Tag: Jye Bolton

WAFL Week 2 Finals preview: Lions and Bulldogs face off for grand final spot

SUBIACO Lions and South Fremantle Bulldogs will face off for a spot in the 2021 West Australian Football League (WAFL) Grand Final when they lock horns in the semi-final on the weekend. Just four teams remain in the race for the title, with the loser of the major semi-final to look horns with the winner of the minor semi-final next week. In that semi, Claremont hosts West Perth, with no turning back for the loser, which is going to be the case for both those sides from now on, after the Falcons knocked off Swan Districts last week, and Claremont fell to South Fremantle.

SUBIACO vs. SOUTH FREMANTLE
Saturday, September 18 @ 2:40pm
Leederville Oval

A grand final spot is on the line in a battle between the top two teams on the 2021 WAFL ladder. Subiaco finished the year with 14 wins and four losses, one more victory than South Fremantle (13-5). The pair have had two clashes this year with the results mixed, as South Fremantle toppled Subiaco by 18 points at home earlier in the year, before the Lions showed no mercy in a statement win in Round 16, knocking off the Bulldogs by 44 points at this venue. In that game, a six goals to one second half was the difference, as the Lions had 100 more disposals and 17 more inside 50s to really control play in their forward half.

Leigh Kitchen (33 disposals, five marks, seven tackles, 11 inside 50s and a goal) and Gregory Clark (32 disposals, four marks, five tackles) had the ball on a string for the Lions, as Harrison Marsh (28 disposals, six marks, four tackles, eight inside 50s and one goal) was also lively. Dominant goalkicker Ben Sokol slotted 2.3 from 17 touches and eight marks, with Michael Braut (three goals) and Nicholas Martin (two) the other multiple goalscorers. South Fremantle had a second half to forget, though the likes of Hayden Schloithe (29 disposals, four tackles and four inside 50s), Chad Pearson (25 disposals, five marks) and Tom Blechynden (23 disposals, five inside 50s) were consistent, and Blake Schlensog pulled down 12 marks – almost 20 per cent of his team’s total marks – to go with 18 disposals and a goal.

Subiaco will be well rested for the clash after a week off, with their last game coming on September 4, when they were pushed all the way by Peel Thunder, before getting up by four points. Since losing to West Perth by a goal back in round 20, South Fremantle have strung together three consecutive wins – including last week’s final – whilst Subiaco’s last loss was a shock 44-point defeat against a hungry East Fremantle outfit.

With Matt Parker back in the side for the Bulldogs after being on Richmond’s list throughout the second half of the WAFL season, the Bulldogs are better placed than in their last clash. They have also recalled a number of players for an extended bench, though the midfield battle will be key, with the likes of Schloithe, Nic Suban and Jake Florenca up against Marsh, Clark and Kitchen. It will also be a great opportunity once against for AFL Draft hopeful Jesse Motlop who dons the red and white for South Fremantle as they try and upset the minor premiers in the Bulldogs’ bid to go back-to-back.

CLAREMONT vs. WEST PERTH
Sunday, September 19 @ 2:10pm
Revo Fitness Stadium

There is no turning back for either Claremont or West Perth in their do-or-die semi-final. The Falcons booked their spot in the spot in the semi-finals with a four-point nail-biting win over Swan Districts last week. Trailing at every break, the Falcons kicked five goals to four in a high-scoring last term to win 14.6 (90) to 13.8 (86). Keegan Knott (four goals) and Tyler Keitel (three) were the key goalkickers, as Aaron Black (29 disposals), Trent Manzone (26) and Blake Wilhelm (26) continued their great form.

Claremont will be licking their wounds after coming so close to toppling the Bulldogs, going down by a single point in the qualifying final. The Tigers led by four goals at half-time, but a seven goals to three second half saw the Tigers run over the top of them and win by a heartbreaking one point. Jye Bolton continued his remarkable season with another 30 touches, as Jared Hardisty (26 and 16 tackles) and Bailey Rogers (18 disposals, six marks and two goals) were also impressive.

These sides have also split the results from their two clashes, with Claremont hopeful of repeating their Round 5 shellacking of the Falcons, running away 52-point winners at home. West Perth got the better of the Tigers at their home ground in Round 12 however, getting over the line by 14 points in a much closer affair at Provident Financial Oval. That day the Falcons had a plus-35 in disposals and eight more inside 50s (47-39) but were well beaten in the hitouts (43-21).

Oliver Eastland is coming off a 44-hitout game last week and had 39 against the Falcons, as well as 22 disposals, four marks, three tackles and two inside 50s to be a monster at the stoppages. Rogers (17 disposals, five marks, six inside 50s and three goals) hit the scoreboard that day, with Alexander Manuel (two goals) also kicking multiple majors. Teenager Jacob Van Rooyen had six touches and four marks in the game, with Bolton (29 disposals, four marks and six inside 50s), Ben Edwards (25 disposal, three marks, six tackles and four inside 50s) and Hardisty (25 disposals, four tackles and three inside 50s) the other prominent Tigers ball-winners. Black was best on ground in the Falcons’ win amassing 34 disposals, nine marks, 12 tackles and six inside 50s, with Zac Guadagnin (27 disposals, nine marks) and Shane Nelson (25 disposals, three marks, three tackles and six inside 50s) also busy. Keitel slotted three goals from 12 touches and five marks, while Rudy Riddoch had 12 disposals, four marks and two goals.

Given how close Claremont came to South Fremantle last week, and the fact they are at home and how they performed against West Perth in their last outing at Revo Fitness Stadium, they have to be favourites. West Perth IS always a chance, and were able to win in a tight one last week, and their Round 12 victory over the Tigers will provide them with confidence to do the job again here.

Picture credit: WAFL

2021 WAFL Week 1 Finals preview: Hunt for premiership glory begins

WITH 18 home-and-away matches done and dusted the best five teams remain in the hunt for Western Australian Football League (WAFL) premiership glory. Minor premiers Subiaco will have a bye in the first week as second-placed South Fremantle and third-placed Claremont face-off, while West Perth hosts Swan Districts in an elimination final.

SOUTH FREMANTLE VS CLAREMONT

The two grand finalists from 2020 are back in the finals mix again with both teams securing the double chance. South Fremantle are chasing back-to-back premierships, while Claremont are looking to go one better than last season’s effort. Both sides enter the finals in form, with South Fremantle having won their last two matches of the season, and Claremont winning their last three games on the trot. If history is anything to go by this game should be a cracker, three of the last five meetings between these teams have been decided by under 10 points. Their most recent battle in Round 14 was a nail-biter, as the Bulldogs came away with a one-point victory.

There should be plenty of great matchups across the ground, starting in the middle where Jye Bolton has had a fantastic year for the Tigers amassing the third most touches in the league (averaging 30.3 per game), with teammate Bailey Rogers also prolific, averaging 27.8 disposals himself. For the Bulldogs, star player Jake Florenca has made a successful return from his ruptured Achilles tendon, which saw him miss last season’s premiership, averaging 30.3 disposals across the final three rounds. In his absence, Haiden Schloithe has also had a great year, averaging 25.6 disposals, and kicking 21 goals for the season.

South Fremantle will be boosted by the temporary release of Matthew Parker from Richmond, with the AFL club and WAFL allowing him to participate in South Fremantle’s finals run. Parker had averaged 20.4 disposals, 4.1 marks, and 1.0 goals per game, before he was selected with pick 10 in the mid-season rookie draft.

There will be plenty happening up forward with Bulldogs duo Mason Shaw (48.19) and Cody Ninyette (41.12) kicking plenty of goals this season, as well as Tigers stars Alexander Manuel (39.19), Jack Buller (30.17) and Isaac Barton (27.8). Shaw bagged five goals and Ninyette kicked four when the two sides met in Round 2, as Manuel kicked three goals to help set up the 16-point victory. In the Round 14 matchup, it was Barton who kicked three goals in the Tigers loss.

The Bulldogs will host the Tigers at the Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday at 2:40pm, with the winner to face Subiaco for a chance at the 2021 WAFL Grand Final, while the loser will have to face the winner of West Perth and Swan Districts.

WEST PERTH VS SWAN DISTRICTS

The Falcons come into this contest as the form team, winning eight of their last 10 matches to finish in fourth position, meaning they will host fifth-placed Swan Districts in an elimination final at Provident Financial Oval on Sunday at 2:40pm. The Swans will be looking to snap a two-game losing streak, after losses to fellow top-five teams Claremont and South Fremantle. They will also need to turn around their recent form against the Falcons, having lost the previous four encounters.

Rudy Riddoch kicked three goals against the Swans in the nine-point Round 6 win, and another three in the 46-point Round 11 win, while Shane Nelson also dominated both contests for the Falcons with 35 and 32 disposals respectively.

West Perth’s form is largely thanks to the midfield dominance Nelson and Aaron Black, and the prolific goal kicking form of big man Tyler Keitel. 2020 Best and Fairest winner Nelson has had another great season averaging 32.1 disposals per game in 2021, with Black right alongside him, averaging 31.2 disposals. These two have been setting it up for Keitel, who has kicked 64.33, winning the 2021 Bernie Naylor Medal. Keegan Knott (38.21) and Riddoch (25.9) were also beneficiaries of the midfielders’ work, kicking plenty of goals.

For the Swans, Frank Anderson, Jesse Turner, and Samuel Fisher have all averaged just over 25 disposals per game and will be pivotal in trying to limit the damage of Nelson and Black in the centre. Up forward, Jesse Palmer has been the main threat, kicking 31.27 for the season, while Brayden Noble has also been a target, booting 23.12 for the season. Big man Corey Gault might also prove to be an important factor in this contest, if he is cleared from concussion issues, having won the ruck battle on both occasions during the season. Gault recorded 26 disposals and 36 hit outs in Round 6, and 23 disposals and 37 hit outs in Round 11. The Swans will also look to dual AFL Premiership player Lewis Jetta to bring his big game experiences to help his teammates.

This game could go either way, with the West Perth attacking 50 shaping up to be a decisive factor in this match. The Falcons have had the third best attack this season, led by Keitel, while the Swans’ defence was the third best in the league, led by the experience of 263 game club champion Tony Notte. Whoever can win this battle may just win themselves a spot in next week’s final against the loser of South Fremantle and Claremont.

 

Picture credit: WAFL

State leagues wrap: Two left in Tassie as finals matchups are decided across the country

IT was a massive round of footy action with Launceston booking their place in the TSL Grand Final, Maroochydore setting up a meeting with Labrador in a QAFL preliminary final, and the home-and-away seasons wrapping up in South Australia and Western Australia. We recap all the action and big performances of the round in this week’s state leagues wrap.

 

South Australia (SANFL):

Glenelg has fallen short of a spectacular 18-0 season after Port Adelaide came out six-goal winners in its final game of the season. Magpies forward Dylan Williams kicked three goals for the match, while Cam Sutcliffe and Boyd Woodcock had 27 disposals each. For the Tigers, Matthew Snook led all comers with 32 touches.

Sturt and Woodville-West Torrens both had big wins, with the Double Blues defeating the Roosters by 70 points, and the Eagles winning by 104 points against Central District. Tyson Stengle (four goals), Jack Hayes (four goals) and Kobe Mutch (three goals) were potent up forward for the Eagles, with Kai Pudney (31 disposals) racking up the most touches on the ground. Meanwhile, Sturt duo Abaina Davis (five goals) and James Battersby (36 disposals) were in fine form against the Roosters.

Elsewhere, Bryce Gibbs continued his form with another 32 disposals in the Panthers’ 12.17 (89) to 7.4 (46) win over the Bloods. Teammates Hayden Sampson (31 disposals) and Liam Fitt (four goals, 20 touches) were also dominant, while the highly touted Jason Horne-Francis (24 disposals, seven tackles) was impressive.

At Cooper Stadium, Norwood ended Adelaide’s season with a 43-point deficit as the Redlegs moved into third place and secured a double chance in the finals. Tristan Binder and Cole Gerloff both booted three majors for the home side, while Lachlan Gollant (2.5) had plenty of looks at goal for the Crows.

 

Tasmania (TSL):

Launceston will face North Launceston in the big dance for the second year in a row after they were too strong for Clarence defeating them 13.11 (89) to 5.7 (37) in Sunday’s preliminary final. Cody Thorp (three goals) and Jay Blackberry (two goals) were multiple goal kickers for the Blues, while Jacques Barwick kicked two of his own for the Roos. The Blues have set up a mouth-watering final game of the TSL season, as the Northern Bombers will be seeking revenge after they went down in last season’s decider.

 

Queensland (QAFL):

Broadbeach’s Jordan Moncrieff booted four goals as his side progressed straight into the QAFL Grand Final after a nail-biting contest with minor premiers Labrador. The two sides were separated by no more than 10 points at every break as the Tigers took a three-point advantage into three quarter time. It was the Cats who had the last laugh though, after Joshua Searl booted his first goal of the season in the final minutes to put Broadbeach ahead, before they held on to win by four points.

In the other match, Maroochydore’s dream finals run continues following their victory over Morningside. The game was evenly poised after the Roos shook off a four-point quarter time deficit to lead by seven points at half time. After kicking the final five goals of the match, the Roos stormed home to win 11.14 (80) to 6.10 (46) on the Panthers’ home turf. Roos forward Mitchell Scholard hit the scoreboard again with two goals, alongside teammate Lochie Laing who also kicked two. Benjamin Warren kicked two majors for the Panthers, but they were unable to stop the Roos who will now face Labrador for a chance to meet the Cats in the season decider.

 

Western Australia (WAFL):

The final round of the WAFL wrapped up with Subiaco claiming the minor premiership following their four-point win over Peel. The Thunder gave the league ladders a final term scare kicking four goals to one, but Subiaco managed to hold on. Leigh Kitchin, Gregory Clark, Ben Sokol, Brandon Matera, and Bailey Matera all kicked two goals for Subiaco, with Peel’s Jack Sears kicking three goals for the match.

Jye Bolton (32 disposals) and Bailey Rogers (30 disposals) found plenty of the footy for Claremont in their 22-point win over Swan Districts. Jack Buller and Alexander Manuel each booted three goals for the Tigers, while Christopher Jones kicked three majors for the Swans.

Elsewhere, Cody Ninyette kicked four goals for South Fremantle as West Coast’s season came to an end. The Bulldogs were too good for the Eagles coming out 45-point winners. Brayden Ainsworth finished his strong season with another 30 touches for the Eagles, while Nicholas Suban had 25 touches and 10 marks for the Bulldogs.

West Perth also looked strong heading into the finals series after they defeated Perth by 50 points. Trent Manzone (34 disposals) and Aaron Black (33 disposals) were ball magnets, while Sasha Kernutt led all comers with four goals. Perth’s Brady Grey had 26 disposals for the match with all of them coming off his boot.

 

Picture credit: WAFL Twitter

State leagues preview: Finals have arrived in Tassie and Queensland

IT’S a big weekend ahead with QAFL and TSL finals action happening and plenty up for grabs for teams in the SANFL and WAFL looking to cement places in their upcoming finals campaigns. We’ll take you through all the key matchups to look out for this weekend.

 

South Australia (SANFL):

Round 18 action continues after the first two matches of the split round were played last weekend, and there are some big finals ramifications on the line.

North Adelaide will have the chance of securing a double chance if they are to beat Norwood when they meet at Prospect Oval on Saturday. The Roosters are currently two points above the Redlegs, so a win in this matchup will not only see them finish in the top three, but it will also put the Redlegs in danger of missing finals all together. Rooster Lewis Hender kicked 6.2 in his side’s 92-point demolition of the Redlegs in round three, and an improved Norwood will still have to snap North Adelaide’s six-game winning streak if they are to keep the pressure on the third-placed side.

Sturt can jump above the Panthers (who have already played their 17th match) if they are to beat the second placed Eagles at home. Last time the two teams met it was the Menzel brothers who dominated the match kicking seven goals between them (Troy four, Daniel three) in a 46-point win to the Eagles.

In the other matchup, West Adelaide face the daunting task of hosting the undefeated Glenelg, and while they’ll be searching for their third win of the year, the Tigers will be looking to continue their form with finals fast approaching.

 

Tasmania (TSL):

The finals have arrived in Tassie with two mouth-watering clashes to look forward to. The top two sides Launceston and North Launceston will square off at Windsor Park with the winner progressing into the Grand Final, and the loser to play the winner of Clarence and the Tigers. The Blues have won two of the three meetings with the Northern Bombers this season, but with finals on the line a good contest is to be expected.

The Roos and Tigers will square off in a do or die contest, with both teams only having one chance of progressing to the next round. Clarence won the first meeting between these two teams, before the Tigers won the second and went on to win a great contest in round 19 by just five points, giving fans plenty to look forward to on Sunday. Josh Green has been kicking plenty of goals this season for the Roos and will be hoping to add to his tally here, while Luke Graham has been a focal point up forward for the Tigers.

 

Queensland (QAFL):

While the top two teams Labrador and Broadbeach will be enjoying a week off, Redland-Victoria Point (third) will face Maroochydore (sixth) in the first elimination final. Their last meeting in round seven ended with the Sharks winning by 16 points. Mitchell Scholard will be one that the Sharks will need to keep a close eye on with the Roos forward having booted 49 goals this season including five in their last battle. There should be a great contest in the ruck too with Jarrod Huddy (Sharks), who likes to drift forward and kick a goal, facing off against Jacob Simpson (Roos) whose ruck craft is as good as it gets.

In the second Elimination final, Surfers Paradise (fourth) come up against Morningside (fifth). The Demons won their last duel in round 11 by 15 points and will be looking for a repeat to progress to the semi-final. With 28 and 27 goals for the season, Demons forwards Brody Haberfield and Sam Hilton-Joyce will be looking to hit the scoreboard, while Ben Warren will be searching for a repeat of the round 11 contest where he bagged five goals.

 

Western Australia (WAFL):

Round 21 of the WAFL gets underway with the top five already decided, but plenty of spots up for grabs within the final five. South Fremantle and Swan Districts face off on Saturday in the only battle between two top five teams. The Swans will need to win to push up into double chance contention, while the Bulldogs are eying top spot if Subiaco are to slip up. Last time out, the Bulldogs won by 36 points, with Mason Shaw bagging five goals and Jacob Dragovich, Tom Blechynden and Haiden Schloithe all racking up 30+ touches.

Subiaco play East Perth at Leederville Oval as they look to bounce back after a loss to East Fremantle in their last outing. Ben Sokol, Michael Braut and Aaron Heal each had three goals when the two sides last met. Meanwhile, West Perth face East Fremantle with both teams looking to make it three wins on the trot. The Falcons can still claim the minor premiership with wins in their final two matches.

Claremont host the last placed Eagles, with the Tigers also in that mix for the minor premiership. This contest is one Eagles midfielder Jye Bolton fancies averaging 39.5 disposals in the two sides’ last four meetings, including 49 touches in the round nine matchup.

In the other match Peel welcome quite a few AFL-listed players into the team after Fremantle’s season ended last week. Blake Acres, Bailey Banfield, Mitch Crowden, Lloyd Meek, and Joel Western are all listed to play alongside the recently delisted Tobe Watson against Perth at the David Grays Arena on Saturday.

 

Picture credit: WAFL

State leagues wrap: Teams searching for form ahead of SANFL, TSL and WAFL finals

IT was another week with no games in the VFL or QAFL as COVID-19 restrictions continue to stop footy being played. Nevertheless, we were treated to big wins, small wins, upset wins and plenty of goals across the SANFL, TSL and WAFL action over the weekend. We recap everything that happened in this week’s state league wrap.

 

South Australia (SANFL):

The SANFL was full of big winners and big losers over the weekend, with all games decided by four or more goals, including three 50-plus point defeats.

The closest game of the round was Sturt’s 24-point win over Port Adelaide, but the Double Blues had dominated the match from early on leading by six goals at half-time. Anzac Lochowiak kicked four goals for the game, while James Battersby (27 disposals) and Casey Voss (24 disposals) found the footy. Port’s AFL listed players Jarrod Lienert (33 disposals, 1 goal) and Sam Powell-Pepper (30 disposals, 10 clearances, eight tackles) will be looking for a recall into the senior team with finals approaching, alongside Steven Motlop (20 disposals) and Boyd Woodcock (2 goals). The win keeps Sturt in the finals hunt with only one win separating them and a place in the top five.

Norwood 9.15 (69) got the job done over West Adelaide 6.4 (40) in a game that had some outrageous tackle numbers. The Redlegs had 113 tackles to the Bloods’ 109. Jacob Kennerley (17 tackles) and Patrick Fairlie (14 tackles) led the way for their teams with seven players recording 10 or more for the match. Declan Hamilton (31 disposals) found plenty of the footy for the Redlegs and Thomas Murphy (26 disposals) had the most for the Bloods.

In other games, Glenelg continued its unbeaten run with a 54-point win over Central Districts. There were goals galore for Liam McBean who booted seven majors, and Marlon Motlop who snagged four of his own. Daniel Menzel (four) and Tyson Stengle (three) kicked seven between them for Woodville-West Torrens, while Kai Pudney (34 disposals) found plenty of it in their 17.13 (115) to 8.2 (50) win over Adelaide. James Rowe amassed 35 disposals for the Crows and put his hand up for selection for the final AFL round next week.

North Adelaide defeated fellow top five side South Adelaide by 58 points to make it six wins on the trot. Roosters forward Aaron Young kicked four goals, while Campbell Combe (34 disposals) did battle with Panthers duo Joseph Haines (40 disposals) and Bryce Gibbs (33 disposals) in the middle.

 

Tasmania (TSL):

Clarence climbed into third spot after a stunning two-point victory over Launceston. Ex-Lion and Bomber Josh Green and Tasmanian Devils young gun Baker Smith both slotted three goals in the victory which was a nail biter right up to the final siren. Clarence led at every break, with the Blues always just behind. Cody Thorp booted five goals for the match, but the Blues will be ruing their inaccurate final term, kicking 2.5, which saw them succumb to just their second loss of the season.

Elsewhere, another young Devil put on a show, with Will Splann kicking five majors for North Hobart in their second win of the year, defeating Glenorchy on their home turf. While the Demons can’t move from last place, the loss for the Magpies all but ensures they will finish in second last position with just one home and away game to come.

Meanwhile, a stunning nine goals to one final term from North Launceston saw them come away with a 38-point win over the Tigers. After a big start to the second half from the Tigers, where they overturned a 20-point deficit to lead by 10 points at three quarter time, the Northern Bombers put their foot down and took control of the match in the final quarter. Bradley Cox-Goodyer was one of 10 goal kickers for the Northern Bombers, and led with three goals, while Marcus Gardner also kicked three for the Tigers.

 

Western Australia (WAFL):

Round 19 action consisted of four games, three in which were big margins, while one game saw second-last Perth give third-placed Claremont a real run for their money, with the Tigers just holding off a Demons last quarter comeback. Jye Bolton booted three goals for the match including the sealer late in the fourth quarter. Teammate Timm House also kicked three goals, while Bailey Rogers (31 disposals) and Ben Edwards (30 disposals) racked up plenty of the ball. For Perth, Jack Richardson, Kristian Cary, and Brent Edmonds each kicked two majors, with Austin Davis collecting the most touches (26) and Cary also laying a match high 12 tackles.

East Fremantle pulled off a stunning victory against league leaders Subiaco, winning the contest by 44 points. After starting the game as the better side Subiaco led by 14 points at the main break, before the Sharks stunned everyone in the third term putting up seven goals to none. They didn’t stop the onslaught winning the final quarter five goals to three. Jonathan Marsh played a starring role kicking three goals and having 27 touches, while Hugh Dixon also added three goals. Subiaco’s Lachlan Delahunty led all comers collecting 32 disposals for the match.

In other results, West Perth dominated the West Coast, led by Tyson Keitel kicking seven goals and Shane Nelson (41 disposals), Aaron Black (39 disposals) and Tristan Hobley (30 disposals) winning the footy at will. Brayden Ainswroth (30 disposals), Hamish Brayshaw (28 disposals) and Jarrod Brander (27 disposals) all played well for the Eagles, but they were outclassed, with the Falcons winning 16.10 (106) to 5.5 (35). The other match saw Swan Districts come out 41-point winners over East Perth with Aidan Clarke slotting four goals for the Swans and Royals players Rohan Kerr and Angus Scott collecting the most touches on the ground with 32 each.

Picture credit: Jack Foley via WAFL Twitter

State leagues wrap: Victorian footy returns as TSL produced trio of beltings

WHILST South Australia took another week off from its state league action, most of the other major state leagues took place, with the Victorian Football League (VFL) joining the respective leagues in Tasmania and Western Australia. Though it was not without some controversy, with a snap lockdown in south east Queensland impacting the QAFL, and even calling off one VFL game based in the state at quarter time.

New South Wales/Queensland/Victoria (VFL):

It was a fitting return to action in the VFL for the 2021 season, with two games postponed and a third also called off after just one quarter of action. Gold Coast Suns were leading Southport Sharks 1.2 (8) to 1.0 (6) when the players were told to stop due to the state lockdown, while Aspley’s clash with Essendon, and Brisbane Lions’ match with Sydney Swans were also put on the back burner. It was ironically the complete opposite of the previous week when only Queensland games could be played and Victorian matches were postponed.

Of those games underway, it was hard to go past the thriller that was Coburg and Williamstown at Piranha Park on Sunday. In what was an entertaining contest, a six goals to one third term in favour of the Seagulls had the visitors up by 24 points at the final break, and seemingly home. Coburg had other ideas, as the Lions roared home to kick the next six goals and hit the front to lead by nine points with 10 minutes remaining. The Seagulls dug deep and kicked the last two goals of the game – after only kicking one behind in the first 18 minutes of the quarter – to steal the lead in a memorable last quarter. Mitch Hibberd continued his terrific form with another 35 disposals, nine more than any other player on the field. Nick Mellington (26 disposals and a goal) and Teia Miles (25 disposals and seven marks) were also lively, while ex-Bomber Noah Gown kicked 2.1 from 16 disposals and six marks in a promising display, one of four Seagulls to kick multiple goals. For the Lions, Charlie Thompson kicked 2.2 from 20 touches and three marks, as some former Northern Knights dominated the disposals. Marcus Lentini (25 disposals), Luke Bunker (24) and Tom McKenzie (23) all had some big days out.

Most of the other games were fairly big wins to the victors, with four of the remaining six games decided by 30 points or more. North Melbourne’s recent form continued with a 17-point win over last placed Port Melbourne, getting up 11.11 (77) to 8.12 (60). Harry Jones racked up 31 disposals and kicked a goal, as Charlie Lazzaro (26 disposals, five tackles and a goal) did his chances of a recall no harm. Chris Jansen (31 disposals, six marks and four tackles) and the ever-reliable Eli Templeton (30 disposals, four marks, seven tackles and 2.2) suffered leather poisoning as the Borough came close to a second win, but not quite close enough. Richmond also posted a 16-point victory over Frankston as the Dolphins form of late continues to slide after their fast start to the season. Patrick Naish had a game-high 32 disposals, as well as five marks, six tackles and a goal, with Derek Eggmolesse-Smith (29 disposals, five marks), Riley Collier-Dawkins (26 disposals, three tackles) and Will Martyn (26 disposals, nine marks and five tackles) all letting the Tigers’ selection committee know they are ready to step up. Nathan Freeman (31 disposals, nine marks) and Josh Newman (30 disposals, six marks and eight tackles) were again the best for the Bayside team.

In other results, the Western Bulldogs just somehow found a way to win, conceding six goals to zero in the opening quarter against Casey Demons, to kick 16 of the next 20 majors and storm to a 37-point win to remain undefeated in the 2021 season. Rhylee West (27 disposals, nine tackles and three goals) and Ben Cavarra (21 disposals, six tackles and three goals) both dominated, while Dees’ veteran Nathan Jones kicked 1.3 from 29 disposals, four marks and four tackles. In a similar comeback, Box Hill Hawks were held goalless in the opening term against a red-hot Collingwood outfit, and after hitting the front to lead by seven points at the final break, Box Hill piled on 9.2 to 0.0 to run away with an eye-opening 63-point win and remain in the top four. Fergus Greene, Emerson Jeka and Jackson Callow all combined for 11.6 and 19 marks, while Tom Wilson tried hard for the Magpies with 27 disposals, five marks, four tackles and a goal.

Meanwhile Carlton leapfrogged Sandringham with its fourth win of the season, defeating the Zebras by 39 points at Sandringham, as James Parsons and Sam Petrevski-Seton lit it up with 30 touches each, and Lachie Fogarty laid 12 tackles to go with 27 disposals and six marks, though three behinds, Jack Bytel (28 disposals, seven marks and 11 tackles) was the best for the Zebras. In the other match, Werribee took home the points on the road against Northern Bullants, with an 8.5 to 1.1 final term to reverse a 16-point deficit at the final break to turn it into a five-goal victory. Tom Gribble (36 disposals, six marks and nine tackles) and Matt Hanson (32 disposals, three marks, five tackles and a goal) were lively as Hudson Garoni booted 3.6 from 19 touches and 10 marks up forward for the winners. Will Mitchell had 31 touches and eight tackles for the Bullants, with eight more touches than any other teammate, while Paul Ahern slotted 4.1.

Tasmania (TSL):

There was nothing close about the Tasmania State League (TSL) action in Round 18, as the three winners completely dismantled their opposition. With the sides missing a number of their young up-and-comers due to the Tasmania Devils Under 19s and Under 17s exhibition clash on Sunday, it was up to the more experienced players to get it done. Third placed Clarence had the bye, but the other top four sides – Launceston, North Launceston and Tigers – showed no mercy in their victories, combining for a mind-boggling 275 points.

The “close” game of the weekend was the Battle of the Bombers, with North Launceston triumphing 18.7 (125) to 6.5 (41). In what was a fairly comprehensive first three quarters, the home side led by 31 points at the main break, having missed their chances in the third, before piling on a whopping 10.5 to 2.0 in the last quarter to run away with the 64-point victory. Brad Cox-Goodyer slammed home five majors, with Zach Burt and Jack Avent slotting three goals apiece, while Jay Foon and Judah Edmunds were also named among the best. Allen Christensen was the sole multiple goalkicker for Lauderdale, working hard all game, as Josh McGuinness and Luke Paton were also named among the best.

In a top-against-bottom clash with Launceston heading in 13-1 and North Hobart 1-13, it was never expected to be much of a contest, but few could have predicted the 121-point shellacking that the Blues handed out. Keeping the Demons to just one goal in the first three quarters – whilst booting 18 majors from 32 scoring shots – Launceston led by 114 points, though to North Hobart’s credit the Demons rallied in the last to only concede three more goals and kick two themselves for a 21.18 (144) to 3.5 (23) final scoreline. Jake Hinds kicked five goals in a best on ground performance, but what made the game so unique was the fact that the Blues only had four multiple goal kickers, and 14 individual goalkickers. Alex Wright, Cody Thorp and Fletcher Seymour were deemed the best in a strong performance. Jack McCulloch and Bailey Walker were the best for the Demons in a performance they would rather forget.

The game predicted to be the closest of the round turned into a fizzer, as fourth placed Tigers trounced sixth placed Glenorchy at Twin Ovals to the tune of 90 points. The Kingborough-based outfit piled on 12 goals to four in the first half, and then 11 goals to four in the second half, to fall short of bringing up the ton. Will Campbell and Max Collidge both slotted four goals apiece to be among the best on the ground, with Marcus Gardner (one goal) and ex-Carlton player Sam Duigan (three) also lively. Callen Daly (three goals) and Brayden Webb (two) were the multiple goalkickers for the Magpies, with Harrison Gunther (one) named best-on in the losing side.

Western Australia (WAFL):

In Western Australia, Subiaco took full advantage of a Claremont loss to go outright top on the WAFL ladder, as West Coast grabbed its fourth win of the season with victory in the bottom two clash against Perth, and East Perth leapfrogged Peel Thunder with the unlikely win over the Tigers in Round 17 of the League competition.

East Perth’s seven-point upset over Claremont was the biggest result of the round, as they nervously held on in the lat term after leading by 15 points at the final break, to record a 12.6 (78) to 10.11 (71) victory. Jackson Ramsay had 31 disposals, eight tackles and two goals, and the Royals player was only bettered by Claremont ball magnet Jye Bolton (41 disposals, five marks, eight inside 50s and three tackles). Former Carlton talents Rohan Kerr (22 disposals, eight marks and one goal) and Angus Schumacher (26 disposals, six marks and three inside 50s) were lively for the Royals, as Bailey Rogers (29 disposals, three marks, three tackles and two goals) and Ben Edwards (27 disposals, four tackles, seven inside 50s and one goal) were important for the Tigers.

West Perth put up a fight against ladder leaders Subiaco, but conceded six gaols to two in the opening half to trailed by 30 points at half-time. They tried to fight back in the second half, but ultimately could not get over the line, going down by 20 points, 10.12 (72) to 8.4 (52). Greg Clark had a team-high 29 disposals for the Lions, as Harrison Marsh (28 disposals, seven mars, five tackles, five inside 50s and a goal) was busy, as was Nick Martin (21 disposals, 10 marks, three inside 50s and two goals). Shane Nelson tried to haul his team across the line with a match-high 34 disposals, as well as four marks and seven tackles, as former Roo and Cat, Aaron Black had 26 touches, four marks and seven tackles.

Meanwhile other top three side South Fremantle showed no mercy in a dominant 116-point thrashing of Peel Thunder. The Bulldogs slammed home a ridiculous 13.2 to 1.2 in the first half to lead by 72 points at the main break. They still managed nine goals after half-time, getting up 22.9 (141) to 3.7 (25). Haiden Schloithe (42 disposals, seven marks, seven inside 50s, three tackles and two goals) unsurprisingly led the way for the Bulldogs, as Jacob Dragovich and Tom Blechynden both had 30 touches. Ex-AFL talents Mason Shaw and Blake Schlensog shared in five goals apiece, as well as 30 disposals and 17 marks. Tyrone Thorne was one of the shining lights for Peel Thunder, picking up 25 disposals, five marks, three inside 50s and a goal.

In the remaining two games, East Fremantle won a low-scoring slot against Swan Districts to the tune of seven points, while West Coast dominated Perth by 56 points in a rare big victory for the AFL-aligned club. The Sharks kept their finals hopes alive with the win over the fifth placed Swans, moving to within 12 points of finals, but not able to make a mistake on the run home. Luke English (25 disposals, four tackles, three inside 50s and a goal) and Luke Strnadica (19 disposals, seven marks, 39 hitouts and three inside 50s) were impressive for the Sharks. Sam Fisher (27 disposals, three marks, seven inside 50s and a goal) and Jesse Turner (26 disposals, four marks, four tackles, four inside 50s and a goal) topped the charts for the Swans. Alex Witherden (40 disposals, 11 marks and seven inside 50s) suffered leather poisoning in the Eagles big win, with Jarrod Brander (33 disposals, 13 marks, two tackles and thee inside 50s) also putting his hand up for a recall. Jack Avery (26 disposals, 11 marks and three tackles) was the top disposal winner for the Bombers.

Picture credit: AFL Photos

State leagues preview: VFL returns, WAFL top spot on the line

WITH lockdown over in Victoria, the VFL is back into full swing with 10 matches this weekend to complement the continuation of all the action across the WAFL, QAFL and TSL. The SANFL will not go ahead this weekend in line with current South Australian restrictions.

Western Australia (WAFL):

Round 17 WAFL action is headlined by ladder leaders Subiaco taking on the in form West Perth at Leederville Oval. The clash could go down to the wire with the two sides almost inseparable when Subiaco won their Round 3 meeting 14.10 (94) to 14.7 (91). An unkind weather forecast threatens to ruin what could be a shootout between three of the top five leaders in the Bernie Naylor Medal. Tyler Keitel and Keegan Knott have both been prolific this season for Subiaco, while Ben Sokol will be looking to add more goals to his tally as the Falcons search for their seventh consecutive win which could draw them level on points with the Lions.

Elsewhere, Claremont will face the eighth placed East Perth, with the chance to move into outright first on the ladder if West Perth are to defeat Subiaco. Jye Bolton is averaging 31.6 disposals per game for the Tigers and will be looking to lead his side to a third straight win. South Fremantle and Swan Districts have the chance to put a big gap between the top and bottom five when they face sixth and seventh placed Peel Thunder and East Fremantle respectively. The two bottom sides will go head-to-head when Perth host West Coast at Mineral Resources Park.

Tasmania (TSL):

This weekend’s matches get underway with the Tigers hosting Glenorchy with both teams hungry for a win after the Tigers went down by two points to Lauderdale last week, while the Magpies suffered a 25-point loss to Clarence. A win for the Tigers can reduce the gap to just four points between them and the third placed Roos, and Glenorchy will be looking to jump Lauderdale who took their spot after the conclusion of Round 17. The Bombers will face a tough contest against North Launceston at UTAS Stadium, while things could turn ugly when top of the ladder Launceston, fresh off a bye, face the wooden spooners North Hobart. Dylan Riley has kicked 18 goals in two matches against the Demons this season and will be eyeing another big haul this weekend. Clarence have the bye in Round 18.

NSW-ACT / Queensland / Victoria (VFL):

The VFL will return to action this weekend following the news of Victoria’s lockdown being lifted with all but two teams in action as Geelong and GWS will have a bye this round. The third-placed Demons will host the 9-0 Bulldogs in the most anticipated clash of the round. The Demons will be eager to win the contest to reduce the current eight-point gap between the two teams – with Casey having played one less game – while the Dogs will be fighting to regain top spot taken by Southport. The Sharks will face the Suns this week, after both sides took part in the three games last weekend. While Gold Coast went down to a makeshift GWS side by 40 points, Southport was at its dominant best against the Lions coming out victorious by 109 points. The Sharks will look to continue their form and keep the pressure on the Dogs.

In another intriguing battle Box Hill will travel to the Holden Centre to take on Collingwood. The Hawks have won their last five games and a win can see them leapfrog the Cats into fourth position. As for the Pies, who sit in eighth, a win is required to hold off Williamstown who are just two points behind in ninth position. The Seagulls face Coburg, who have recorded just three wins for the season, and they will fancy their chances to move into the eight if the Pies or even the Dolphins are unsuccessful this weekend. The Tigers will meet the Dolphins on Sunday, and they will also be desperate for a win after losing their last three in a row.

Elsewhere, Essendon will remain in the Sunshine State to take on Aspley, with Brisbane also hosting the Swans up north. The Roos will welcome Port Melbourne to Arden Street with the home side enjoying some good form as of late, recording their three wins for the season consecutively, before they just went down to the Bulldogs by 11 points in their last match. Sandringham and Carlton will do battle on Saturday, with the Zebras having won four of their last five to keep them in the finals mix, as the Northern Bullants take on Werribee at Preston City Oval.

Queensland (QAFL):

Fifth-placed Maroochydore will do battle with third-placed Redland-Victoria Point giving the Roos a chance to go level with the Sharks on the ladder. Fans can expect a close game with plenty of goals like their round 7 meeting when the Sharks won 15.12 (108) to 13.8 (86). On that day, Jacob Murphy and Mitchell Scholard went goal for goal, both booting five majors each. Labrador will look to hold their position, a game clear on top of the ladder, when they take on Palm Beach Currumbin as second-placed Broadbeach host the winless Noosa giving them a great chance to keep the pressure on the ladder leaders.

In other matches, Mt Gravatt and Morningside will meet at the Southside Toyota Oval, while Sherwood Distrcits will be looking to keep themselves in the finals mix with a win over second-last Wilston Grange.

State Leagues wrap: Finals spots shaken up

THERE were some key changes to finals calculations across the state league this weekend, with ladder leaders soaring as the following packs jostle for position. Victorian sides still await their return, but it was business as usual in South Australia and Tasmania, while West Australian fans had two fixtures to take in on Saturday and Sunday. We run you through all the results and outstanding performances in this week’s state league wrap.

NSW-ACT / Queensland / Victoria (VFL):

Teams from everywhere but Victoria carried the Victorian Football League through another round of action, with three AFL reserves sides taking the field across a pair on Saturday afternoon fixtures. The first saw Gold Coast complete a dramatic turnaround against Sydney Swans, with first year utility Joel Jeffrey putting the SUNS ahead in the dying stages having trailed by as much as 38 points in term two. An eight-goal third quarter blitz set up the 17.5 (107) to 16.8 (104) victory, with Jeffrey among four SUNS to boot three goals. Brayden Fiorini racked up a game-high 45 disposals upon returning to the grade, as Sydney bigman Hayden McLean claimed four majors.

In the day’s second fixture, over at Blacktown International Sportspark, Greater Western Sydney (GWS) stormed home with seven final term goals to topple Aspley by 49 points. Having been trialled in numerous roles, GIANTS youngster Jake Riccardi returned to his familiar forward post and bagged eight goal to spearhead his side’s victory. Up the other end, competition leading goalkicker Matthew Hammelmann snared six of the Hornets’ nine major scores, as teammate Matthew Payne led all comers for disposals (32). Young GIANTS Tanner Bruhn (25 disposals, two goals) and Kieren Briggs (23 disposals, 28 hitouts, one goal) were also outstanding.

With Victorian teams back in training as of last week, a return normal programming should be just around the corner. Southport currently tops the ladder at 6-1 having played twice more than most other teams, while Casey Demons and Footscray remain undefeated at 5-0 to sit second and third respectively.

South Australia (SANFL):

Woodville-West Torrens moved up to second spot with a comprehensive 68-point drubbing of Port Adelaide, seeing the Magpies drop to fifth. The Eagles broke away with 10 goals to one after half time, with Jack Hayes (28 disposals, three goals) and James Tsitas (41 disposals, eight clearances) among the prominent figures. Jarrod Lienert was kept busy for Port, registering 14 rebound 50s among his 26 disposals as first year forward Ollie Lord showed some promise with two goals and three contested marks.

The Eagles overtook South Adelaide in second, as the Panthers went down to Norwood by nine points. Mitch Grigg continued his return to form for the Redlegs, racking up 34 touches and booting three goals in the win while Matthew Nunn (29 disposals) and Richard Douglas (19, one goal) also played key hands. Former AFL veterans Matthew Broadbent (25 disposals) and Bryce Gibbs (24, 11 clearances and one goal) stood up for the Panthers, as 200-gamer Joel Cross also hit the scoreboard and top draft prospect Jason Horne booted a goal from his 19 touches.

Ladder leader Glenelg moved to an ominous 10-0, defeating North Adelaide by 23 points as Liam McBean (five goals) and Matthew Snook (34 disposals) took hold. Meanwhile, Adelaide jumped Sturt after its 10-point win over the Double Blues, which saw senior-listed players Jackson Hately (31 disposals, seven clearances and one goal) and Billy Frampton (three goals) knock on the door for a call-up.

Tasmania (TSL):

Round 11 of the Tasmanian State League (TSL) went largely as expected, with ladder position telling the story of all three results. The round of action opened on Friday night as Tigers stormed KGV to come away 22-point victors over Glenorchy, seeing the visitors stretch the gap to their weekend opponents to three wins. Max Collidge booted three goals for Tigers, while Riley Oakley snared two for the Magpies as Edward Cole and Nathan Blowfield were named best afield for their respective sides.

North Launceston maintained its chase for top spot on Saturday, doubling Lauderdale’s score to win by 35 points in enemy territory. 14 of the combined 15 goals scored were kicked at one end of the ground, with the Northern Bombers dealing more damaging blows in the first and third terms. Jay Foon booted a game-high three goals and was named the victors’ best player, while Phillip Bellchambers snared two for Lauderdale as Rhys Sutton earned the coaches votes.

Competition leading goalkicker Dylan Riley enjoyed another day out, booting eight majors in Launceston’s 103-point thumping of North Hobart. Riley has bullied the Demons this season, kicking 18 goals in two meetings – including a season-high bag of 10. Alec Wright also featured prominently for the table topping Blues, while Callum Fitzpatrick was named the best for North Hobart after a tough outing.

Western Australia (WAFL):

Claremont rose to the top of the West Australian Football League (WAFL) ladder in Round 10, coming from behind to beat Peel Thunder by seven points on Saturday. The Tigers trailed at each of the first three breaks, before piling on five goals in the final term to sneak ahead at the clutch. Jye Bolton continued his dominance with another 35 disposals and nine inside 50s for Claremont, as youngster Jack Buller booted four goals in the win. Fremantle-listed midfielder Luke Valente was Peel’s biggest ball winner (26 disposals), as the Thunder again yielded a heavy amount of rotations.

The round’s sole other fixture came on Sunday, with East Perth causing a boilover to beat reigning premier South Fremantle by five points. The Royals were ahead at each break and while South remained within striking distance, they were unable to turn the tables and snatch victory. The Bulldogs still sit pretty comfortably in third though, with the Royals’ second win sees them remain ninth. The likes of Angus Scott (26 disposals), Angus Schumacher and Shayne Hill were terrific for East Perth, as Chad Pearson (29 disposals) led all comers and Brandon Donaldson (four goals) proved potent going forward for South Freo.

Image Credit: Hannah Howard/SANFL

State Leagues wrap: Ladder leaders flex muscle

A PAIR of fixtures saw the Victorian Football League (VFL) return on Saturday amid Victoria’s lockdown, while it was business as usual for state leagues around the nation. The West and South Australian leagues both rolled on into their ninth round of action, while the 10th set of fixtures were played in Queensland and Tasmania. We take you through the most eye-catching results and efforts across the state leagues this past weekend.

Queensland (QAFL):

Broadbeach extended its undefeated streak with a 51-point thumping of Palm Beach Currumbin (PBC), headlining the five games played on Saturday afternoon. Jordan Moncrieff snared a bag of six goals in the Cats’ big win, with Lucas Jellyman-Turner named best afield and Gold Coast Academy member Bodhi Uwland also prominent.

Mitchell Scholard was another to boot a bag, claiming five majors in Maroochydore’s 41-point win over Surfers Paradise. Top-age SUNS Academy standout Max Pescud finished as the Demons’ sole multiple goalkicker (two) as Daniel Charlesworth earned top votes in the loss. The Roos hopped up to second, with help from Labrador’s bye and Sherwood Districts’ upset win over Morningside. Thomas Baulch slammed home six goals for the Magpies, who now sit seventh behind Surfers Paradise, but have a sizeable percentage to make up.

Elsewhere, Redland-Victoria Point moved clear in fifth after feasting on the winless Noosa, with Peter Yagmoor snagging an equal round-high six majors, while Wilston Grange drew level on points with Mt Gravatt after beating the Vultures by 19 points.

South Australia (SANFL):

Glenelg clawed its way back from a 48-point half time deficit against Norwood to keep its perfect record (9-0) intact and remain clear atop the SANFL ladder. The Bays booted the last eight goals of the game, with that streak starting and ending via the boot of Toby Pink. Matthew Snook played a key hand in his side’s miraculous turnaround with 27 disposals and 11 tackles, while the returning Matthew Nunn (29 disposals, 2.4) was instrumental for the Redlegs.

On the same Sunday, second-ranked South Adelaide survived a scare of its own against West Adelaide, holding on to win by three points at Hisense Stadium. Connor Fairlie nearly proved the hero for Westies, booting two of his three goals in the final term but missed a tough chance to put his side ahead late in the piece. He and Thomas Keough snared three majors apiece, while Kaine Stevens racked up a game-high 35 disposals for the Bloods. Joseph Haines had it 31 times for South, while Bryce Gibbs notched 28 touches as his side had a spread of 10 individual goalkickers.

On Saturday, Woodville-West Torrens and North Adelaide notched more comfortable wins against bottom three opposition, with the Eagles beating Central District by 29 points, while the Roosters came away 40 points to the good against Adelaide.

Tasmania (TSL):

Competition frontrunners Launceston and North Launceston came up trumps in dual top four battles, as the Blues accounted for the fourth-placed Tigers to the tune of 26 points, while the Northern Bombers breezed past third-ranked Clarence by 34 points. The results see Launceston remain top with a game in hand to North Launceston, with the top four ultimately unchanged.

Dylan Riley booted five goals for the Blues in their win, while Liam Jones provided a couple of highlights on debut. In the round’s other fixture, Glenorchy moved clear in fifth spot with its 19-point win over Lauderdale. North Hobart had the bye in Round 9, but will return against Launceston on Sunday afternoon.

Victoria (VFL):

New-South Wales and Queensland carried the load of the Victorian-branded competition in Round 8, with a game played in each state on Saturday. In the morning at Tramway Oval, Southport moved clear atop the table with a 15-point comeback win over the Sydney Swans, thanks to a six-goal final quarter. The Sharks doubled their goal tally in said term, as Jacob Dawson finished with dominant figures of 41 disposals and two goals. He now leads the league for disposals and handballs. Lewis Taylor and Marc Sheather booted three majors each for the Swans, while Ryan Clarke racked up 34 touches.

The afternoon hitout at Graham Road Oval between Aspley and Brisbane Lions ended in dramatic fashion, as Hornets spearhead Matthew Hammelmann marked and kicked a goal just after the final siren, but thought he had won his side the game. The score did not count, and Brisbane came away one-point winners. Hammelmann, the competition’s leading goalkicker, snared five majors this time out, while former-Lion Ryan Bastinac racked up 37 disposals. Current Brisbane barometer Rhys Mathieson led all comers with 39 touches, as Connor Ballenden clunked 10 marks and Connor McFadyen was one of three Lions to boot three goals.

With Round 7 fixtures postponed last week due to the Victorian lockdown, the competition is set to return this week but nothing has been confirmed as of yet.

Western Australia (WAFL):

WAFL fixtures were spread from Thursday night to Monday afternoon in Round 9, with frontrunners Subiaco and Claremont both picking up wins and moving to 7-1 records. The Lions thumped Perth by 98 points on Thursday, as Ben Sokol feasted on six majors and Gregory Clark notched a game-high 42 touches. Subi tall Lachlan Delahunty (30 disposals, 24 hitouts, one goal) was also dominant, while Simon Hayward finished with Perth’s lone goal of the game.

State league standout Jye Bolton ran riot in Claremont’s 27-point victory over West Coast, collecting a monster 49 disposals, 12 marks and a goal. Four other Tigers ticked over 30 touches, while five of their nine individual goalkickers booted multiples. Eagles mid-season draftee Connor West made an immediate impact in his new colours, finishing on a team-high 29 disposals and snaring a goal.

In the second Saturday fixture, Swan Districts moved clear in the top five with an eight-point win over the inaccurate Peel Thunder, who slide to seventh. West Perth kicked off proceedings on Monday with a 43-point win over East Perth, highlighted by eight goals to spearhead Tyler Keitel. South Fremantle bettered East Fremantle by 16 points to see out the round, seeing the reigning premiers sit comfortably in third, just one win adrift from the top two.

Image Credit: David Mariuz/SANFL

State Leagues wrap: Big wins across the board

DESPITE the absence of Victorian Football League (VFL) action due to a statewide lockdown imposed on Victoria, the remaining leagues went ahead with business as usual, providing plenty of entertaining football action.

SANFL:

The SANFL kicked off its eighth round at Flinders University Stadium, where the South Adelaide Panthers proved too strong for Central Districts, running out winners by 27 points on Saturday afternoon. Despite only two points separating the sides at the final break, a six-goal final term from the Panthers was ultimately the deciding factor, as they grabbed their sixth win of the year, keeping them in second place, behind the undefeated Tigers. Panther Bryce Gibbs was far and away the best player, racking up 36 touches in the midfield, laying six solid tackles and booting two goals in a dominant display from the ex-Crow. For Central Districts, Harry Grant found plenty of the ball with 25 touches for the match.

At Maugham Thiem Kia Oval, Woodville-West Torrens ran away with a nice 47-point win over the Norwood Redlegs on Saturday afternoon. The Redlegs burst out of the gates, taking a two-goal lead into quarter time, but the Eagles kicked 11 goals to two in the remaining three quarters to nab a win that saw them rise up the ladder. For the victors, Riley Knight continued his strong season with 27 disposals and 10 marks through the midfield, while teammate Angus Poole booted three goals from his 21 touches. For the Redlegs, ex-Crow Richard Douglas fought hard with 29 disposals and a goal.

Prospect Oval was treated to a thrilling win for the home side, as North Adelaide escaped with a three-point win over the Sturt Sabres on Saturday afternoon. A late charge from the Sabres looked as if they might be able to steal an unlikely victory, but a late shot on goal from Sabre Daniel Fahey-Sparks didn’t register a major score, and the result was all but sealed. For the winning side, midfielder Campbell Combe put in an outstandingly tough performance, finishing the match with 25 disposals, five clearances and a massive 15 tackles. For the Sabres, Casey Voss worked tirelessly all day on his way to 28 touches and a goal.

Glenelg’s season remains perfect and they do not look like slowing down at all, following their 89-point belting of the Adelaide Crows at ACH Group Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Crows looked no match for their opponents, who were able to do as they please for all four quarters. Tigers forwards Luke Reynolds (five goals) and Liam McBean (four goals) were fantastic up forward, constantly giving teammates such as Matthew Allen (33 disposals) an option with the ball in hand. For the Crows, skipper Matthew Wright tried to lead his side as well as he could, finishing with 30 touches on a tough day.

The final SANFL game for the weekend saw Port Adelaide claim a strong win over West Adelaide at Alberton Oval on Saturday afternoon. A strong third term saw the Power break away from their opponents, who had been impressive in their efforts to match the home side around the contest, but the class of Port Adelaide ultimately got them over the line. For the victors, midfielder Sam Mayes was instrumental around the contest, finishing the match with 30 disposals and seven clearances as he gave his side midfield ascendancy. For West Adelaide, Kaine Stevens fought bravely around the ball, finishing the match with 33 disposals and a goal.

WAFL:

The WAFL kicked off their eighth round of footy at Leederville Oval, where Subiaco were able to snatch top spot on the ladder with a 44-point victory over the Peel Thunder on Saturday afternoon. The strong margin saw the victors gain enough percentage on the ladder to move up to premier spot on the ladder, as their opponents struggled to keep up with them, especially after a five-goal to none opening term. For the winners, Lachlan Delahunty was a clear standout, doing it all to finish the match with 30 disposals, 16 hitouts and seven inside-50’s in a strong outing. For the Peel Thunder, Reece Conca was great from the backline, racking up 27 touches while denying his opponents the ball.

Heading to Revo Fitness Stadium, Claremont were clinical in their 39-point victory over East Perth on Saturday afternoon. The game was reasonably even in the first half, with just one point separating the sides at the main break, but Claremont were able to turn it on in the second half on their way to their sixth win of the season. Claremont were led from the midfield, especially by Jye Bolton who finished with 34 disposals and nine inside 50’s in a strong attacking game. For East Perth, Angus Scott found plenty of space, racking up 34 touches and nine marks of his own.

At Fremantle Community Bank Oval, South Fremantle got their offensive game-plan rolling, storming away from West Coast to claim a 66-point win on Saturday afternoon. The Eagles have struggled to string together solid play all year, and South Fremantle took full advantage of that, especially in the second quarter where they booted seven goals in a dominant term. For the victors, Jimmy Miller booted five goals in a powerful display up forward, while former Saint kicked four goals from 26 disposals. For the Eagles, Xavier O’Neill tried to get his side going from the midfield, finishing with 24 touches and 10 inside-50’s.

Swan Districts grabbed a crucial round eight win, taking down East Fremantle to the tune of 44 points at Steel Blue Oval on Saturday afternoon. With both sides entering the clash with the same record, Swan Districts virtually determined the result of the game in the second quarter, where they booted eight goals to claim a commanding lead that they would never end up surrendering. For the winning side, ruckman Corey Gault caught the eye with his 19 disposals, six tackles and 36 hitouts in an impressive display, while Cameron Eardley was the strongest performer for East Fremantle.

In a low scoring affair, Perth were able to walk away with a 10-point win over West Perth at Provident Financial Oval on Saturday afternoon. Both sides were made to pay for their inaccuracy in a close contest, but Perth’s strong third term was ultimately telling in determining the result of the game. For the winning team, Corey Byrne was a standout in the midfield with his 30-disposal performance while Aaron Black found the ball 32 times for West Perth.

QAFL:

There were plenty of big scores in this weekend’s QAFL action, starting at Rococo Oval, where Broadbeach hammered Noosa, running out winners by a whopping 113 points on Saturday afternoon. The game was ultimately decided by quarter time, where the winners already held a 33-point lead, and they would only improve from here. For Broadbeach, Jordan Moncrieff continued his strong run of form in front of the big sticks, booting six majors in a damaging display. For Noosa, Will O’Dwyer played a lone hand up forward, booting four of the team’s six goals.

In another blowout, Labrador claimed a strong 78-point win over Wilston Grange at Cooke-Murphy Oval on Saturday afternoon. The victors were able to do as they pleased, and after a strongly contested first term, Wilston Grange were soundly beaten around all areas of the ground. For Labrador, Thomas Meagher was outstanding, booting three goals and finding plenty of the ball in a great display. For Wilston Grange, Zachary Stanton played his best game of the year despite the tough day for his team.

A big final term has seen Morningside claim their sixth win of the year, by defeating Maroochydore by 22 points at Jack Esplen Oval on Saturday afternoon. With the match tied at three quarter time, the result looked as if it could go either way, and Maroochydore had all the momentum following a strong third term. Morningside were able to storm home, booting five goals to one in the final term to secure the result. For Morningside, Thomas Jeffery was clinical, booting three goals up forward in an influential display, while Maroochydore were well-led by the in-form Jacob Simpson.

Moving to Salk Oval, Palm Beach Currumbin were able to work their way to a 27-point triumph over Sherwood Districts on Saturday afternoon. The win was set up in the first half, where they took a whopping 45-point lead into half time, and were able to cruise to their third win of the season and climb up the ladder. For the victors, Jonathan Croad was once again impressive, finding plenty of the ball and leading his side from the front. For Sherwood Districts, Toara Marango put in his best performance of the year despite the loss.

The final match of the round saw Surfers Paradise claim a nice 24-point win over Mt Gravatt at Sir Bruce Small Park on Saturday afternoon. The game was fought evenly in the first half, with just five points separating the sides at the main break, but Surfers Paradise kicked away in the third term to grab their fourth win of the season. For the winners, Thompson Smith was everywhere, booting four goals and making the opposition pay on the scoreboard, while Frazer Neate led the way for Mt Gravatt.

TSL:
The ninth round of TSL action began at Blundstone Arena, where Clarence dominated their opponents on their way to a 68-point win over Glenorchy on Saturday afternoon. Clarence have proven tough to beat on their home deck all year and this match only escalated these fears for opposing sides. Clarence midfielder Jack Preshaw was his side’s best, finding plenty of the ball around the ground and constantly making his opponents work both ways. Glenorchy’s Cooper Meredith fought hard all day in tough conditions.

A remarkable match-winning goal from Riley Ashlin SAW the Tigers steal a four-point win over Lauderdale at Lauderdale Oval on Saturday afternoon. With only seconds remaining, Ashlin snapped an incredible goal from the pocket to give his side the match-winning lead and escape a shock loss. Ashlin was also one of his side’s strongest performers on the day, so it was only fitting that he deliver the win for his team.

North Launceston have continued their strong push for top spot on the ladder, with a 20-point win over North Hobart at North Hobart Oval on Saturday afternoon. The Demons competed well for most of the match, and threatened to cause an upset, but the Bombers were able to turn it on and burst past their opponents to put them dangerously close to claiming the premier spot on the ladder. Bomber Jack Avent impressed as he has done all season, while Sam Caswell continued his strong form from last week for the Demons.

Photo credit: Hannah Howard/SANFL