black and whites.

The visitors continued to bring the ball forward with confidence and eventually got their reward when Malachi Walley crumbed the ball well to kick the Bulldogs first of the season. A mark and goal by Jebh O’ Donohue saw the home team reclaim the lead at the twenty minute mark. For all their attacking thrusts, the Bulldogs deserved to be closer than what they were and Jaxon Bellchambers did just that snapping truly to give to cut the deficit to three points at quarter time.

The second quarter was all about 17-year-old Daly, with the South Hedland product causing many headaches for South Fremantle’s defence. The well built youngster took a number of one-grab marks and kicked three goals for the term. Swans blew the margin out to 22 points midway through the term but the Bulldogs steadied somewhat with a goal by bottom ager Dontay Bolton and trailed by 14 points at the long break. In terms of possessions, bottom-age Swan Districts talents Zane Trew and Ty Sears led the way with 13 and 12 disposals respectively, while Jacob Sax was a shining light for South Fremantle with 15 disposals.

The key figure of Daly started the third quarter where he finished the first half, this time snapping truly for his fifth of the game. The Bulldogs were looking threatening every time they brought the ball forward but could not convert their chances. That changed when Walley kicked his second for the game, but Daly had the answers yet again two minutes later kicking his sixth.

Toby McQuilkin was looking lively in the third term and was unlucky to miss from a previous attempt but made amends a few minutes later to cut the margin to 13 points. Even though it was the first game of the season, the heat had definitely gone up a couple of levels. The home team led by 12 points at three quarter time and the questions was whether Swans could hold on or South Fremantle produce a comeback victory.

The Bulldogs peppered the goals in the early stages of the quarter continuing their fine end to the third term. Their perseverance paid off as they kicked two goals through Brodie Plunkett and Nathan Spooner to give them the lead since the early stages of the first quarter. However, try as they might they could not build on that lead and despite having just two scoring shots for the term, Swan Districts were able to kick the match winning goal through Kade Walldrot with four minutes remaining on the clock and were able to see the game out to claim their first four points of the season.

As we see so often in a new season, the skills were a bit rusty, but it was a highly competitive affair with a lot for both coaches to take away from the game.

Star

While were a number of impressive performers on both sides, in terms of pure difference makers Jermarl Daly was exactly that with his six goals. If he can replicate even half that output on a regular basis, Swans will be certainly up amongst the contenders again.

First impressions

Swans have a well rounded team with exciting talents like Kade Walldrot and Brenton Hilton who can play multiple positions, while their key defenders in Jake Pasini and Jack Allen are more than capable of keeping their opponents under wraps.

South Fremantle have a very nimble running fleet led by the likes of Jack Musika, Jacob Sax and Manfred Kelly while Malachi Walley is a very clever operator in the forward 50. Last season they made a sluggish start before storming home and making the top five, so a good start is imperative if they want to progress further this season.

In other games:

East Fremantle 10.6(66) def. Claremont 9.10(64)

In a rematch of the 2017 Grand Final, it was East Fremantle who came out on top winning another thriller on the opening day of the season by two points at Claremont Ovql. Unlike their Fremantle rivals, the Sharks’ comeback in the final quarter was successful with Trey Roscoe kicking two goals in as many minutes which helped overturn a 10 point deficit and topped off a fine display as he also compiled 20 disposals, five marks and four tackles. Ronin O’ Connor was a tireless worker for the Tigers with 20 disposals and nine tackles.

East Perth 10.8(68) def. Subiaco 5.5(35)

Subiaco’s Premiership defence got off to a shaky start as East Perth caused the biggest upset on the opening day of the season defeating their co-tenants by 33 points. The Royals who finished twelve games behind Subiaco last season finishing in eighth position, set up their win with strong first half and went on the job in a professional fashion. Jaxon East was a game breaker for the Royals with 27 disposals and three goals while Harley Sparks was prominent throughout with 32 disposals. Tristan Hobley like he always does for the Lions was tireless with 30 disposals and 10 tackles.

Peel Thunder 11.7(73) def. West Perth 8.8(56)

2018 Preliminary finalists Peel Thunder never relinquished the lead but withstood a number of challenges from West Perth to run out 17 point winners at David Grays Arena. Jarvis Piña led the way for the home side with32 disposals, eight marks and four tackles and he was well supported by Bradley Oldfield with 22 disposals and five tackles while Tyrone Thorne was lively with 17 disposals and two goals. For the Falcons, Koopah Todd with 20 disposals and eight tackles, along with Ben Johnson with 17 disposals and two goals were strong contributors for the visitors.

Subiaco claims third Colts premiership with thrilling victory over Swan Districts

WINNING your way through to the Grand Final is the culmination of a season of considerable progress, but by no means does it mean the job is done. Even though the body is hurting and the mind is tired, a special type of effort is required to get your team over the line.

For some Subiaco and Swan Districts players, Sunday presented a perfect opportunity to taste the ultimate success as they prepare for their potential senior AFL careers.

Read below for all the details on who became the 2018 Premiers.

WAFL Colts Grand Final wrap

Subiaco 9.10 (64) defeated Swan Districts 9.8 (62)

Subiaco have won their first WAFL Colts grand final in 29 years after claiming a thrilling two-point win over Swan Districts in a captivating contest at Optus Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Subiaco came into the contest with confidence on a sky high level after recording twelve straight wins, and were fresh after having the week off following their major semi final win. Swan Districts did not have that luxury, but came in as battle hardened after defeating Peel Thunder twice in this finals series. So the big question was whether Subiaco would keep up that momentum to the final game of the season or if Swan Districts had saved their best performance until last.

Just like their game two weeks ago Swan Districts dominated the early stages of the contest but could not make the most of their opportunities. Subiaco made them pay for their wastefulness with Mitchell Georgiades converting from 45 metres and soon after, Jake McKinnon was in the right spot to goal from a acute angle to give Subiaco the perfect start.

However, some ill-discipline by McKinnon gave Riley Garcia a gift which he duly accepted converting from 15 metres to put Swan Districts on the board. Rebounding defender Joe Hinder then put Swans right back into the contest when he converted from another 50 metre penalty.

It was a fascinating opening term with Swans amassing more than double the inside 50s of Subiaco (17-8) but still trailed by three points. In truth, the two late goals by Garcia and Hinder was what they deserved for their hard work.

Swans started the second quarter with some real purpose courtesy of Atem Deng who set up Jarrod Cameron. The exciting small forward kicked truly to put the underdogs in front for the first time in the contest. Cameron had another chance to extend the lead soon after but missed to the near side.

The overworked Subiaco defence were doing a fine job of keeping their side well and truly in the contest. Their hard work was rewarded at the other end of the ground when Jack Mayo who to that point of time had been well held by Jake Pasini, kicked truly to give the Lions their first goal in over a quarter.

Subiaco looked to have seized some momentum back when Nicolas Martin marked and goaled from close range to give the Lions a seven point lead. Turnovers were now creeping into the play of Swan Districts which would have been a concern to their coaching staff.

Subiaco now sensed a opportunity to take control of the contest when Martin kicked his second for the term and the Lions now had their biggest lead of the game. Needing to respond quickly, some good teamwork by the Black and Whites ended with Deng scoring his first goal from close range which was vital just before the half time interval.

A nine point lead to the Lions only told half the story of a fascinating 50 minutes of action. Swan Districts had 14 more inside 50s (30-16), but lacked a true focal point that Subiaco had with Mayo and French at their disposal.

The key movers for Subiaco were starting to get their hands on the ball with Tristan Hobley (11 disposals), Liam Hickmott and Luke Foley each having ten disposals. Meanwhile Riley Garcia and Mitchell Bain led the way for Swans with 11 and 10 disposals respectively.

Deng gave the black and whites the best possible start to the third quarter with his second major which cut the margin to two points. Once again the pattern of Swans’ amassing a swathe of inside 50s without getting full reward for their efforts looked to be continuing. Martin punished the profligacy of their opponents with a soccer goal and not long after, a pin-point kick by Hobley found Wil Hickmott on the chest and he converted to push the lead out to 12 points once again

A impressive piece of ball movement down the outer wing by Swan Districts saw Patrick Farrant kick truly from 45 metres. Subiaco led by a goal heading into the last change, but this was as close as Swan Districts had been in their four previous meetings in 2018 and were aware that a strong final 25 minutes would give them the flag.

Swans got off to the best possible start when a centre clearance by Cameron set up Farrant who kicked his second. The underdogs were now swarming all over Subiaco and a opportunistic pick-up and goal by Cameron extended their lead to seven points.

With Subiaco needing a goal, it was the key figure of Mayo who stepped up to the plate when his team needed him the most. Nathan French then snapped truly from close range to give us the third lead change of a absorbing fourth term. A frenetic passage of play in the Swans’ forward line caused a collision between Farrant and Cameron which saw the latter taken off with the blood rule at the most inopportune time. It was now end to end action with both teams putting their bodies well and truly on the line.

The calming presence of the likes of Luke Foley and Hobley were proving influential in such a tight contest. Deng missed what looked like Swans’ final chance, but from the resulting kickout Mitchell Bain converted truly with a superb kick from the boundary line.

In grand finals players are remembered for certain acts. It may not always fit the definition of spectacular in the true essence of the word, but its importance cannot be disputed. Subiaco pair Jake McKinnon and Jack Mayo produced such acts in the final few minutes.

With Swan Districts storming out of the the middle and looking to produce another forward 50 entry, McKinnon produced a smother which stopped the Black and Whites in their tracks. Then with Swans looking to clear the ball from their defensive 50 to produce one last scoring thrust, Mayo took a vital mark on the wing and was smart enough to hold onto the ball for his allotted time. Time ticked down and with the final siren came wild celebrations all over the ground for the Subiaco players as their long premiership drought was over.

In contrast, the disappointment on the faces of the Swans players was evident for all to see as they had put absolutely everything into winning a premiership and came incredibly close to doing so. It might be a empty feeling at this point of time, but coach Greg Harding will know that he has a special group of players and they will be heavily favoured to go one better in 2019. Meanwhile, Lions coach Beau Wardman has done a fine job in harnessing the best out of a team which has had a great deal of talent over the years but has underachieved at this level.

It was a game completely befitting of a grand final with no question asked for and none given. Players threw their bodies around like no tomorrow and there will be certainly some sore bodies feeling the effects of a brutal contest.

Not a lot separated the teams in most of the major categories apart from inside 50s which Swan Districts dominated 52-36. That will undoubtedly be a statistic that Swans will rue until they have the opportunity to make amends.

Hobley did his draft prospects a power of good winning the Mel Whinnen Medal for best man on the ground with the midfielder amassing 28 disposals and eight tackles. Foley produced a number of clutch moments in the vital final term finishing with 22 disposals, seven marks and six tackles while the tenacious effort of McKinnon was superb with 23 disposals and eight marks.

For Swan Districts, Deng provided a real spark every time he got his hands on the ball and finished with 18 disposals, four marks four tackles and two goals. Farrant may have been wasteful with the ball in the first half, but he produced some very important moments in the second half and finished with 14 disposals, six marks and two key goals. Bain was the leading possession getter on the day for Swan Districts with 24 disposals and eight tackles.

For many of these youngsters, the attention now switches to the draft combines and the team at AFL Draft Central wishes them all the very best for their future careers.

Western Australia weekly wrap: Swan Districts overcome Peel to book grand final spot

DEFINING what is a successful and failed season is always a fascinating point of discussion for football officials and fans alike.

Logically speaking, the further you progress into a finals campaign would be seen as progress but that also depends on what your key objectives were heading into the season proper.

It is therefore worth asking the question – how would your team view a defeat in a preliminary final?

It is the widely viewed as the worst game to lose as you are near enough to see the premiership cup loom in the distance, yet a late stumble sees all the hard work during the season go to waste. However, there are some who would rather accept defeat in this game, than experience the mental toll of losing on Grand Final day which can linger for a long while after the event.

Two WAFL Colts teams were playing their biggest game of the 2018 season. For one team it would be the last time they pull on the boots this season, while for the other a date with destiny is just one game away.

Read below for all the details on which team moved on to next week, and who would head off on their offseason break.

WAFL Colts wrap – Preliminary Final:

Swan Districts 10.12 (72) defeated Peel Thunder 7.8 (50)

Swan Districts’ quest for premiership glory will see them take on Subiaco in the 2018 Colts Grand Final after defeating Peel Thunder in the Preliminary final by 22 points at Fremantle Oval on Sunday morning.

It was the second time in a fortnight that the teams had met in the 2018 finals series. Swan Districts edged out Peel by nine points in the qualifying final despite having control of for most of that game. So the main question coming into this contest was whether Peel would be able to alter anything as they chased their first Colts premiership since their back to back success in 2004/5.

The Thunder’s biggest lead was a solitary point two weeks ago. However they started on the front foot at the start of this contest with two early goals to Tyson Powell. After a period of territory domination, Swans’ hit back hard courtesy of influential midfielder Riley Garcia. He topped off his fine 10-disposal opening quarter with two goals as the Black and Whites took a three-point lead into the first break.

After a sluggish start, Swans had well and truly worked their way into the game. They started the second term the way they finished the first quarter with goals to the in-form Kade Wallrodt and Brodie Newman. Swans had registered the last eight scoring shots of the game and Peel had not scored for over a quarter and needed a way to stem the bleeding. Nathan Ireland added to the Thunder’s pain with his first of the game as Swans now had a commanding 22 point lead heading into the long break.

If ever a team needed a goal to give them a bit of confidence it was Peel. Bottom-age livewire Tyrone Thorne answered the call on the brink of half time to cut the margin to 17 points at the long break. The Mandurah based side would have been hoping that it could be a sense of momentum leading into the following 50 minutes of action.

However it was Swans’ who re-established their advantage early in the second half through a goal to Atem Deng. The talented forward Patrick Farrant then pushed the Bassendean side one step closer to their first grand final appearance since 2015 as he gave them a five goal lead which seemed a lot bigger when you consider the nature of the contest. Soon after Ireland kicked his second of the game and Peel were now at great risk of finishing a promising campaign on a very low note.

The dominance of Swan Districts continued when exciting draft prospect Graydon Wilson pushed the past 40 points. The belated answer came through forward Jack Sears who had minimal impact in the game to that point. Still the task looked a exceptionally tough one for Peel as they trailed by 37 points with a quarter to play.

To stand any chance, the Thunder needed to make the most of every opportunity they created but three early misses to start the term would have been deflating. However to their credit, they kept pushing hard and got their reward when Thorne kicked his second. The ball was almost permanently camped in the Thunder’s forward 50 but Swans’ were content to soak up the pressure and hit them on the counter attack. Blake Pescud ended any thoughts of a stunning fightback with a goal which was the icing on the cake as Swans booked their grand final date with Subiaco next Sunday.

Just like their qualifying final encounter, Peel kept on fighting till the end and produced late goals to Thorne and Bailey Taylor which narrowed the final margin to 22 points. However, there was no doubt that Swans were deserving of their victory. A indicator to the success of Swan Districts on the day  was the fact that they held a advantage in most of the key categories. While Peel narrowed the gap in the last term, there was little doubt that the game was won in the middle two quarters where the Black and Whites outscored their opponents 7.7 to 2.3.

There was too much left to too few on the goalkicking front last Sunday against Subiaco, however Swans’ spread the load perfectly against Peel with eight individual goalkickers. Garcia set the tone early with his impact and his teammates followed his lead. The tough midfielder finished with 27 disposals and four tackles and was supported well by the creative Wilson with 17 disposals, seven tackles and five marks while defender Denzel More continued his fine finals form with 18 disposals and five marks.

Two of Swans’ key movers in Mitchell Bain and Jarrod Cameron were quiet as far as disposals were concerned with 12 and seven respectively. However their overall willingness to have a impact in the game was shown by the fact that they laid 20 tackles between them.

While Peel will naturally be disappointed of falling one game short of the decider, it is their best season since 2015 where ironically they finished runners-up to Swan Districts. As has been the case since they entered the competition in 1997, they have a lot of young talent in their ranks and that was displayed throughout 2018.

The likes of James Sturrock, Lachlan Riley and Jarvis Pina have been star performers on a weekly basis, while bottom ager Thorne has shown he is not afraid of the big stage. Thorne proved this once again on Sunday where he compiled 18 disposals while taking five marks and being the lone scoring outlet with three goals. Sturrock was his usual combative self with 24 disposals, seven tackles and six marks.

Western Australia weekly wrap: Subiaco Colts one win away from ending premiership drought

THE second week of a finals series often gives us an indication regarding who are serious premiership contenders and who are just making up the numbers. This weekend saw the opportunity for one side to book a grand final date, while two other teams were fighting to keep their premiership dream alive.

All the details on a pivotal weekend of finals action is below.

WAFL Colts wrap: Semi-Finals

Subiaco 14.10 (94) defeated Swan Districts 7.6 (48)

Subiaco has qualified for its first Colts Grand Final in 23 years after a accomplished 46-point win over Swan Districts at Leederville Oval on Sunday.

In terms of their 2018 meetings, the Lions had got the better of Swan Districts, winning all three games by comfortable margins. When they met at the same venue in round three it was 36 points, Subi held sway all game to beat the Black and Whites by 21 points at Steel Blue Oval in Round 12 and in their most recent meeting last month, Subiaco were able to handle the extremely wet conditions to post a commanding 38 point victory.

The big question coming into this game was how would Subiaco perform coming off the bye especially as they had plenty of momentum coming into the finals after recording eleven straight wins. However, Swans arguably had one of their best wins of the season last week when they upset second placed Peel Thunder in the qualifying final. So while Subi went into the contest as clear favourites, Swans was certainly not without their chances.

A perfect sunny spring day greeted both teams as both teams ran onto the ground.  Swan Districts made the perfect start with a mark to Kade Walldrot and the resulting 50-metre penalty made his shot for goal even more certain. Walldrot then made it two goals in as many minutes as the underdogs got off to the best possible start. The Lions were looking to get their hands on the ball to assert some forward line pressure and a fumble by Brenton Hilton on the last line of defence gave Nathan French a gift from close range to open the minor premiers’ account. A great pack mark and goal by the highly rated draft prospect Luke Foley then gave the Lions their second, but the visitors quickly replied as Walldrot kicked his third of the term.

Swans were looking assured with the ball in hand as their confidence from last week’s win was flowing over to the early stages of this contest. The signs were there for a terrific contest when Jordan Faroane kicked truly for the Lions from 45 metres. However, from the following centre clearance, Swan Districts took the ball forward and a clever soccer goal by Ethan Nordahl put them back in front by a goal.

Subiaco had the last word in a captivating first quarter of free flowing end to end footy when Jake McKinnon kicked a goal from a 50-metre penalty to level the scores at 4.1 apiece at the first break. Zane Shellabear Healy then gave Subiaco their biggest lead of the game with a early goal to start the second term and there were signs that the Lions were getting their game into motion.

The stakes were clearly raised with both teams cracking in very hard and every tackle having a real impact. Faroane kicked Subiaco’s second for the term and that was soon followed by French kicking his second as the Lions were now moving towards top gear. Foley then joined in on the goalscoring blitz by kicking his team’s third in as many minutes and in doing so becoming their third multiple goalscorer for the game.

In the blink of an eye, Swans were on the ropes and desperately needed a goal. It came courtesy of a kick inside their forward 50 by Jarred Cameron which hit Walldrot on the chest and gave him his fourth for the game. However it was becoming clear that Swans’ needed another outlet other than the bottom ager if they wanted to stay with the minor premiers. This was certainly the case as Subiaco had multiple goalscoring options and that was illustrated when Jack Mayo delivered a great kick inside 50 which French was able to run into open space and kick his third.

The five goal to one second quarter by Subiaco shaped as being a pivotal in the outcome of the contest with Foley (14 disposals two goals ) and French 14 disposals (two goals) having a outstanding impact. While Swans’ were far from being out of the contest (24 point deficit), they clearly needed a lot more from their key movers such as Riley Garcia (seven disposals), Jarrod Cameron (five disposals), Joe Hinder (four disposals) and Patrick Farrant (two disposals).

Sixteen year-old Mitch Georgiades got the home team off to the best possible start in the third term by taking a good mark and goaling from close range. Swans were struggling to get any momentum in their forward line and their plight was summed up when Cameron had a straight kick from 50 metres touched on the line. Subiaco then went down the other end where Nicolas Martin snapped truly from close range. The Lions hunger for the contest was infectious all over the ground, not giving their opponents a inch of space. All the visitors were able to conjure up in the third quarter was a solitary point and a damning statistic was since the start of the second quarter, the Black and Whites had been outscored 7.5 to 1.1.

Taj Schofield kept up the Lions’ dominance at the start of the fourth term with a goal from a set shot goal from 45 metres. While a rare second half forward thrust by Swans’ had finished without reward a few minutes beforehand, that failed to deterHinder with the rebounding defender producing a fantastic piece of individual play to kick their first goal since half time, however Subi got the instant reply through Martin. Nordahl got a late consolation goal from a strong mark in the forward pocket, but just like they had done all game, Subiaco had the final say through Benjamin Golding and in reality the final margin of 46 points was a fair reflection of the game.

The final siren sounded and the reality that Subiaco were into the decider swept through the playing group as the celebrations was clear to see. However they will know that the hard work is not done as they aim to win their first Colts premiership since 1989 and remarkably just the third in their illustrious history after their first triumph in 1974.

Just like their big brothers in the seniors, the young Lions have a remarkable ability to flick the switch at any moment which instantly leave their opponents flat-footed and seemingly without any answers. It is also a very scary prospect for the other eight sides that the Lions have a remarkable amount of depth across all grades (their reserves finished top and are in the Preliminary final).

Meanwhile, it was a tough day for Swan Districts as they fell to their fourth straight loss against Subiaco this season with none of the losses have been under three goals. However their win last week gives them another bite of the cherry as they play Peel for the second time in a fortnight at Fremantle Oval next Sunday. They will need their forward line to be in better form as three goal kickers is not going to win a major final at any level.

Subiaco held sway in all of the major categories, but a key factor was the extra amount of scoring shots they were able to generate compared to their opponents (24-13). The second term was the key quarter with Subiaco outscoring their opponents five goals to one. Two of the key players in that quarter wasFrench and Foley who each kicked two goals in that term.

French finished the game with 25 disposals, three marks and three goals, while AFL combine invitee Luke Foley switched seamlessly between midfield and the forward line finishing with 22 disposals, five marks, five tackles and two goals. Madoc Plane subdued the influence of Jarred Cameron when he was stationed in the Swans forward line and finished with 10 disposals, while his fellow defenders in Kyle Stainsby and Samuel West were also key figures in shutting down the other attacking weapons of Swan Districts.

Walldrot was a beacon of hope in the forward 50 for Swan Districts until the forward entries dried up after half time. However, the bottom ager still had a impact around the ground finishing with 15 disposals nine marks and four goals. The back six of Swan Districts had their hands full throughout the game, but one player who could hold his head up high was bottom ager Pasini who kept Subiaco focal point Mayo goalless while taking five marks himself.

Peel Thunder 8.14 (62) defeated East Fremantle 9.6 (60)

In the first semi-final, Peel Thunder withstood a surging East Fremantle side to defeat the reigning premiers by two points and eliminate them from the finals race while progressing to the Preliminary final where they will play Swan Districts looking to gain revenge from last week’s defeat.

Peel Thunder led throughout the large majority of the contest, but a inaccurate third term where they could only kick 3.7 to 1.0 left the door ajar for the Sharks to make one last push as they trailed by 20 points with a quarter to play.

The defending premiers did just that kicking 5.3 to 1.3 and hitting the front for the first time in the game with nine minutes remaining. Determined not to bow out in straight sets after their defeat to Swans last week, Peel regained their composure and kicked the winning goal with only three minutes remaining and managed to hold on to record the thrilling victory. Over time we have seen teams blow opportunities to win games with wasteful kicking on goal and Peel was very nearly one of those teams with seven more scoring shots on the day, but luckily on this occasion that did not prove to be the case.

Lachlan Riley and James Sturrock led the way in terms of possessions with 25 and 22 disposals respectively while bottom age talents Jack Sears and Ben Middleton were important with two goals each. The Sharks spread the load when it came to goalkickers with eight, but only bottom ager Trent Rivers was able to put multiple goals on the board with two. Rivers produced a great all-round performance with 19 disposals and six marks while Milan Murdock produced his typical in and under performance with 23 disposals and 13 tackles.

Western Australia weekly wrap: O’Reilly and Cameron shine on September stage

THE first weekend of Spring saw fine and sunny conditions and a true sense of finals fever as the second season officially began in earnest. The first week of finals saw old rivals East and South Fremantle meet at Fremantle Oval on Saturday while Peel and Swan Districts met in the qualifying final on the Sunday at Claremont Oval. The two games were held at the same locations to where the Seniors were playing their finals.

For those individuals who have been lucky enough to play at this time of year, they will tell you that it is a completely different type of footy compared to the home and away season. It is a time when reputations are earned and careers are made. For the next generation of stars, the next month will be a great learning tool in their fledgling careers.

WAFL Colts Wrap: Finals Week 1

Elimination Final – East Fremantle 18.7 (115) defeated South Fremantle 8.5 (53)

A stunning 14 goals to two second half display saw reigning premiers East Fremantle storm their way into the second week of the finals series with a 62-point thrashing against old rivals South Fremantle on Saturday morning, ending the Bulldogs season.

Both teams came into the game knowing each other extremely well having played each other just six days ago when the Bulldogs ran out victorious by 18 points which saw East Fremantle blow their opportunity of finishing in the top three and slip down into this elimination final clash. In their two other meetings in 2018 it was the Bulldogs who ran out victorious by 38 points in round four, while East Fremantle registered a victory in the traditional WA/Foundation Day clash by 14 points.

The Bulldogs got off to a strong start leading by eight points at quarter time with Luke Moore continuing his strong form from last week, causing a fair share of headaches for the Sharks defence. East Fremantle started the second term with a real sense of purpose kicking the first two goals to briefly take the lead, but it was the duo of Moore and Ira Jetta who were looming as being extremely influential to the outcome of the contest. The Bulldogs went to the long break by kicking three consecutive goals to lead by 13 points with Moore kicking four goals for the half.

Once again East Fremantle got off to a strong start to the quarter courtesy of goals to Dillon O’Reilly and Edward Curley and scores were now locked at 40 points a piece. Unlike the second term, the Sharks kept up with their momentum and O’Reilly put them back in front. The game was compelling in its nature with South Fremantle hitting back once again when Moore kicked his fifth goal of the game.

There was now an old-school shootout taking place at either end of the ground as O’Reilly kicked his third for the quarter and the son of the former Geelong and Fremantle full-back was causing massive concerns for the Bulldogs coaching thrust kicking his fourth for the all-important third term. Nash Miller kicked the seventh goal of a thrilling quarter of action, but Cody Smith responded in kind to push the lead out back beyond double figures. A late goal by Ethan Brown gave the Sharks a handy 17-point buffer with a quarter to play.

The main question going into the final 25 minutes was whether the Bulldogs had an answer to East Fremantle’s third quarter blitz, or if the Sharks could carry on the with the job. The answer was the latter as East Fremantle kicked another seven goals to nil to finish with a resounding 62-point win and will play the loser of the clash between Peel and Swans.

It was almost hard to keep up with the scoring action such was the regularity of the Sharks entries into their forward line. It could be said that East Fremantle lured their Fremantle rivals into a false sense of security after last week, keeping something up their sleeves to hit them with and they certainly did so with a crisp, clean knockout punch. In doing so, the Sharks put the top three teams on notice that they are not going to give up their premiership without a fight.

A clear sign of East Fremantle’s superiority after the break came courtesy of the inside 50 count. At half-time it was locked at 18 a piece, but come the end of the game the statistic had been flipped on its head to see East Fremantle hold an advantage by 19 (45-26). That naturally translated to a number of scoring shots and the Sharks had 18 for the second half (14.4) compared to just three for the Bulldogs (2.1).

Versatile swing man O’Reilly was an absolute colossus for East Fremantle and his impact in the second half was one of the main reasons for the momentum switch in the match.  He finished with six goals to go with nine marks and 19 disposals. Milan Murdock worked tirelessly all game racking up 26 disposals and 14 tackles, while Dylan Curley was a livewire in the forward 50 with four goals to go with his eight tackles and three marks.

South Fremantle proved over the last month of the season that they were a deserving finalist, playing the kind of football that wins you games in September. That continued in the first half of the elimination final, but they were left wanting in the final half, unable to keep up with their opponents.  Continuing his consistent form all season, Kyle Hamersley was a willing worker in the midfield with 25 disposals and six tackles and had support in Matthew Ward with 22 disposals and seven tackles. Moore was the dominant player on the ground in the first half with four majors, but as his team struggled to get their hands on the ball, the forward was naturally starved of opportunities only kicking one goal after the long break.

Qualifying Final – Swan Districts 9.7 (61) defeated Peel 7.10 (52)

Swan Districts overcame the ghosts of finals past as they produced a composed performance defeating second placed Peel Thunder by nine points at Claremont Oval on Sunday morning.

Both teams had split their two meetings in 2018, with Swans’ winning a thrilling affair by two points in round two, but Peel emphatically turned the tables in round 13 thrashing their opponents by 62 points.

The first goal of this contest came courtesy of a strong mark and goal to Jarrod Cameron and they followed that with a major to Nathan Ireland thanks to a ruck infringement. Peel had no difficulty getting the ball inside their 50-metre arc but were struggling to find a key target to make the most of their opportunities. Atem Deng then set up Cameron for his second of the quarter and the Swans went into quarter time with a 16-point lead.

Peel would have been looking for better’ composure with ball in hand and it didn’t take long for that to eventuate when a pin-point kick by Jake Howes set up Lachlan Cullen for their first goal. Peel were now dominating field position and Swans’ were looking to weather the storm and hit the Thunder on the counter attack.

They did just that when Ayden Cartwright kicked his first goal from a mark and then some clever play from Cameron put Patrick Farrant into space and he converted on the run from 45 metres. Peel hit back through a mark and goal from a acute angle by Ben Middleton and were well and truly back in the game when Killian Rawson converted smartly from a stoppage cutting the margin to just 12 points.

A screamer by Fremantle Dockers next generation prospect Jason Carter then set up another scoring opportunity, but Cullen missed to the near side and that summed up the first half for Peel a nutshell as they had many more inside 50s and double the scoring shots, but just could not capitalise. 

The third quarter underlined the nature of this contest with plenty of big tackles, great pressure from both sides and missed opportunities. Swans’ edged the quarter two goals to one courtesy of two great individual bits of play from Cameron, one from the boundary and the other a set shot from 50 metres which stamped his class on the contest. In between those goals Jarrod Fazioli kicked Peel’s fourth major to keep them in the hunt. Heading into the last term, Peel needed roughly four goals to win but that looked to be a tall task, having only kicked four goals for the first three quarters.

Deng started the fourth term with a great tackle inside the Swans’ forward 50 which earned him a free kick and his subsequent finish gave them a three goal lead. Riley Garcia then topped off a typically hard running game with a goal which moved them one step closer to a semi final clash with Subiaco.

Needing a piece of inspiration to keep them alive, a clever kick out of a pack by Cameron Gavin gave them the smallest glimmer of hope with 13 minutes left. Their chances grew a little more hopeful with a terrific goal by Middleton which gave them back to back goals and some late momentum.

Peel then wasted some late scoring chances and eventually when Middleton converted an opportunity by kicking his third for the game, there was just over a minute left and Swans’ were able to see that out without any drama to claim a well deserved win. They have earned a clash against minor premiers Subiaco in the major semi next week while Peel will meet East Fremantle in the minor semi final. Although the margin was only nine points at the end of an intense encounter, make no mistake Swans were certainly the deserving winners having made all the running throughout the contest.

The win ended four straight losses in finals for Swans’ who have been September regulars over the past five seasons winning the 2014 premiership runners-up to Claremont a year later. Ironically their last win in September came against Peel in the 2015 Preliminary final.

A feature of Swans’ victory was their pressure around the ground and that was emphasised by the fact that Swans had 90 tackles for the game, 22 more than their opponents had on the day. They were also able to soak up a lot of pressure conceding twenty more inside 50s (54-34) and were more efficient as they had just one less scoring shot for the game (17-16).

In terms of best players, Swan Districts had many but for overall impact there was none better than Cameron who despite having just the nine disposals, made every one of them count by kicking four goals and setting another one up in a permanent forward role. He presented well up at the footy with seven marks and laid five bone bruising tackles. The midfield unit was led superbly by Mitchell Bain who had 31 disposals and eight tackles along with Garcia with 24 disposals. Meanwhile the defensive unit was well marshalled by the likes of Denzel More, Brenton Hilton and Jake Pasini who for the majority of the contest kept the key figures in the Peel forward line at bay.

Peel also had a strong showing from their midfielders in Lachlan Riley (30 disposals and five tackles) and James Sturrock (29 disposals and six tackles), while the very promising Carter was pushed into the midfield in the last quarter after a composed game at half back finishing with 20 disposals, seven marks and four tackles.

Western Australia weekly wrap: Bulldogs loom large as finals wildcard

THE final round of the home and away season saw a ‘Super Sunday’ of action with three games played at Domain Stadium. While the final five was locked in, a precious double chance was still up for grabs with East Fremantle and Swan Districts jostling for that third position. With Swans playing on Saturday, East Fremantle knew the equation at hand when they met their arch rivals the following day.

Could the Sharks get the job done? Read ahead to find out all the details.

WAFL Wrap Round 21

South Fremantle 13.9 (87) defeated East Fremantle 10.9 (69).

South Fremantle kept up their fine late season form while dealing their bitter rivals a hammer blow in the process with a 18-point win over East Fremantle at Domain Stadium.

East Fremantle got off to the best possible story courtesy of a Tom Wright goal. The Sharks looked more composed in the early stages, but South Fremantle eased their way into the contest and got on the board courtesy of Lachlan Johnson. The Sharks regained the lead courtesy of an opportunistic snap by Jai Jackson, but the inform Bulldogs produced a great piece of team football which was smartly finished off by Jack Musika.

Both teams were really cracking in hard giving no quarter and expecting none in return. Jackson was looming as a key figure in the contest kicking his second of the quarter and helping the Sharks hold a six point lead at quarter time.

South Fremantle were peppering the goals at the start of the second term but were unable to get maximum reward for their effort. Another smooth piece of ball movement involving the likes of Ira Jetta gave Johnson the chance to change that and he kicked truly to level the scores. Jetta was then left unattended inside the forward 50 and the lively 16 year-old made the Sharks pay to give them their biggest lead of the contest.

The game was now being played on South Fremantle’s terms and some clever footwork by Luke Moore outfoxed his opponent and he kicked truly from 40 metres. The Bulldogs were now oozing confidence and some swift ball movement down the outer wing involving Jack Redman ended with Robert Woods who nailed their fourth for the term.

East Fremantle certainly needed a steadier and they got two in as many minutes firstly from Cody Smith and then a good running goal from the very likely bottom age prospect in Luke Jackson. It was a fascinating quarter with the Bulldogs dominating large parts but East Fremantle finished the stronger and only trailed by six points at the long break.

As always, the third quarter shaped as pivotal for the outcome of this captivating contest. It began with a brilliant rundown and tackle by Manfred Kelly who set up Moore for his second of the day to re-establish the two goal margin for the Bulldogs and Jaxon Bellchambers and Moore then set up Brodee Knight for his first.

All the hard work in getting back into the contest was at risk of being washed away and the influential Moore emphasised that point as he kicked his third to give the rampant Bulldogs their biggest lead of the game which was 24 points. East Fremantle then got a much needed response through Dylan Curley, however it was South Fremantle that were just playing better football with their transition from defence into attack which was first class and that was illustrated when Nash Miller set up Kyle Hamersley for his first and the Sharks defence was now close to breaking point.

East Fremantle then made the fatal mistake of over committing in defence leaving Toby Mcquilkin loose out the back to goal from close range. However they quickly regrouped courtesy of a long bomb by Cody Smith which was marked by Nicolas Watson in the goal square just before the three quarter time siren. It gave the Sharks a lifeline heading into the final 25 minutes and they would have known that every goal was vital as they had percentage to protect with third spot on the line.

After some untidy play to start the final term, Moore kicked his fourth of the game to re-establish their five goal lead and make life difficult for the visitors. A costly 50 metre penalty gave hard running defender Neil Irani a shot at goal which he duly converted to ice the game for the Bulldogs. Curley kicked his second of the game for the Sharks and Jackson soon set up the forward for another one soon after to trim the margin back to four goals. The Sharks were certainly playing with renewed energy knowing that every goal mattered in the equation of a double chance.

Cameron Davidson kicked a goal on the final siren to narrow the final margin 18 points but that did not worry the Bulldogs as they continued their fine end to the season which was their third in a row and third victory against top four opponents in as many attempts (also defeating Swans in Round 19 and Peel in Round 16). They are peaking at the right time and loom as a very dangerous opponent against anyone they come up against. Meanwhile the loss proved extremely costly for the Sharks who now slip to fourth and a rematch against their Fremantle rivals next week.

Moore was pivotal in the second half kicking three of his four goals and setting up another while Ira Jetta ran hard all day pressuring his opponents of himself all over the ground with 18 disposals and four tackles while James Russell was fantastic in defence with 17 disposals and three marks. For the Sharks Corey Robinson tried hard all day with 30 disposals while Jai Jackson was a true focal point with 23 disposals five tackles, four marks and two goals.

Peel Thunder 11.15 (81) defeated East Perth 9.8 (62)

Following that clash, Peel Thunder bounced back from last weeks disappointing loss against Claremont with a solid 19-point win over East Perth.

Peel dominated the early stages of the contest racking up four inside 50s in as many minutes and they finally got their reward through a mark and goal by Michael Randall in the square. East Perth barely got the ball past halfway in the first 12 minutes but were lucky to remain in the contest as Peel were not making their overall dominance count.

East Perth’s first scoring attempt came through Jarrad Hamer-Mathew who missed to the near side but they were edging closer to success and their first major came through Thomas Baulch. Then out of nowhere the game completely switched in momentum and East Perth were on the front foot when Egan Bradbury kicked their second of the contest. A third goal soon followed through Hamer-Mathew and remarkably the Royals went to the quarter time break with a six-point lead. Wasteful footy was certainly costly for Peel who finished the quarter with 1.8 but realistically should have been three goals in front.

Peel needed a spark and they got just that to start the second quarter with a brilliant running goal by Jake Howes from the boundary from 45 metres. Hamer-Mathew responded soon after for the Royals and Liam Martin then followed to give them their biggest lead of the contest which was 14 points. Lee Chapman kicked a important goal for Peel to cut the margin to single digits and then Jack Sears marked and goaled to cut it to a single point. When Sears kicked his second of the term, Peel were back in front but Baulch seemed to lock the scores at 40 points a piece at the long break, however it was deemed to be after the siren therefore Peel went into the long break with a six-point lead.

The second placed Peel now looked just like they did to start the contest, but the only difference were they were making their opportunities count outscoring the Royals four goals to one with Jake Howes prominent in their attacking thrusts. When Tyrone Thorne kicked his second for the quarter the margin in a blink of a eye was 31 points and a long way back for East Perth. The Royals were getting smashed out of the centre with the running fleet of Peel in fine form. Harley Sparks cut the margin to four goals but once again it was that man Thorne who gave Peel their five goal margin again and they took that margin to the three-quarter time break.

East Perth started the final quarter with some purpose and the excellent hard running of Baulch set up Rhai-arn Cox for his first of the day. The Royals were now certainly pushing hard but just not converting their opportunities. A strong tackle by Ben McGuire in the forward 50 gave him his first for the day to cut the margin to three goals but the Thunder were not in any immediate danger and saw out the rest of the game with no troubles and they go into their finals clash with Swan Districts next week on a winning note.

Remarkably Peel Thunder only totalled 219 disposals for the game but used them to great effect with 44 inside 50s compared to 31 from East Perth which led to 26 scoring shots compared to 19 from the Royals.

Thorne was the catalyst behind the terrific second half by the Thunder with three goals to go along 18 disposals six tackles and five marks while Jake Howes was in and under all game with eight tackles to go along with 16 disposals and two goals.

For the Royals, it was the hard running of Baulch which was a stand out as the top ager collected 24 disposals and eight marks while Cox kept working hard and looked dangerous collecting 14 disposals eight marks and three tackles along with a goal.

Subiaco 17.15 (117) defeated Perth 4.4 (28)

In the final game of a long day it was Subiaco who recorded their eleventh straight win with a 89-point thrashing over Perth. The team football which have served the Lions so well this season was again on display with eleven goal kickers on the day led by Jordan Faraone with three and Jack Mayo with 20 disposals, 10 marks and two goals while Tristan Hobley rounded out his home and away season in fine style with 32 disposals, ten marks and eight tackles.

The thumping loss consigned Perth to the wooden spoon position dispute going into the game with a 5% advantage over East Perth. They finished the game with a deficit of 0.3 per cent. Two of their youngest players could hold their head high high with Deven Robertson having 36 disposals and six marks while 16 year-old Nathan O’ Driscoll continued his excellent form with 27 disposals and eight tackles.

Swan Districts 10.8 (68) defeated Claremont 5.7 (37)

In the lone game played on Saturday morning, Swan Districts tuned up for finals action with a comprehensive 31 point win over Claremont at Steel Blue Oval in a game where they led throughout the contest.

Swans got off to a strong start leading by 13 points at quarter time courtesy of two goals to Atem Deng. Claremont, who were eliminated from finals calculations last week responded well in the second quarter kicking three goals to two and cutting the margin to seven points at the long break.

Swan Districts who were looking to get some momentum heading into the finals after two straight losses kicked the first two goals of the third term courtesy of Nathan Ireland and Patrick Farrant and once again Claremont failed to register a goal in the third term and had an uphill task heading into last quarter trailing by 19 points.

Bottom ager Liam Henry gave the visitors the best possible start to the final term kicking a goal but Patrick Farrant responded giving them their three goal lead and that was soon followed by Ayden Cartwright’s first major of the game which sealed the four points for the Black and Whites.

Deng sealed a best on ground performance with his third late in the contest and Graydon Wilson topped off a fine second-half performance for the home side to seal a 31 point win and put them in a positive frame of mind as they head into September action looking to make up for their 2017 exit after being bundled out in straight sets after finishing third in the home and away season. With the Sharks loss, it has handed them them a perfect opportunity to do just that. The Lions can now put up their feet and watch the four teams below them put their bodies on the line.

At least they will have the opportunity to atone that disappointment which is more than what Claremont can do as the Premiers from 2015 and 2016 and runners-up from last year reflect on a campaign that never really got any momentum behind it. However with a number of promising youngsters in their ranks, they cannot be written off as a chance to play finals footy next season.

Deng was the player who set the tone for the win with 19 first half disposals and two goals and while he had a much quieter second half, his impact could not be understated finishing with 24 disposals, five marks and three goals. He had strong support from Western Australia Under 18s representative Wilson with 23 disposals, seven marks and a goal and Riley Garcia was at his ball gathering best with 31 disposals. For Claremont, bottom-ager Henry was a willing worker throughout the contest with 18 disposals, four marks and two goals.

 

Week 1 Finals:

Qualifying Final

Peel Thunder vs Swan Districts

Elimination Final

East Fremantle vs South Fremantle

Western Australia weekly wrap: Final five locked in for September

ROUND 20 loomed as the most important weekend of the Colts season to date with a number of teams fighting for the opportunity to play in September, that special time of year when reputations are made.

Which teams coped best with the pressure?

Read ahead to find out.

Round 20 WAFL Colts wrap.

South Fremantle 11.10 (76) defeated Perth 5.6 (36)

South Fremantle have sealed their spot in the 2018 WAFL Colts finals courtesy of a emphatic 40 point win over Perth at Fremantle Oval on Saturday morning.

The Bulldogs controlled the early stages of the vital contest kicking goals through Nash Miller and Ira Jetta but Perth steadied through Ben Watson. The Bulldogs slightly increased their lead to 13 points at the long break courtesy of a three goal to two second quarter. The third term is widely regarded as the most pivotal of the game and so it proved again with the Bulldogs kicking the first two goals through Jetta and Luke Moore. Although the Demons were striving hard to find a path back into the contest, it was the rock solid defence of the Bulldogs who were repeatedly repelling the visitors. The home side turned for home with a 26 point lead which in all truth felt a lot more and the last quarter finally saw the Bulldogs emphasise their superiority as they kicked four goals to two and completed a 40 point win.

The victory was the third in the last four games for the Bulldogs and while some may say you do not deserve to play finals with a losing record, the Bulldogs can even their season ledger in the last round against old adversaries East Fremantle next Sunday. In truth, the kind of football that the Bulldogs have produced in the last fortnight is what wins games in September so they should not be a team to be taken lightly. The home side won all of the key indicators with a major advantage in disposals (350-267) leading to 18 more inside 50s (55-37) and ten more scoring shots (21-11).

The performance of 16 year-old Jaxon Bellchambers would have been heartwarming to many at the Bulldogs as he had a impact all over the ground with 22 disposals, seven marks, three tackles and topped off his fantastic display with three last quarter goals. At the other age of the age spectrum, Matthew Ward was a diligent four-quarter performer with 29 disposals and nine tackles while the forward pressure of Ira Jetta was first class with nine tackles to go along with 12 disposals and two goals. The second half of the season has been a greatly disappointing one for the Demons although they have certainly improved on their four win season in 2017. Perth are regularly seen as great developers of young talent and the National AFL Draft will likely show that with the names of Luke English, Ian Hill and Sydney Stack likely to be high up on the radar of recruiters. Nathan O’Driscoll is another Demon name to remember for the future with the 16 year-old amassing 28 disposals, eight tackles and a goal.

 

Claremont 9.7 (61) defeated Peel Thunder 6.5 (41)

With Perth’s defeat to Bulldogs, it meant the finals hopes of Claremont disappeared but that did not deter the Tigers as they arguably produced their best performance of the season to defeat high flying Peel Thunder by 20 points at Claremont Oval.

Claremont had been convincingly beaten by the Thunder in each of their meetings in 2018 (78 and 36 points) but the first quarter was a tight affair with Peel leading by five points. Well aware that they required a win to keep their season alive along with needing another result to go in their favour, Claremont arguably played their best quarter of an inconsistent campaign kicking 5.1 to 0.1 and opening up a imposing 25-point lead with Isaac Barton and Angus Longmire each kicking two for the term. The impressive Tigers continued their dominance early in the third with goals to Jacob Dorset-Sawyer and a third to Barton which pushed the lead out beyond six goals and plenty of danger signs for the second placed Thunder. A late goal by Jackson Knight narrowed the gap to 31 points to give them the slightest ray of hope but the game was seemingly well and truly in control of the Tigers.

Peel made a final concerted push to get back into the game in the early stages of the last quarter narrowing the gap to three goals through majors from Killian Rawson and Tyson Powell. The Tigers looked to have gone into their shell for the first time in the game as Peel were piling on the pressure, and Jack Willis kicked their third of the quarter narrowing the gap further to 13 points. From there the Tigers managed to stop the flow of attacks from the Thunder and sealed a meritorious victory when Benjamin Schuhkraft kicked truly just before the final siren.

The key stats showed how much Claremont controlled the nature of the contest with 70 more disposals (331-261) which led to 19 more inside 50s (49-30) and five more scoring shots (16-11). Isaac Barton set the tone of the contest in the first half for the Tigers and the top-ager compiled 18 disposals, six tackles and three goals and he was well supported by the tireless work of ruckman Longmire with 15 disposals, four marks, 38 hit-outs and two goals, while Max Grant finished with 27 disposals. Despite the loss, Peel will finish second on the ladder with their opponent still to be decided, and Lachlan Riley was a true four-quarter performer for the visitors with 28 disposals, six marks and four tackles.

 

Subiaco 9.13 (67) defeated East Fremantle 7.12 (54)

Subiaco kept up their on their winning ways as they claimed their tenth straight win holding off a surging Sharks outfit to win by 13 points at East Fremantle Oval.

Subiaco made a very strong start to the contest kicking three goals to nil to open up a 20 point lead at quarter time. That level of dominance continued in the second term as the league leaders kicked another four goals to one and holding a very healthy 40 point lead at the long break. Successful teams play a strong brand of team football where they do not depend on one player and Subiaco have successfully illustrated that fact throughout the season. To half time they had seven different goalkickers and eight players with double-figure disposals, led by Tristan Hobley with 18 and Taj Schofield and Liam Hickmott with 16 apiece.

While you do not want to have a defeatist mindset during the game, the Sharks brains trust would have been thinking of ways to limit the damage and save their percentage. While they would keep a one game advantage over the dormant Swan Districts, a heavy defeat could have seen percentage come into play in the final round if Swans were to be victorious in their last game against Claremont and if the Sharks slipped up against South Fremantle.

However, those hypotheticals were put on the back burner as the Sharks stemmed the bleeding and played some more composed football in the third term. They won the quarter courtesy of goals through Adam Meadowcroft and the highly promising bottom ager Luke Jackson – who had the tough choice to make between footy and basketball, but the talented and athletic sportsman chose the former. The Sharks had certainly found some impetus and continued their momentum kicking the first two goals of the last term with another major to Jackson and Zach Wilkinson. Nicolas Martin kicked a goal to ease any tension within the Subiaco ranks, but the highly impressive second half by the Sharks continued with further goals to Corey Robinson and Wright. Opportunities were coming thick and fast for the home team, however time ran out as Subiaco made it ten straight wins and with Peel’s loss, the Lions clinched the minor premiership and a bye in the first week of the finals.

While the Lions were outscored six goals to two in the second half, they did enough to show one of their closest challenges for the premiership that you need to play at a high level for the full four quarters if you want to beat them. Hickmott compiled 29 disposals and nine tackles and was well supported by Schofield (27 disposals, six marks and five tackles) andHobley (27 disposals) while Robinson was a solid contributor for the Sharks with 23 disposals.

East Perth 12.7 (79) defeated West Perth 6.9 (45)

East Perth played some of their best football of a very inconsistent 2018 campaign as they registered a 34-point victory against arch-rivals West Perth at a sun-drenched Leederville Oval on Saturday morning.

This contest was all about pride with both teams eliminated from finals contention last week, it was the Royals who started the better opening up a two goal lead in the first term but really got going in the second quarter kicking four goals to one to open up a five goal margin at the long break with the duo of Rhai-arn Cox and Callum McVee looking lively with two goals each.

The Royals were in complete control of the contest in the third term kicking two goals to one and turning for home with a 37 point lead. A West Perth comeback did not look on the cards when you take into account that they had kicked three goals in as many quarter. However they produced a barnstorming first ten minutes of the final term where they had six scoring shots kicking 3.3 and narrowing the gap to 16 points, which suddenly gave them a deal of momentum.

Not wanting their good football in the first three quarters to go to waste, East Perth responded through a second goal to Kyle Robinson which was soon followed by majors to Ashley Willcocks and Kane Hughes as the Royals were able to seal a deserved 34 point win. With the Falcons having the bye in the final round, East Perth can still avoid the wooden spoon if they defeat Peel Thunder next Sunday.

Robinson was a standout all-around performer for the Royals with the bottom ager amassing 23 disposals, seven marks, three tackles and two goals while Damon Greaves continued his highly impressive season with the AFL draft combine invitee amassing 31 disposals and ten tackles. Bailey Chalmers was a tireless worker for the Falcòns with 29 disposals and four tackles while Tyron Hindmarsh was a very serviceable contributor once again with 21 disposals and seven tackles.

Western Australia weekly wrap: Bulldogs one step closer to finals footy

THE five-team race to claim the final spot in the top five was reduced to three after Round 19 in the WAFL Colts, but which two teams crashed out of contention and who kept their hopes alive?

Read ahead to find out the details.

Round 19 WAFL Colts Wrap:

South Fremantle 8.7(55) defeated Swan Districts 3.11(29)

South Fremantle took one big step in securing the final position in the top five with a perfectly executed 26-point win against Swan Districts at Steel Blue Oval.

Chilly but clear conditions greeted the teams in this pivotal encounter for both sides. After a promising early couple of minutes by the home team, South Fremantle then dominated field position for the next period of time leading to the first goal of the game by Luke Moore. The forward entries by both teams were on the scrappy side and therefore were not giving their key forwards the best chance to convert, but it was a real contested game of footy with every player made to earn their possessions.

Great forward line pressure by Aiden Cartwright led to a holding the ball decision and the first goal of the game for Swans. While it was a quarter lacking in highlights in the true sense of the word, the closeness of the contest was indisputable with scores locked at 1.1 at quarter time. A pin-point kick by Toby McQuilkin set up Nash Miller for his first to put the visitors back in front. South Fremantle dominated the first five minutes of the term with six inside 50s and Swans not being able to take the ball forward from the centre square.

The scrappy nature of the contest continued in the second term and Swans were clearly striving to get their running game into action but the fantastic pressure of South Fremantle was preventing that from happening. That pressure proved pivotal once again as Callum Narkle was the beneficiary of some great work from his teammates to kick the major from close range. Whenever Swan Districts did bring the ball into their forward line they were forced wide which made scoring goals harder to execute.

The half-time margin of 10 points may have looked slender on paper, but the game was certainly played on South Fremantle’s terms and Swans had plenty of work to do to create some clear goal scoring opportunities. The willingness of the contest continued in the third term, and it was the visitors who took their opportunities when Jack Redman swooped on the loose ball and snapped truly to give the Bulldogs their biggest lead of the game. A rare forward thrust by Swans saw Jack Allen take a mark but when his side needed a goal, he hit the post and South Fremantle raced down the other end where Lachlan Feeney kicked truly and that was the story of the contest in a nutshell.

The game was now at real danger of getting away from Swans as they just could not get any momentum going, while South were growing in confidence by the minute. With a quarter to play, South Fremantle had a 22-point lead which in all honesty felt a whole lot more. The sealer was kicked at the six mark of the final term by Ira Jetta and that was soon followed by a second of the day to Feeney. While their percentage was already strong compared to their rivals chasing the final spot in the top four, this was a added bonus.

The defensive group of South Fremantle led by James RussellJoshua Grant and Jacob Sax were unsung heroes who marshalled the defensive 50 superbly. The icing on a delicious cake was delivered by Braiden Quartermaine who sold the dummy to his opponent and set sail from 40 metres straight through the middle. A belated goal for Swans then arrived through a direct kick into the 50, which set up Atem Deng on the spot to convert from close range which incredibly was their first goal for three quarters. Some further smart and direct play by Swans led to a goal by Denver Grainger-Barras but it was far too little too late for Swan Districts who fell to their eighth defeat of the season.

The pressure of South Fremantle was superb all around the ground highlighted by their advantage in tackles (78-69) and their physical presence led to plenty of turnovers which allowed the Bulldogs to generate a lot more inside 50 entries (53-32). South Fremantle can seal their spot in the finals as soon as next week with a victory against one of their pursuers in Perth and in addition to that, if Peel can defeat Claremont, the Bulldogs will be bound for September action.

Enrique Aitken-Featherstone was a key element of that as one of the leaders of the Bulldogs on-ball brigade had eight tackles to go along 26 disposals while Mcquilkin was important with his powerful running gathering 18 disposals, and Joshua Grant was a rock solid defensive figure with 11 disposals, five tackles and three marks. While his delivery left a bit to be desired in the first half, Deng could held his head high for Swan Districts with his second half display finishing with 23 disposals, three marks and a goal. The versatile 16 year-old Grainger-Barras was solid with 13 disposals, eight marks and a goal.

 

Claremont 8.8 (56) defeated Perth 7.7 (49)

Claremont kept their finals flame flickering with a vital seven-point win. No more than a goal separated both teams throughout the contest and with their season well and truly on the line two late majors saw the Tigers run out seven point winners.

The contributions of 15 year-old Joel Western (20 disposals and two goals) and Jack Monaghan (16 disposals and two goals) were pivotal to the end result. Claremont need to remain in a must win mindset for the final fortnight of the home and away season in their quest to play finals in 2018. Because of their poor percentage (78.8) they need to win both their games (against Peel and Swans) and hope the Bulldogs lose both of their games.

Despite the loss, Perth remain In the hunt to claim the fifth spot and face a early elimination final against the Bulldogs at Fremantle Oval next Saturday. Bailey Smith had 22 disposals and six marks and four tackles and Zac Casey was a tireless worker with 11 tackles to go along with 21 disposals for the Demons.

 

East Fremantle 15.5.(95) defeated East Perth 6.5 (41)

Defending premiers East Fremantle moved one step closer to sealing a double chance with a emphatic 54 point win against East Perth at Leederville Oval. It was a superb performance by the Sharks who won all four quarters and remain a very slim chance of snaring a top two berth with two rounds remaining. The Sharks will have to win both their games against Subiaco and South Fremantle and because of Peel’s big percentage advantage (140-111 per cent) will require the Thunder to drop both their games against Claremont and East Perth which seems highly unlikely on the face of things but funnier things have been known to occur in footy.

Dylan Curley was a great focal point for the Sharks with 19 disposals, nine marks and four goals and was well supported by top ager Cody Smith with three goals along with 20 disposals six tackles and five marks and Tom Wright who racked up a outstanding 18 tackles. With the heavy loss, East Perth have been eliminated from the finals race which will come as a real blow as they were the 2016 Grand Finalists and made the Preliminary Final last year. Thomas Baulch has been a standout performer of the very poor campaign for the Royals and it was illustrated once again on Saturday with 34 disposals and 10 marks.

 

Subiaco 12.12 (84) defeated West Perth 3.5(23)

Subiaco has one and a half hands on the minor premiership after stretching their winning streak their to nine games with a 61-point win over West Perth and also ended the Falcons’ finals hopes. The first half was a relatively even affair with Subiaco leading by 16 points, the second half was a different story as the Lions put West Perth to the sword outscoring their opponents 7.6 to three behinds. While the Lions kicked just the 12 goals, they had four multiple goalkickers with bottom-ager Trey Kennedy and the ever-reliable Jack Mayo kicking three goals while Benjamin Golding had 22 disposals and kicked two goals. The Lions had further strong contributions from Liam Hickmott who was a real ball magnet with 36 disposals and nine tackles and he was well supported by Tristan Hobley with 30 disposals.

Subiaco has a two-game lead plus a 13 per cent advantage over Peel with each team having a couple games left. While the old phrase ‘mathematically possible’ currently comes into play, one more win will completely seal the minor premiership for Subiaco. For West Perth, Daniel Rowe was full of endeavour with 23 disposals and nine tackles.