WAFL: Lions leap into the GF – Sharks kick themselves out of it

WAFL preliminary final

YOU could almost hear the giggles coming from the East Fremantle coaching box. Surely Sharks coach Steve Malaxos would have seen the funny side of it as his players missed set shots, missed when running into open goals, mucked up attempts to get the ball to a player in the best position and then didn’t even want to have shots for goal. They produced 1.8 in the first quarter, 1.7 in the second, 4.7 in the third and 1.4 in the last on the way to 7.26. It turned out they needed to score 7.32.

It was a gripping preliminary final. Subiaco lost their best player and captain Kyal Horsley and leading goal scorer Matt Boland before the game and the creative George Hampson also wasn’t there. They needed to be brave and creative and they were.

Some of East Fremantle’s football, especially in the third quarter, was exhilarating. Rory O’Brien, Jayden Schofield and Jamie McNamara were running the ball with great effect and, to be fair, the Sharks didn’t have much luck around the goals. A neatly crafted snap shot from 50 by Ryan Lester-Smith hit the base of the post and a running check-side shot from the boundary by Bradd Dalziell was…perfect…but just brushed the post on the way through.

The Lions were held together by an extraordinary effort from Wayde Twomey, great work by Andrew McDougall, who is probably in the best form of his career. Dashing work by defender Daniel Leishman helped the cause and no one was more important than Shane Yarran. Staying close to goal for the most part, Yarran’s clever positioning enabled him to kick four goals and that was match-winning contribution.

Subiaco will play East Perth in the grand final next Sunday and even some Royals supporters will be barracking for the Lions.

Meanwhile West Perth’s Aaron Black has won the Sandover Medal. He polled 47 votes to win from Luke Blackwell (Claremont) and Shane Nelson (West Perth) with 46, Kyal Horsley (Subiaco) 45, Bradd Dalziell (East Fremantle) 43 and Craig Wulff (East Perth) 35. If East Perth do win the premiership no one will be able to suggest Wulff isn’t deserving.

Subiaco 10.13 (73) East Fremantle 7.26 (68)

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. Les – That prelim final was one of the strangest games I have watched. The Sharks always looked the better team, and that they would eventually run over the Lions. It was like Waiting for Godot.
    Do you know the words to the Subiaco club song for the GF on Sunday?

  2. Subiaco players know the meaning of success
    Dedication is the way to fight for happiness
    Da di da di da di da
    To the prem ya ship we’re bound wowownd
    Glory glory Subiaco
    Glory glory Subiaco

    Or something like that

    The WAFL’s making me feel sick. After 50+ years I can’t even will myself to support the Royals.

  3. Is the WAFL the only thing making you sick?

  4. David Zampatti says

    Neither can I, Les. Neither can I.

  5. I think Subi are a sneaky chance even though midfield seemed to get soundly beaten last week. Hampson, Boland, Horsley to come back. If they are fit and fresh, they could just add the extra opportunities to score Subi need. Subi’s Victorian ruckman Delahunty took some fabulous marks around the ground and seems to be running into form. If Yarran can just stay on this two feet a bit longer….

    It’s been good to be a Subi supporter this year- fighting the power.

    (Sheed (ex Subi) having a big influence for the Royals will hurt.)

    Feel sorry for East Perth supporters- club has been taken away from them in a way. Peter Spencer, Sandover medallist for East Perth, said on radio that a premiership will mean less to him.

    I suppose the truth is that the Wafl means less these days in general. Western Australia has changed a lot in the last 27 years since the Eagles were formed. I envy the Victorians their old clubs’ continued relevance.

  6. Saw the last quarter on ABC replay this morning. You forgot the one where the ball was hand passed into the hands of a player 2′ out and right between the big sticks and without a hand being laid on him, couldn’t get foot to ball. Ended up with a rushed through for a behind. There were also a few efforts where kicks at goal fell short from 40-45 out. The Sharks didn’t look like the team that beat Swan Districts last week…

    Eassendon had a similar game at the Gabba once. After about 7 straight points, a mark was taken about 15m out, straight in front. As the player moved in to kick, someone in the crowd remarked “Not another bloody point”. And it was.

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