The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 18 – West Coast v Fremantle: A purple parade

The first printed edition of The Footy Almanac came out in 2007, before we had a website. In the absence of a real 2020 season, we will be publishing the 2007 pieces for the first time ever on Follow the season!



West Coast versus Fremantle

2.40pm, Sunday, August 5

Subiaco Oval, Perth



THIS WAS ALWAYS GOING TO BE A BIG GAME. If the Eagles won it they would take second spot on the ladder. The Dockers were playing for their own place in the eight. And for pride. The year wasn’t going to plan, and the club was copping a regular bollocking from the Western Australian media, especially for their off-field misdemeanors (the Eagles seem to get off more lightly for theirs for reasons, I suspect, of a financial nature).


Derby games are always a big deal anyway. In the days leading up to the match, punters were conspicuously parading their teams’ jumpers around the malls in downtown Perth (yes, for you Eastern Staters, there’s two of them).


Tickets to Derby games hosted by the Eagles are extremely hard to come by if you aren’t a West Coast member. I ended up watching the match in Moondyne Joe’s, a pub in South Freo, named after a bushranger. It’s a sort of sports bar with an enormous screen. Fans arrived early to get prime seats; some of them I’m sure had been there since the 9.30am screening of the Morales vs Dias fight, which was advertised on the blackboard outside.


There was a surprising number of West Coast fans in the place – though they were still outnumbered – and the pub was showing its even-handedness, with balloons of both teams’ colours pinned to the walls and benches.


The entire game was played at break-neck pace. At one of the few times when the sound of the commentary could be heard through the spectators’ shouting and clapping, I heard the call that, “This is as close to finals football as you’ll get in the home-and-away season”, or something like that.


After some early, ineffective sparring, Freo leapt to the lead. They looked as if they’d go into quarter-time with a sizeable buffer. But West Coast ran over the top of them in the last 10 minutes of the quarter and were only three goals down at the first siren.


This pattern was repeated in the second quarter, with Freo playing outstanding football early, only to have West Coast claw their way back as half- time neared. A pessimistic theory was brewing in my head: West Coast’s superior fitness would be telling. At the main break the margin was virtually unchanged: 15 points. By then the last of the sets of West Coast balloons had been burst, with each bang bringing a cheer from the Freo supporters.


The third quarter was a tight contest throughout: goal for goal. Matthew Pavlich and Jeff Farmer were firing but Mark LeCras was proving hard to put back in his box and David Wirrpunda scored two inspirational goals. Peter Bell replied with a steadying set shot goal from the boundary. The confidence amongst the crowd, when Bell lined up, was palpable.


By the halfway mark of the third quarter the last Freo balloons had also been exploded and an inebriated Freo fan had been ejected into the street for seeking to remonstrate with a balloon saboteur wearing a West Coast jumper. Late in the quarter Ben Cousins gave away an ill-disciplined 50-metre penalty to Josh Carr, who kept his nerve to steer through an important goal. At three-quarter time Freo clung to a nine-point advantage.


Cousins, who was booed heartily throughout, seemed to allow Carr to get under his skin, and the former Port player was getting the better of the contest, having earlier roughed up Daniel Kerr. With Chris Judd quiet, obviously playing within himself due to injury, the Eagles midfield looked human. The Freo locals were optimistic at the final break.


In the last quarter the pace of the match remained frantic; if anything, it went up a notch. Or perhaps it was just the rising noise at Moonbyne Joe’s. The Freo and West Coast supporters chanted their teams’ names and tried to outdo each others’ cheering, booing and clapping.


With the help of another Peter Bell goal, Freo surged ahead, gratifyingly, in the later stages of the quarter, allowing their supporters a healthy period of exuberance. For a moment my view of the screen was blocked by a man in a Freo jumper pretending to ride a horse past the West Coast fans while slapping himself on his arse. Yes, it was time to put down the glasses, or shut the gate, or whatever. Tony, standing beside me, said confidently, and correctly as it turned out, that Josh Carr was heading for a Ross Glendinning Medal. And this in spite of the fact that “they don’t give stats for niggles”.


Later we agreed that if Farmer was the flawed genius of the side, Bell was just the genius. Well… there was a bandwagon passing by. What was an expat Victorian gonna do?



Fremantle  5.3 9.4 13.7 19.10 (124)

West Coast  2.4 6.7 11.8 14.13 (97)



Fremantle: Farmer, J. Carr 3, Bell, Pavlich 2, Grover, M. Carr, Peake, Murphy, Tarrant, Crowley, Gilmore, Black, Hasleby.

West Coast: LeCras 4, Wirrpunda, Staker 2, Selwood, R. Jones, Seaby, Hunter, Lynch, Hansen.



Fremantle: J. Carr, Solomon, McPharlin, Farmer, Bell, Grover, Hasleby, Black, McManus.

West Coast: LeCras, Cox, Seaby, Hunter, Wirrpanda



Lynch (West Coast) 100 games, Hansen (West Coast) 50 games, Waters (West Coast) 50 games, Johnson (Fremantle) 50 games.



Margetts, Ryan, Jeffery.



Carr (F) 3, Solomon (F) 2, Hasleby (F) 1.



Carr *(F) 3, Solomon* (F) 2, Farmer (F) 1






For more Round by Round reports of the 2007 season click HERE


Printed copies of The Footy Almanac 2007 can be purchased here.


2007 Footy Almanac

Leave a Comment