WAFL: Dream Grand Final awaits

Coming into the last round of home and away fixtures Claremont had lost two games for the season and were seemingly on their way to a hat trick of premierships.

A loss to East Fremantle in round 24 seemed harmless enough – the Tigers still finished four games and 23% ahead of West Perth on the ladder. A narrow loss in the second semi final was a little more harmful but Claremont still had a home preliminary final to look forward to. Claremont Oval is about to undergo a huge Waverley-syle redevelopment so a second farewell wasn’t such a bad thing.

Now those at Tigerland are coming to grips with the fact that, for the first time since 2010, they won’t be part of the grand final.

In the preliminary final East Perth began best, withstood an early third quarter challenge and thrashed Claremont who became dispirited and insipid.

Four players define the modern Royals – Paul Johnson, Brendan Lee, Craig Wulff and Michael Swan – and they were the architects of Sunday’s demolition job on the premiership favourites. The support crew include Mathew Seal, who kicked four goals, Ryan Maldenis, with another top finals performance, Steven Payne, who ran hot in the second half, and Josh Smith, who kicked three goals.

Luke Blackwell and Andrew Browne put in their usual honest efforts for the Tigers but lacked back-up.

And so it’s a derby grand final – the best possible result for the WAFL. When these two teams met in the 2002 grand final they attracted a crowd of 31,328. Last year when Claremont played East Fremantle about 18,000 turned up.

Claremont 14.9 (93) v East Perth 24.12 (156)

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


  1. And people wonder why I hate west coast……sweet redacted lord. REDACTED

  2. Gotta laugh.

    Go Sellas, go Crippsy, go that other the bloke, the ruckman whatever his name is.

    Probably would’ve been 40 points without EP’s Eagles.

  3. im laffin so hard Les Im crying

  4. David Zampatti says

    Don’t worry Doc. The Eaglettes have gotta get past us yet (before they start their inevitable run of [redacted] premierships).

  5. Les,
    Your Sandover Medallist and Prelim BOG Paul Johnson is another Eagles player that we have loaned East Perth to console you.
    Is this the last year you will be able to whole heartedly support the former Royals, given that our total takeover is imminent?
    Carn Selwood and all you mighty East Perth Eaglettes.

  6. Mr PeterB

    Do you know that Paul Johnson played one game for the WC Evil and it was a derby? They won (it was in the old days, 2003) he had one handball.

    He’s better than many current AFL ruckmen.

    It will be hard next year but there’s something about the black & blue… I even love Port’s new jumper design.

Leave a Comment