WAFL Round 19: It’s a one Tiger race

By Les Everett

A FEW weeks back there were four genuine premiership contenders in the WAFL competition. Then East Fremantle thrashed East Perth and Swan Districts making those two look like pretenders and setting up the most anticipated game of the season.

The battle of the top two at Claremont Oval started innocently enough but by the end of the afternoon the WAFL was calling in the premiership cup engravers. The Tigers with their relentless midfield run simply slaughtered the Sharks – Jake Murphy, Luke Blackwell, Tom Swift, Byron Schammer and Kane Mitchell were just too much to handle and Tom Lee kicked five goals. The Sharks didn’t score a goal in either the second or fourth quarters. The message from Claremont to the others with premiership aspirations in 2012 was an emphatic ‘don’t bother’.

 

Claremont 19.10 (124) East Fremantle 4.8 (32).

 

East Perth took control of the game at Lathlain Park when they kicked five goals to none in the second quarter and they were untroubled in beating Perth by 37 points. Big men Zac Clarke and Paul Johnson dominated the game – they spend a lot of the time on the field together and win a lot of the ball. It’s a combination that wouldn’t look out of place in an AFL team. Freddie Clutterbuck and Jarrad Oakley-Nicholls were hard runners for the Royals and Mathew Seal was in good form. The win may have come at a big cost for East Perth as Josh Smith left the ground with a knee injury in the third quarter. Ross Young and Alistair Smith were good players for the Demons. Some say the WAFL fixtures are puzzling. East Perth have the bye next week and then they Perth again.

 

East Perth 17.11 (113) Perth 10.16 (76).

 

Peel haven’t won at home this year but they started brightly this week when Scott Ugle kicked the first goal of the game with his first kick in league football. West Perth kicked nine goals to none in the second quarter and won the game by 100 points. Shane Nelson and Aaron Black were sensational in the midfield for the Falcons while the familiar, though hard to spell, names of Jason Salecic, Andrew Strjik and Anthony Tsalikis were also prominent. Peter Faulks had a remarkable game in defence for the Thunder and Brad Holmes kicked three goals.

 

West Perth 25.9 (159) Peel 8.11 (59).

 

Ashley Hansen illustrated his importance to Swan Districts with seven goals in his team’s come-from-behind victory over Subiaco at Leederville Oval. The Lions led by 24 points at half time but Swans scored 12 goals to three in the second half. Dayle Garlett kicked four goals, Shaun Hilderbrandt enjoyed playing against one of his old teams, Marlon Motlop maintained his outstanding form and Tom Roach also played well. Jack Anthony kicked five goals for Subiaco and Aidan Parker, who is enjoying his best season, had another great game.

 

Swan Districts 17.14 (116) Subiaco 13.5 (83).

 

The ladder: Claremont 48; East Fremantle 44; Swan Districts 44; East Perth 42; West Perth 34; Subiaco 24; Perth 20; South Fremantle 16; Peel 16.

 

There are only two games next week. Swans should move into second place after meeting Peel at home though they did lose to the Thunder at home in round five. Meanwhile either South Fremantle or Perth can wave goodbye to the wooden spoon with victory at Fremantle Oval next Sunday.

 

About Les Everett

A Footy Almanac veteran, Les Everett is the author of Gravel Rash: 100 Years of Goldfields Football and Fremantle Dockers: An Illustrated History. He is the footyalmanac.com WAFL correspondent and uses the money he makes from that role to pay for his expensive websites australianrules.com.au and talkingfrankie.com and fund the extravagant Vin Maskell at scoreboardpressure.com

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