Category: Western Australia

Pescud thrives on contested game

AFTER experiencing the AFL Women’s Under-18 Championships as a bottom-ager last year, West Australian Taylor Pescud has used the experience of returning in her top-age year to enjoy the moments along the way.

“I definitely enjoyed it (this year) a lot more and I felt a lot more confident how to play and how to plan who I’m versing so I definitely think it’s benefited me and I’m having a lot more fun this time around as well because I’m less stressed and the team’s vibing a lot better and I’m really loving it,” Pescud said.

While it had been just 12 months between her first and most recent championships, Pescud said she had worked on areas of her game, determined to make it as far in the Australian rules football pathway as she could.

“Probably my skills (I’ve improved on),” she said. “I came to footy quite late and that’s kind of the part of my game that really needed improving. So I’ve worked really hard on my skills and I’ve always had the competitiveness, so just my basic kicking and I think that’s really starting to show.”

Pescud has played state league football in between, an experience she said bodes well with the Under-18 Championships because of the different styles and bodies being thrown around at the two levels.

“I think I slide in pretty well,” Pescud said. “I think the state league prepares you well for the 18s and vice-versa and I think coming here it’s a lot quicker but there’s a lot bigger bodies, so there’s different ways to prepare but I definitely think they both compliment each other really well.”

Not a noted goalkicker – self-admittedly it was “not her thing” – Pescud instead focuses on areas she can impact a contest, which is on the inside with her defensive work, outmuscling and outsmarting her opponents.

“My contested work in the way that I read the footy coming in,” Pescud said. “I’ve watched so much of the game that when it’s coming in and I’m just one-on-one with my player that’s where I do my best work as opposed to kicking a goal. “That’s not really my thing, but definitely the contested work I really enjoy and I really thrive off that.”

Pescud has also never had to look too far for an inspiration given her coach at Swan Districts.

“Definitely my club coach and the Fremantle captain Kara Donnellan,” Pescud said. “She’s really supportive of the young girls. “She pushed me to go up to League a year early and I think that really did wonders for my game and I think that’s shown in the carnival and last year. “It really helped me improve quicker and learn a lot more about the game so definitely and the way she plays she’s hard at the football and so consistent so I really strive to be like her.”

Now after a successful couple of seasons and a big rise from the amateurs league to the big time, Pescud is just one step away from making the elite level. But she is not getting too far ahead of herself, knowing she has time on her side.

“Obviously I’d love to get drafted and it’s a big year this year but I just want to play my best footy at the carnival and my footy speaks for itself and I can get there in the end,” Pescud said.

Scouting notes: WAFL Colts – 2019 Grand Final

THE Claremont Football Club secured its fourth WAFL Colts premiership this decade, and sixteenth overall, defeating Peel Thunder by just five points at Optus Stadium on Sunday.

Lenny Fogliani wrote his opinion-based notes on some of the best players in the game.

PEEL THUNDER

#1 Tyrone Thorne

The younger brother of Peel’s senior player Calvin, Tyrone was exceptional for the Thunder and would have come close to winning the Mel Whinnen Medal had the Thunder won. He finished with a team-high 22 possessions, a game-high eight tackles, recorded three inside 50s, took two marks and kicked a goal in a dazzling display. He never shirked a contest, always fought hard in the stoppages and used his class to set up plenty of attacking opportunities for the Thunder.

#2 Jackson Knight

The Mandurah Football Club product showed why he deserved to finish second in the WAFL Colts Coaches Award with another brilliant performance. He accumulated 19 possessions, took six marks, and recorded three inside 50s as he tried to spark his team to a famous victory,

#8 Zachary Rankin

The Eaton Boomers Junior was excellent off the wing for the Thunder, providing an excellent link between defence and offence. He finished with 16 possessions, six marks, six tackles and five inside 50s in a terrific performance. A highlight of his game came in the third quarter, when he was able to spear a pass onto Isiah Winder who went back and kicked the Thunder’s first goal of the game.

#11 Jarvis Pina

The Peel captain tried his best to set up attacking opportunities from the defensive half for his team, often using his speed and his precise skills to set up team-mates who were further up the field. He finished with 11 possessions, five marks, five tackles, two inside 50s and a goal. The highlight of Pina’s game came in the first quarter, when after he received a 50-metre penalty, he played on due to no-one being on the mark, and drilled through a goal.

#18 Ben Middleton

The 2019 WAFL Colts Leading Goalkicker showed why he is one of the more impressive key forwards in this year’s draft pool. He was strong and powerful in the contest, his leading patterns were excellent and he was accurate in front of goal. He finished with 11 possessions, five marks, four inside 50s and five goals to arguably be his team’s most influential player. In the third quarter alone, Middleton booted three goals from five possessions and three marks. His best goal came in the second quarter when he snapped the ball through the goals from the boundary line, after taking a strong contested mark.

#19 Isiah Winder

The bottom-aged prospect showed why he finished in the top 10 of the Jack Clarke Medal with a sizzling performance. He finished with 10 possessions, four marks, two inside 50s and a goal. The highlight of his game came in the second quarter when he stepped his way around an opponent before he snapped through his second goal.

#21 Jaxon Egan

The Harvey Bulls Junior was excellent for the Thunder, playing as a half-forward flanker. Egan produced a host of scoring opportunities for the Thunder, including one where he produced a bullet-pass onto the chest of Ben Middleton in the third quarter. Egan finished with 12 possessions, six marks, four tackles and a long-range goal.

#27 Jack Sears

Playing off a wing, Sears was excellent as the link-up player between defence and offence. He finished with 15 possessions, six marks, and six inside 50s, often running hard to the right spots to be a bail out kick for his defenders. His class with ball in hand was also crucial in setting up his teammates with scoring opportunities.

CLAREMONT

#3 Leno Thomas

The hero for Claremont, Thomas was the player who produced the goal-saving smother on Jon Ietto which ultimately sealed victory for the Tigers. He accumulated 14 possessions and took four marks, playing as an intercepting and rebounding defender. His precise skills coming out of the defensive half were a real feature of his game, as he was able to set up several attacking opportunities for the Tigers.

#5 Ronin O’Connor

The Claremont captain was a bull in the midfield for the Tigers, often throwing his weight around to win the contested possessions and clearances for his team. He finished with 17 possessions and three inside 50s in a brilliant captain’s performance. His attack on the ball and the man were a real feature of his game.

#12 Joel Western

The bottom-aged Fremantle Next Generation Academy member showed why he is one of the leading prospects from Western Australia for next year’s AFL Draft. He accumulated 23 possessions, and laid six tackles, often using his speed and skill to break Peel’s defensive zones.

#14 Jack Cooley

A deserving winner of the Mel Whinnen Medal, Cooley was simply phenomenal for the Tigers, often powering his way through the contest to get the ball out to his outside midfielders. He finished with 33 possessions (18 of which were contested), won 14 clearances, laid seven tackles, recorded seven inside 50s, and took five marks in a very impressive performance.

#16 Anthony Davis

The Borden product was another hero for the Tigers, being the player who kicked the goal that put the Tigers in front with just minutes remaining. In that passage of play his ability to read the play and intercept Peel’s attempted rebounding 50 was excellent and his finish in front of goal was class. He finished with 15 possessions, four inside 50s and three marks.

#22 Jye Clark

The younger brother of Geelong’s rising star Jordan, Jye was extremely brave through injury. He finished with 15 possessions, four tackles, four inside 50s and a goal. The highlight of his game came in the final term when he gathered the ball out of a pack and bounced it through for a goal, which at the time brought Claremont to within one point.

#25 Callum Jamieson

In a sensational performance, the North Beach Junior showed why he was a deserving recipient of a National Combine invitation. He finished with 12 possessions, 34 hitouts, and four marks to be the best ruckman on the ground. What was really impressive about Jamieson’s performance was when it looked like he went down with a shoulder injury in the last term, he continued to play at a high standard despite being in some discomfort.

#38 Isaiah Butters

The Fremantle Next-Generation Academy member showed why the Dockers rate him so highly with a sublime performance in the Grand Final. He finished with just seven possessions but booted four goals to be the most dangerous forward on the ground for the Tigers. The highlights of his game came in the first quarter – the first one was when he took a sensational pack mark in the twelfth minute of the first term, and the second one was when he cleanly gathered a “chaos” ball after it ripped through several other players before snapping through his second goal.

WAFL Colts weekly wrap: Claremont clinch the 2019 premiership

THIS YEAR was one that WA’s most talented youngsters tasted the ultimate success by winning the 2019 Under-18 National Championships. A number of the players in that squad took to Optus Stadium on Sunday for the biggest day on the WAFL calendar. With talent scouts aplenty watching on, there was a real opportunity for one or more of these youngsters to take one major step towards their AFL dream.

After losing their first game to the Tigers this season, Peel responded to claim their other two encounters with the latest being the second semi-final two weeks ago by 34 points in a grinding affair. It would be interesting to see whether the minor premiers would be lacking a bit of sharpness having played just one game in the last three weeks. In contrast, Claremont were match hardened having had three very solid hit-outs during September. The Tigers were aiming for their 16th Colts Premiership and fourth this decade, while Peel was looking to break a 14-year drought and win the third in their history.

Read below for a re-cap of what was a grand final for the ages.

Claremont 13.4 (82) defeated Peel Thunder 11.11 (77)

He carries the same name as an NBA superstar and just like his namesake, Claremont’s Anthony Davis showed he was not afraid of the big moment by kicking the goal which won his side the 2019 Colts Premiership on a picture perfect day at Optus Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Tigers made a enterprising start with a goal to Jack Buller after just a minute of action. Peel then spent the next few minutes looking to find a response but the Tigers were intent on determined defending. The well deserved breakthrough for the favourites eventually came through Isiah Winder from a set shot. The Tigers were in the mood for a right scrap however, and Isaiah Butters took a strong mark and subsequently goaled from 35 metres. The lively forward then made it two in a couple of minutes when he converted an opportunistic snap. The Tigers were officially off to a flyer with Ben Schuhkraft kicking the Tigers’ fourth of the quarter. The swarming pressure of Claremont was a real feature all over the ground, as well as their ability to win the ball from stoppages and perhaps post-bye sluggishness was a factor too. But you never write off a class outfit and Peel did not finish a few games clear of their opposition without being exactly that. Firstly, Jarvis Pina converted form some quick thinking following a 50-metre penalty and then Ben Middleton made the most of a mistake by the Tigers on their last line of defence to cut the margin to two points at quarter time.

Peel claimed their first lead of the game early in the second term which resulted through some hesitant Tiger defence and Winder was able to snap truly from close range. The tide had now turned and it was Peel in the ascendancy. Some quick thinking was again able to catch their opponents off guard with Jaxon Egan converting. You felt Claremont needed the next one to stay within touching distance and stop the surging momentum of the minor premiers. Kade Lines delivered one on the chest to Max Spyvee and he kicked Claremont’s first for the second term. Middleton then responded by kicking his second from a acute angle, but the best forward on the ground in the first half was Butters and he kicked his third for the half through some opportunistic play.

The half-time margin was just four points in favour of Peel and it certainly reflected the state of the game with both teams having their periods of dominance but neither having that momentum to kick right away. Jack Cooley was the lead man when it came to disposals at the long break with 18 along with five inside 50s. Joel Western showed some great dash with 11 disposals while Callum Jamieson was giving his midfielders great service with 19 hit-outs. For Peel it was Tyrone Thorne with 14 disposals and Jackson Knight with 11 and three marks. Key mover Jarvis Pina was quiet with just six disposals for the first half but you would expect him to step up to the mark.

The adage that the third term is the premiership quarter was never more apt in this tight affair and Butters produced the best possible start taking a fine mark running back with the flight to kick his fourth to see the Tigers regain the lead. Buller was then left unattended 30 metres out and duly converted to give the Tigers a mini buffer. It was nip and tuck with mistakes occurring more readily due to some outstanding pressure by both teams. Peel nabbed back the lead in this fantastic ebb and flow contest when Ben Middleton kicked his third. The key forward was shaping as a match winner when he made the most of a pin-point kick from Egan and duly kicked his fourth major for the game. You could really notice the confidence in Peel’s play and there was no greater example than Middleton. He kicked his fifth for the game from right on fifty metres and Peel had their biggest lead of the contest, that being 14 points. The big question was if the Tigers had enough left in the tank to make one last push, or whether the favourites taken the Tigers best shot. What was certain was that the final 25 minutes of the season would be a fascinating one.

The Tigers started on the front foot showing everyone that they had something left in the tank by kicking two quick goals through Schuhkraft and Charlie Malone to cut the margin to two points. Connor Heuer responded for Peel to push the lead beyond a goal but once again the Tigers responded and it was Jye Clark with a quick snap.

It was certainly looking like the Tigers now had the momentum behind them and Malone was stepping up to the mark like good key forwards do. He produced a close range snap which was, the Tigers fourth in the term and gave them back the lead. There was enough time for Peel to hit back and Thorne hit back courtesy of a high free kick. Amazingly, there was another twist and with nerves of steel belying his age, Anthony Davis kicked his first of the game with two and a half minutes left on the clock and suddenly it was the Tigers game to lose. While it was the third lead change in ten minutes, there was still time for some late drama. Peel conjured up a centre break and stormed the ball inside 50. As the clocked ticked inside the 25th minute, you had an inkling there would be a hero in an attacking or defensive sense.

And it came courtesy of the latter with an outstanding piece of play by Tigers defender Leno Thomas in smothering a goalbound kick by Jonathan Ietto in the forward pocket which then ricocheted for a throw-in. It was one of those moments that will go down in club folklore for certain. A few seconds later, the siren went and it was jubilation for the Tigers and absolute devastation for the minor Premiers whose wait for another Colts premiership goes on. It might be scant consolation for the Thunder but once again, the Colts grand final was the best game on the showcase day for WA footy.

In a sign that you don’t need big numbers to have a quality game of footy, the overall disposal numbers were reasonably low (263-240 in Claremont’s favour). Inside 50s were understandably close (43-40 Tigers) but Peel had more scoring shots (22-17). It was also a testament to the closeness of the contest that the margin did not exceed 15 points throughout the four quarters.

Tigers midfielder Jack Cooley was the deserving winner of the Mel Whinnen medal for best player afield with 33 disposals, seven tackles, seven inside 50s and five tackles. Western was not as flashy as normal but displayed another side to his game by distributing by hand with 17 handballs and 23 disposals in total along with six tackles. Butters may have only had seven disposals, but his impact was incredibly telling to the end result with four goals and Malone was magnificent in the last quarter with two goals and had 11 disposals and three marks for the game. For the Thunder, Tyrone Thorne was involved in everything good that Peel produced for the game where he had 22 disposals, eight tackles three inside 50s and two marks. Middleton was absolutely magnificent as a leading target with five goals, five marks and four inside 50s to go with eleven disposals while Zachary Rankin was tenacious with 16 disposals, six marks, six tackles and five inside 50s.

The hard work is not done for a lot of these youngsters with the various draft combines taking place. For those who are selected, the sky will be the limit. And while there will be disappointment for those who miss out, there are plenty of examples of players who go through adversity and come out a lot stronger for the experience.

Claremont clinches thriller of all thrillers

CLAREMONT secured its fourth WAFL Colts Premiership this decade with a stunning five-point victory over Peel Thunder at Optus Stadium.

Claremont’s Jack Cooley collected the Mel Whinnen Medal as best afield after he accumulated 33 possessions (18 contested), won 14 clearances, laid seven tackles, recorded seven inside 50s and took five marks in a powerful performance.

The Tigers got off to a brilliant start in the game when Jake Wilson found Jack Buller inside 50 within the first minute of the opening term. Buller went back and converted his first goal. Moments later, Peel got one back when Zachary Rankin speared a pass onto Isiah Winder who drilled through the Thunder’s first goal. Isaiah Butters kicked two great goals for the Tigers soon after; the first one came after he took a strong contested mark inside 50, and moments later he cleanly collected a bouncing ball before snapping through his second. Logan Young then added another one for the Tigers to extend the margin to 14 points. After receiving a 50m penalty, Peel captain Jarvis Pina played on, due to no-one being on the mark, and nailed a goal from 40m out. Ben Middleton snapped through his first goal soon after to reduce the margin to just two points at quarter-time.

The Thunder got off to an excellent start in the second quarter when Winder stepped around his opponent before he snapped through his second goal of the game. Soon after, Jaxon Egan nailed his first goal of the game, but Claremont’s Max Spyvee converted his set shot to score the instant reply. Middleton took a strong contested mark inside 50 on the boundary line, then wheeling around and snapping through his second goal. Just before the half-time siren, Butters roved a pack expertly and snapped through his third goal of the game, and kept Claremont within four points of Peel.

After the main break, the Tigers got off to an excellent start. Jye Clark kicked the ball inside 50 and Butters took a great mark going back with the flight of the ball. Butters then kicked his fourth goal. After receiving a free kick, Kade Lines speared a pass onto Buller, who went back and kicked his second goal. But from here, the Thunder and especially Middleton started to shift momentum. Winder speared a pass to Middleton who took a great diving mark, before he converted his third goal. Moments later, Middleton led strongly and was rewarded with a great pass from Egan. Middleton went back and nailed his fourth goal. Just before three-quarter time, Middleton used his body well in a marking contest to take a strong contested mark, before going back to kick his fifth goal. At three-quarter time, the Thunder had jumped to a 14-point lead.

In the third minute of the final quarter, Ben Schuhkraft took a strong contested mark on the goal-line and then kicked his first goal of the game. Charlie Malone roved a pack expertly, before putting through his first goal and suddenly the margin was just two points. Peel’s Connor Heuer kicked his first goal of the game to push the margin out to seven points. Clark then snapped the ball out of a pack to bring the margin back to just one point. Malone then snapped through his second goal after he roved a ruck contest brilliantly to put the Tigers back in front. Tyrone Thorne was awarded a free kick for being taken high in the 21st minute. The Rockingham Junior went back and slotted the goal to put the Thunder back in front. Two minutes later, Anthony Davis intercepted an attempted rebound out of defence by Peel and then slotted a goal that put the Tigers back in front. In the dying seconds, Jon Ietto had the ball on the boundary line and went to snap it through, but Leno Thomas became the hero for Claremont, smothering the ball out of bounds to secure victory for the Tigers.

FINAL SCORE:

PEEL THUNDER 3.5 | 6.7 | 9.11 | 11.11 (77)
CLAREMONT 4.1 | 6.3 | 8.3 | 13.4 (82)

BEST:

PEEL THUNDER: Tyrone Thorne, Ben Middleton, Jackson Knight, Zachary Rankin, Jack Sears, Nick Pemberton.
CLAREMONT: Jack Cooley, Joel Western, Isaiah Butters, Callum Jamieson, Ronin O’Connor, Leno Thomas, Anthony Davis.

MEL WHINNEN MEDAL: Jack Cooley (Claremont)

Keep an eye out tonight for an extended wrap of the game, and scouting notes through the week.

Scouting notes: WAFL Colts – Preliminary Final

The Claremont Football Club will take on Peel Thunder in the 2019 Simply Energy WAFL Colts Grand Final after they defeated West Perth by 21 points in the Preliminary Final at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.

Below were the best players in the game.

CLAREMONT:

#3 Leno Thomas

The Fremantle Next-Generation Academy was at his sublime best in the back line for the Tigers. He read the play exceptionally well and intercepted many of the attacking entries by West Perth. When rebounding out of the defensive area, Thomas was aggressive with ball in hand, often penetrating the opposition’s defensive mechanisms with his speed and skill.

#5 Ronin O’Connor

The Marist Junior was his brutal self in the midfield, often throwing his big frame around to win the contested possession for his team. He finished with 17 possessions, six tackles and three marks in a powerful performance.

#6 Cameron Anderson

The Wesley College student was dynamic off the half-back line for the Tigers, providing a heap of attacking drive from the defensive half. He accumulated 11 possessions, laid three tackles, recorded three inside 50s, took two marks and kicked a goal in a dazzling performance.

#8 Jack Buller

The Christ Church Grammar student was solid for the Tigers, playing in a variety of roles. At centre half-back, Buller was powerful in one-on-one contests, was strong in the aerial contest and rebounded the ball with class. When pinch-hitting in the ruck, he was aggressive around the stoppages and he even drifted forward to kick a goal.

#14 Jack Cooley

The 2016 WA U15s State Schoolboy representative was at his powerful best in the stoppages for the Tigers. He collected a team-high 21 possessions, recorded five inside 50s, took four marks and laid three tackles to be one of the better midfielders on the ground.

#16 Anthony Davis

The former Level 1 AFL Academy member was excellent off the half-back line for Claremont, intercepting many of West Perth’s attacking forays. He finished with 17 possessions, six marks, three inside 50s and two goals to arguably be Claremont’s best player.

#22 Jye Clark

The Albany product showed why he is considered to be one of the best midfielders in this year’s WAFL Colts competition. Despite playing with an injured wrist, Clark accumulated 17 possessions, recorded five inside 50s, took two marks and laid two tackles, in a resolute performance.

#25 Callum Jamieson

The North Beach Junior played a solid game for the Tigers. Against the Falcons, Jamieson collected 11 possessions, won 18 hit-outs, laid four tackles and recorded three inside 50s to show why he was a deserving recipient of a National Combine invite.

WEST PERTH:

#3 Ben Johnson

The Whitford Junior produced that a performance that highlighted why he deserves to be attending the National Combine. Against the Tigers, Johnson accumulated 21 possessions, took four marks and laid four tackles to be amongst his team’s best. He set up many attacking opportunities for the Falcons, due to his penetrating kicks.

#6 Callum Johnson

The 17-year-old continued to enhance his reputation as a big-game player with yet another outstanding finals performance. Against the Tigers, Johnson collected 27 possessions, laid nine tackles, took five marks, recorded five inside 50s and kicked a goal. In this year’s final series, Johnson averaged 28 possessions, nine tackles, three marks and three inside 50s.

#18 Tyron Hindmarsh

The Ocean Ridge Junior continued his excellent season with another dominant outing. Against the Tigers, Hindmarsh gathered a game-high 31 possessions, laid three tackles, recorded three inside 50s, and took two marks to be amongst the best players. His clearance work as well as his contested possession winning ability were real features of his game.

#19 Kellen Johnson

The 2018 WA U16s State Academy member showed why he is considered to be one of the better medium-defenders for next year’s crop with another superb performance. He gathered 12 possessions, took three marks and laid three tackles to be one of his team’s best.

#20 Koopah Todd

The 2018 WAFL Colts Encouragement Award winner showed why he is considered to be one of the premier wingmen in this year’s WAFL Colts competition and deserving of the 2019 Jack Clarke Medal as the best and fairest player in the competition. Against the Tigers, Todd finished with 25 possessions, eight marks, seven inside 50s, three tackles and a goal to arguably be his team’s best player. His aerobic capacity combined with his kicking make him a damaging player.

#23 Zak Patterson

The 2019 WA U18s State Academy member showed why he is considered to be amongst the premier ruckmen in this year’s WAFL Colts competition. Against Claremont, Patterson collected just nine possessions, but won 36 hit-outs, laid six tackles and recorded three inside 50s to arguably be the best ruckman on the ground. He could be shaping up to be a smoky for the draft.

#25 Heath Chapman

After being announced as one of the eight WA players to play in the AFL U17s All Stars game, Chapman showed why he is such a highly rated prospect for next year. He collected 13 possessions, took two marks and laid two tackles, often mopping up in defence. When under significant duress, Chapman was always composed and made sound decisions with ball in hand.

Falcons lead the way in WAFL Colts Team of the Year

WEST Perth’s strong 2019 season which saw them reach a preliminary final in the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts competition this year resulted in the Falcons having a competition-high five players in the Team of the Year. The Falcons had one more than East Fremantle and minor premiers, Peel Thunder, while East Perth had just three. Claremont, the side that bundled West Perth out of the finals series had just two players, the same amount as Subiaco, while Perth, Swan Districts and South Fremantle had the one player each.

West Perth’s Jack Clarke Medalist – best and fairest for the competition – Koopah Todd led the five-player contingent in the side, joined by Heath Chapman, Ben Johnson and Jaxson Prior in defence, and Tyron Hindmarsh making the interchange. Peel Thunder’s James Ewing holds down full-back, joined in the team by teammates, leading goalkicker Ben Middleton, as well as Jack Sears and Jackson Knight.

East Fremantle’s quartet of players is lead by potential first round draft picks, Luke Jackson and Trent Rivers, while fellow draft prospects, Chad Warner and Jai Jackson were also rewarded after strong seasons. Claremont’s Grand Final side features duo Jye Clark and Callum Jamieson, while East Perth trio of Jamie Marinoni, Sebit Kukek and Adam Boules all made the Team of the Year.

To round out the team is Subiaco duo, Abraham Clinch and Ben Golding, Perth’s Simon Hayward, Swan District’s Kade Wallrodt, and South Fremantle’s Manfred Kelly.

West Australian weekly wrap: Tigers book grand final date with Peel after hard-earned victory

FAMILIAR foes met on Sunday in the 2019 West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts Preliminary final, as Claremont and West Perth looked to book a place in the decider against Peel next Sunday. Their encounter two weeks ago was a thrilling affair with the Tigers holding on for a five-point victory against a charging opponent. The Falcons got back to winning ways when they defeated East Perth in the first semi, while the Tigers went down to minor premiers. With a season of hard work on the line, it would be a test of both sides’ mettle to see who could handle the pressure the best.

WAFL Colts: Preliminary Final

The top two teams of the home the home and away season will decide the 2019 WAFL Colts Grand Final after Claremont overcame a stubborn West Perth outfit to prevail by 21 points at Fremantle Oval on Sunday morning.

The teams could not ask for better conditions with temperatures around 18 degrees and beautiful sunshine at bounce down. West Perth had the better of the first term with five scoring shots to two and taking a eight point lead into the first break. Just like he did in the the semi final, midfielder Tyron Hindmarsh started the game with real purpose collecting 11 disposals.

Kade Lines gave Claremont their first lead of the contest early in the second with two quick-fire goals. Anthony Davis then pushed the lead to double figures but Koopah Todd kicked West Perth’s first goal of the quarter to narrow the gap to four points. There was nothing between the two teams and that was emphasised with Lachlan Rewell gave the Falcons back the lead on the stroke of half-time.

The Falcons key running fleet of Callum Johnson, Tyron Hindmarsh and Koopah Todd were all having big games with each having 17 disposals in the first half. One of Claremont’s key movers Jye Clark was very solid with 11 disposals, four inside 50s and two tackles.

The third quarter is often seen as the pivotal period of the game and that certainly rung true in this contest with so little separating the two teams. Jacob Blight kicked truly for his first of the game as the Tigers reclaimed the lead in this engrossing affair. There was no quarter asked for and none given as each team was looking to break the game open. Once again the Tigers looked to open up a mini break through a major to Davis, but yet again they were pegged back when Ewan Brazier kicked truly. The biggest margin of the day had been 11 points with consecutive goals being hard to come by. It was basically anyone’s guess regarding who would prevail in the final 25 minutes.

After a cagey first few minutes of the term where both teams missed opportunities, it was the figure of Tigers key forward Charlie Malone who converted and gave Claremont a 12-point buffer. There had been 13 goals kicked to the 15 minute mark but it was undeniably the major by Cameron Anderson which was the biggest moment of the game. It pushed the lead out to 18 points and with under ten minutes remaining the task seemed a very steep one for the Falcons. Brazier gave West Perth a glimmer when he kicked his second, but the Tigers steadied and returned to the grand final stage for the fourth time in five seasons, a fine achievement in anyone’s language.

Despite the defeat, it has been a major step in the right direction for West Perth who returned to finals footy in 2019 after missing out on September action for the previous three seasons. They will certainly be among the contenders for next season. Meanwhile, while it may be a new group, this bunch of Claremont youngsters have carried on the fine September tradition of this club. They will be looking to go one further than their disappointing 2017 effort where they lost to East Fremantle by 54 points.

Nothing separated the teams in terms of disposals West Perth (283-277) and inside 50s (Claremont 40-39) but Tigers got more value for their entries conjuring up six more scoring shots (21-15) which in a tight game proved a big difference.

It was a measured performance by the Tigers with no true standout but every player playing a role which is key at this time of the season. Jack Cooley topped the disposals tally with 21, to go along with five inside 50s, four marks and three tackles. Ronin O’ Connor was tough and disciplined inside the defensive 50 with 17 disposals and six tackles. The in-form Callum Jamieson did not have quite the dominant game against these same opponents two weeks ago but was still impactful with 18 hit-outs along with 11 disposals, and four tackles.

For the Falcons, Tyron Hindmarsh put in a tireless effort with 31 disposals, three tackles and three inside 50s. He was well supported by Koopah Todd with 25 disposals, eight marks, seven inside 50s and a goal while Callum Johnson had 27 disposals, nine tackles, five tackles, five marks along with a goal.

WAFL Colts weekly wrap: Peel books Grand Final ticket

THE final four teams took to the respective playing surfaces in picture perfect conditions on Sunday morning with a number of intriguing questions to be answered. The week off can be of real benefit at this time of the year. Conversely, it can also be a curse and therefore it would be fascinating to see how Peel would return to action against a buoyant Claremont outfit. Meanwhile, old rivals West and East Perth met knowing full well that there was no second chance for the loser.

WAFL Colts wrap: Finals Week 2

West Perth 11.8 (74) defeated East Perth 6.5 (41)

West Perth won their way through to a Preliminary final re-match with Claremont after a classy 33-point victory against rivals East Perth at a sun-drenched Leederville Oval on Sunday morning.

It was a keenly contested first ten minutes of play with the ball moving freely to either end but both defences holding strong. A quick passage of play doing the middle with Koopah Todd prominent led to the first goal for West Perth kicked by Ewan Brazier. Of the two teams, the Falcons looked to have adjusted to the occasion the better and Brazier soon had his second on the board. Lachlan Rewell then took a strong mark for the Falcons and duly converted to put the Falcons out to a 19-point advantage with the tackling pressure a real feature of the Joondalup-based side’s performance to that point. The Royals needed to respond quickly and did so through a terrific set shot goal by 16 year-old Kade Dittmar from 50 metres. The Falcons continued to take the ball inside 50, but were not able to further to their score, taking a 13-point lead into the first break. Powerfully built midfielder Tyron Hindmarsh was shaping as a key figure in this contest, having nine disposals in the first term.

The Royals started the second quarter well kicking their second goal in a row through Sebit Kuek. Undeterred, the Falcons steadied through the lively Brazier who took a strong mark and kicked his third for the game however he appeared to sustain a leg injury in the aftermath and left the ground for assessment. Todd was then able to take advantage of strong forward play from his teammates and finished from close range. The Falcons certainly had their opponents rattled, leading to some undisciplined play and a fifty metre penalty after a lively scuffle involving a number of players. Lachlan Scurria who had already taken a mark was the beneficiary of the aftermath and kicked the Falcons’ third of the term. East Perth was trying to find a way back into the contest, but that four goal buffer was proving tough to breach.

It was a professional first half performance by West Perth who completely dominated the use of the ball (169-85 in disposals) and (42-15 in marks). The shining light for the Royals was that even though they had minimal disposals, they were still taking the ball forward only trailing the Falcons by one in the inside 50 stakes (21-20). Key defender Heath Chapman was the leading player on the ground when it came to disposals amassing 16 along with six marks for the Falcons. Callum Johnson was tenacious with 15 and three tackles and Ewan Brazier was the best forward on the ground with three goals. Adam Boules was the only player to tally double figures for the Royals with 10.

The early stages of the third term would prove pivotal to the outcome of the contest but it was evident that the pressuring ability of the Falcons was a class apart from their opponents. This was exemplified by Todd’s tackle deep in the forward line which won him a free kick and he duly nailed his second major for the game. The ball movement of the Falcons was a sight to behold and they had East Perth at sixes and sevens. Goals to bottom-ager Jordan Berryand a third to Todd had all but moved them into a Preliminary final. The Royals were on the precipice and needed goals in a hurry. They got one from bottom ager Jaylen Colegate but after three goals in as many quarters, needed a minor miracle to keep their season alive.

If the Royals were wanting to conjure up something special in the final term, they needed a quick start and they got just that courtesy of a soccered goal to Harley Sparks. The Royals were looking as vibrant as they had been all day. Sparks was leading the charge and the midfielder kicked his second of the term narrowing the gap to 26 points with 14 minutes left. But it would take just one goal to end all hopes of a fairytale and Hindmarsh put the result beyond any doubt with a fine snap under pressure with Cooper Blackburn putting the icing on the cake soon after. Spider Lockitt kicked a late consolation, but the Falcons well and truly deserved their 33 point triumph. While some players will move up the playing divisions, there is enough talent coming through to keep them in the contending bracket.

West Perth had 130 more disposals than their opponents (340-210) and 51 more marks (93-42). Although they had less inside 50s, (41-39), they managed eight more scoring shots for the game which highlighted their efficiency throughout the contest. While the overall margin was convincing, it was the execution by foot which was a delight to observe and was certainly one of the more accomplished performances in the 2019 Colts season. While West Perth were defeated by Claremont last week, if they can re-produce this performance in seven days time against the Tigers, they will be very hard to beat.

Player of the game

There were plenty of contributors for the Falcons but the man who set the tone from the early stages was Koopah Todd. The midfielder has had many more prolific games in terms of disposals this season (17), but his all-round game was superb. The top-ager floated forward at will and was able to hit the scoreboard with three goals, along with five marks, six inside 50s and three tackles with couple of goal assists for good measure. If he can keep up that level of production in the weeks ahead, West Perth stand a good chance of winning the Colts premiership.

Other notables

Todd had plenty of support with midfield companions Callum Johnson (30 disposals and seven tackles) and Tyron Hindmarsh (25 disposals, six tackles, four inside 50s and a goal) playing their role with aplomb. Heath Chapman was superb down back, reading the play terrifically well with 26 disposals, seven marks and six tackles. Kade Dittmar ran hard throughout for the Royals with 15 disposals and six inside 50s while Harley Sparkstried to lift his side late finishing with 22 disposals, four inside 50s and two goals.

Peel Thunder 8.15 (63) defeated Claremont 4.5 (29)

Peel Thunder is the first team into the 2019 WAFL Colts Grand Final after a 34-point win against Claremont at Revo Fitness Stadium on Sunday morning.

A unique first quarter saw Peel kick six straight behinds, but remarkably managed to keep their opponents scoreless and led by that margin at quarter time. The inaccuracy continued in the second term, with a mixture of rushed behinds and missed shots at goal. The Tigers made the most of limited opportunities to stay in the game. Just before half-time, Connor Heuer was able to finally put the ball in between the big two sticks and break the drought. While Peel well and truly had the running of the game in a number of key areas, you wondered whether the old adage ‘bad kicking is bad football’ would come into play.

However the minor premiers were able to break the game open in the third term by kicking four goals to two with key forward Ben Middleton and classy small forward Tyrone Thorne kicking two each. They continued to be in the ascendency in the final term, kicking another three without reply and wrapping up a convincing victory.

Taking everything into account, Claremont did very well to still be in the contest as long as they were. Peel had almost double the amount of inside 50s (57-29) which led to 14 more scoring shots (23-9). They also had 66 more disposals (332-266).

Tyrone Thorne was exceptional with the state U18s representative having 25 disposals, seven tackles, six marks and three goals. Jarvis Pina was equally influential with the midfielder collecting 25 disposals and nine marks, while Bradley Oldfield produced his consummate performance with 21 disposals and nine tackles. For the Tigers who will now face the Falcons for the second time in a fortnight, it was Joel Western with 24 disposals, seven tackles and five inside 50s, while the blooming talents of Callum Jamieson were again on show with 18 disposals, six marks and 26 hit outs.

Scouting notes: WAFL Colts Elimination Final – East Perth vs. Swan Districts

EAST Perth defeated Swan Districts by 24 points in the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Colts Elimination Final at Fremantle Community Bank Oval. The Royals will now face West Perth in the first semi-final next week, while it is season over for the Swans.

Below were the most notable players in the game.

EAST PERTH:

#2 Adam Boules

The Mount Hawthorn junior continued his excellent season for the Royals with another accomplished performance. Against the Swans, Boules collected a game-high 28 possessions, laid eight tackles and recorded an equal game-high five inside 50s to be one of the best players on the ground. A strong finals series could see him rise onto the draft board for next year.

#8 Cooper Sparks

The Deanmill product was his usual busy self in the midfield for the Royals. He accumulated 19 possessions, laid a team-high 12 tackles, recorded two inside 50s and took two marks. His desire to never shirk a contest laid the foundations for the Royals to run over the top of the Swans.

#9 Sebit Kuek

The West Coast Eagles’ Next-Generation Academy member was lively for the Royals, rotating between the forward line and the ruck. He finished with 13 possessions, 16 hit-outs, eight marks, five tackles, three inside 50s and a goal. The highlight of his game came late in the second quarter, when he took a strong pack mark just before the siren went. He then went back and coolly slotted the goal from a tight angle after the siren to give the Royals a 25-point lead at the main break.

#12 Kade Dittmar

The 16-year-old was his brutal self in the midfield for East Perth, often crashing and bashing his way through congestion to win the contested possession for his team. He finished with 17 possessions, 10 tackles, three marks and two inside 50s. He is shaping up to be a leading WA prospect for the 2021 AFL Draft.

#15 Luke Lombardi

Another 16-year-old, Lombardi showed plenty of class and composure off the half-back line for East Perth. He gathered 19 possessions, laid six tackles and grabbed four marks in an impressive display.

#21 Jamie Marinoni

Playing as a small defender, the Kojonup product was excellent for the Royals. He gathered 14 possessions, and took two marks, but more importantly he helped set up his fellow defenders to make sure the Swans were not as potent with their inside 50 entries as they have been all year.

#24 Liam Dellamarta

The Morley junior continues to stake a claim to be a solid outside midfield option in next year’s AFL Draft. Against Swan Districts, Dellamarta was prolific off the wing, accumulating 26 possessions, recording four inside 50s, laying four tackles and taking three marks. He was always willing to take the game on with his skill execution or through his pace.

#37 Joshua Ladhams

The Lower South-West product was arguably the best ruck in the game, often giving his midfielders first use from his ruck work. He finished with 15 possessions, 33 hitouts and five marks in an excellent performance. What was even more impressive about Ladhams’ game was his desire to push back into defence to outnumber the Swan Districts’ forward line.

SWAN DISTRICTS:

#1 Kade Wallrodt

The South Bunbury junior tried his absolute heart out for the Swans, but unfortunately to no avail. Against East Perth he accumulated 23 possessions, recorded five inside 50s, laid four tackles, grabbed two marks and kicked a goal to be one of his team’s best performers.

#7 Ben Taylor

The younger brother of GWS’ rising star Sam Taylor, Ben was solid down in defence for the Swans, often halting the attacking entries by the Royals. Taylor gathered 15 possessions, laid three tackles and took two marks in a trying performance.

#12 Brenton Hilton

The Ellenbrook junior was excellent off the half-back line for the Swans, providing plenty of attacking drive from the defensive half. He finished with 21 possessions, five marks and five tackles in a brilliant performance.

#16 Max Chipper

The 2019 WA U16s State Academy member was excellent off the wing for the Swans. He accumulated 23 possessions, laid four tackles and recorded three inside 50s in an accomplished performance. His skill execution, reading of the play, and aerobic capabilities are all very good for someone his age.

#18 Jake Pasini

The 2019 WA U18s State Academy member showed why he is deserving to be recognised as one of the better key defensive options in this year’s crop. Against the Royals, Pasini finished with 17 possessions, four marks, two tackles and two rebounding 50s. With ball in hand, Pasini was always cool and composed even under heavy duress and without the ball he always attacked each contest with vigour.

#24 Sebastian Bright

The High Wycombe junior was his usual combative self in the midfield for Swan Districts. He accumulated a team-high 25 possessions, laid a game-high 13 tackles, recorded an equal game-high five inside 50s and took three marks to arguably be his team’s best player.

#31 Ethan Nordahl

The South Bunbury junior tried hard for Swan Districts. He finished with 18 possessions, six tackles, four marks and a goal in a combative display. The highlight of his game came in the last quarter, when he was able to shrug off an opponent before banging through a goal from 50 metres out.

#52 Atem Deng

The West Coast Eagles’ Next-Generation Academy member was lively in the forward line for the Swans. In the first quarter, he was able to nudge his opponent under the ball, gathered it, burst away from his opponent and then laced out Ayden Cartwright inside 50. In the last quarter, he took a courageous mark when he went back with the flight of the ball despite on-coming traffic. He finished with 15 possessions and four marks.

#59 Ty Sears

A bottom-age prospect, Sears showed he has potential to be a bolting prospect for next year’s AFL Draft with a classy performance. Playing off the half-back line, Sears gathered 12 possessions and recorded three inside 50s, trying to provide attacking drive from the defensive half.

WAFL Colts weekly wrap: Royals avoid elimination as Claremont books date with Peel

SEPTEMBER is always a special time for every football fan around the country as it means that finals time has arrived. These are the moments that every player lives for and where reputations are carved out. There is an extra level of significance when it comes to the Colts players with recruiting scouts from all AFL clubs watching with keen interest. A strong finals series can see them move one step closer to their senior footballing dream.

WAFL Colts wrap – Finals Week 1

East Perth 8.5 (53) def. Swan Districts 4.5 (29)

East Perth has progressed on to week two of the finals by eliminating 2018 runners-up Swan Districts by 24 points at Fremantle Oval on Saturday morning.

The teams split their meetings in the regular season and there was not a lot between the two sides in either game. Swans trailed for the best part of three quarters before storming home to win by 16 points in Round 2. Three months later in Bunbury saw a late burst by the Royals prove the difference as they won by 16 points. So there was no sense of underlying trepidation for either camp heading into this elimination clash.

The Royals got the quick start in this contest, kicking three goals to one and led by 11 points at quarter time. The first goal in the second term came eleven minutes in through Steele Cahill and was soon followed by another to Sebit Kuek. You never want to drop too far behind in a game, especially in an elimination clash Swans found themselves in a 25-point hole at the long break. While Swans were getting their hands on the ball, one thing they needed to fix was their forward entries only having 14 compared to 24 for East Perth. Bottom age midfielder Adam Boules was the lead player on the ground in terms of disposals at the long break with 18 along with four tackles and three inside 50s. Meanwhile, 16 year-old Kade Dittmar was bringing the energy and tenacity required in games like this with eight tackles. In terms of Swan Districts, the ever reliable Sebastian Bright was leading the way with 12 disposals and nine tackles.

A goal to Brock Fisher early in the third term meant that the margin was back to within three goals, but the Royals hit back hard to goals by Cahill and bottom ager Jy Thompson. Despite taking the ball inside 50 in a more frequent fashion, the end product was certainly lacking and Swans were unable to truly eat into the margin. The equation was simple but extremely challenging at the same time, Swans needed at least six goals in the final 25 minutes while keeping their opposition near enough to goalless to keep their season alive.

East Perth looked to blunt any opportunity for a comeback at the start of the fourth term. When Ethan Nordahl kicked the first goal of the term, there was only 12 minutes left on the clock. However, they were certainly going to leave everything out there and cut the margin further when Kade Wallrodt kicked his first for the game. It was all hands to the pump for the Royals defence as Swans were attacking at will but the leaders were holding firm. Against the run of play, Luke Furlong put the result beyond doubt when he kicked East Perth first for the term and that sealed East Perth’s fate to play the loser of the Claremont and West Perth clash next week.

After the heartbreak of seeing the double chance slip through their fingers in the last minute last week, it was a fine response by the Royals who led for the great majority of this final and were deserved winners. For Swans, it told a story about how the second half of the season went. The effort was there, it was just the lack of goal scoring quality which was absent when it truly mattered. Swan Districts had 46 more disposals (322-277) but East Perth were able to conjure up four more scoring shots (13-9). The game was won in the first half when the Royals opened up a four goal break. Swans had the better of the game in the second half, but East Perth’s resilient defence was able to stand strong.

Adam Boules was tremendous throughout the four quarters for East Perth and finished with 28 disposals, eight tackles and inside 50s. His midfield companion Cooper Sparks also had plenty of tenacity and had 12 tackles to go with 19 disposals. The ruck combination of Joshua Ladhams and Sebit Kuek were terrific for the Royals combining for 49 hit-outs, 28 disposals and 13 marks. Meanwhile for Swan Districts, Sebastian Bright was tireless with 25 disposals, 13 tackles and five inside 50s. Kade Walldrot also tried hard with 23 disposals, five inside 50s and four tackles.

Claremont 7.4 (46) def. West Perth 5.11 (41)

Claremont are just two games away from a grand final appearance after defeating a wasteful West Perth by five points at Joondalup Arena on Sunday morning.

Just like the clash on Saturday, the teams split their meetings in the regular season. West Perth won the first clash by 15 points way back in Round 2. But perhaps a more accurate gauge was when the Tigers claimed a 17-point victory three weeks ago. While both teams would have loved to progress to the second semi final against Peel next week, they could relax through the knowledge that there is a second chance for the loser.

Due to the fact that West Perth’s seniors were playing their elimination final at Joondalup Arena later on in the day, it was a advantage for the Colts side to be playing there despite Claremont finishing higher on the ladder. The game began in heavily overcast conditions with showers forecast. Claremont dominated the first quarter in terms of taking the ball inside 50s (16-5) without hitting the scoreboard.

The Falcons made them pay early in the second term by opening up a nine point lead when Liam Foley goaled. The teams then traded goals and the Falcons were able to hold onto their margin for the rest of the half. The overall statistics told an interesting story. West Perth had more in terms of disposals (165-141) and scoring shots (9-5) but Claremont had taken the ball more inside their attacking arc (25-17).

Callum Johnson was leading the way for the home side with tremendous effort compiling 16 disposals, making nine tackles and kicking a goal. His ruckman Zak Patterson was terrific in giving his midfielders first use with 20 hit-outs. For the Tigers it was Jack Cooley with 15 disposals, five tackles and four inside 50s.

The third quarter was terrific tight finals footy with no quarter asked for and none given in response. Claremont were able to finally get their attacking game into gear in the greasy conditions during this term much like they did last week against Swan Districts. Ben Elliott became the first multiple goalscorer of the contest which put the Tigers in front for the first time since late in the first term. One quarter to go and the Tigers took a slender four point lead into the deciding term. It had been a game of momentum to this point so it was up to the Falcons to see if they could respond.

They were edging their way back through behinds, tying the game at 34 apiece. Jack Buller gave back the Tigers the lead and that was followed by Logan Young. West Perth now needed three scores in little over five minutes to claim an unlikely victory. They got a extremely late goal through Tyron Hindmarsh, however the game was over by the time the umpire bounced the ball in the square. With that, the Tigers moved onto the major semi final against minor premiers Peel next week, while West Perth will play old rivals East Perth in the first semi.

It was a game of missed opportunities for the Falcons especially when they had all the play in the early stages of the fourth term. But as the old adage goes, bad kicking is bad football and the Tigers clinical play made them pay. There was nothing much between the two teams when it came to disposals (295-285) and inside 50s which Claremont ended up winning by just one (41-40).

In terms of individuals, it was Callum Jamieson who was sensational, with the ruck-forward covering every inch of grass amassing 28 disposals, six marks, six tackles and 15 hit-outs. Jack Cooley was terrific in his usual fashion with 26 disposals, six tackles and six inside 50s while Anthony Davis was rock solid with 23 disposals and six marks. The Falcons were led by a terrific in and under display by Callum Johnson with 28 disposals, 12 tackles and a goal. His fellow midfielder Tyron Hindmarsh also tried hard with 26 disposals, eight tackles, four marks, five inside 50s and a goal.