Almanac (WAFL) Footy: Big weekend in the West

• South Fremantle’s Jimmy Miller gets his kick away. Photos by Les Everett.

Turns out I was asked to explain the WAFL preliminary final to quite a few people on Sunday night.

So Claremont didn’t score a goal for three quarters (0.8). Then in the last quarter South Fremantle didn’t score at all while the Tigers slammed through four straight. We were one goal away from another heart-stopper.

I don’t know what these two teams do to each other but not much scoring happens when they meet. This was the lowest scoring preliminary final in WAFL history and conditions were perfect. Luckily I ran into a former WAFL senior coach on the way to the country music gig where I had the explaining to do. He reckons it’s something to do with South’s careful ball movement and lack of surge.

Anyway, I was impressed with Chad Pearson’s game in defence, Haiden Schloithe kicked two goals and held up well in the last quarter, Aiden Hall and Toby McQuilkin did some good things, Zac Strom’s marking was useful and Noah Strom was good in the backline.

Jye Bolton again put in a mighty performance for Claremont that included two last-quarter goals, Ryan Lim was good too. But it was too little too late for the Tigers.

The AFL grand final on Saturday night at Perth Stadium was one of the strangest thrashings I’ve witnessed. Strange because for a while it looked like the Bulldogs were going, “Onwards to victory,” as the South Fremantle song says.

Then Melbourne were magnificent. Frightening. In a game played in the most wonderful spirit at a great stadium in front of footy fans.

 

While Christian Petracca was a clear Norm Smith Medal choice the efforts of Bayley Fritsch, Christian Salem, Angus Brayshaw, Luke Jackson, Max Gawn and Clayton Oliver among others were worthy of note. And those voting on the award would surely have had the names Marcus Bontempelli and Adam Treloar in the their notebooks before things changed.

One game to go. Subiaco vs South Fremantle at Perth Stadium on Saturday – Bulldogs coach Todd Curley needs to come up with something. It should be interesting.

South Fremantle 6.7 (43) d Claremont 4.8 (32). Crowd 4646

• Country note: Peter Busher & The Long Rangers at the Mustang Bar were brilliant.

 

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• Bulldog Toby McQuilkin. Photo by Les Everett

 

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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

Comments

  1. Speaking of strange games Swan Districts Colts (the minor premiers) were 4 goals up at half time. The game had been delayed by half an hour at quarter time due to a thunderstorm and lightning. The last half was shortened by 10 minutes to catch up time for the League game’s televising on Channel 7. The third quarter East Fremantle had 37 more disposals and cut the lead to only one point. The last quarter was nip and tuck with Swans holding a 10 point lead most of the quarter. Then the time honoured “hold and chip to protect the lead” in the last few minutes. Naturally turnovers galore followed and EF had the last 3 shots for 1.2! We held on just to win by 2 points.
    Now our second semi nemesis Claremont in the GF. But Swans’ top goal scorer Metcalf will be back after suspension (against Claremont) in Round 22. Sure to be a brilliant and willing contest with the best young football talent in the State on display.
    My suggestion to footy fans is come early (noon) for the Colts GF. It will be the highlight of Grand Final day in a terrffic WAFL season.

  2. BTW the second photo is of Aiden Hall… another blonde

  3. Great report Les. For all the twists and turns in the Prelim, AFL GF and as PB comments, in the Colts Prelim as well, we can always be certain of one thing. Pete Busher will deliver. Cheers

  4. The West sure put on a very impressive set of finals, culminating in a most exciting Grand Final. I, like so many others, was glued to my seat watching a truly amazing display of attacking footy. To me, this proved Aussie Rules is the most exciting of all the football codes..

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