WAFL – Rd1: Matthew Johnson sets scene for West Perth

WHEN second gamer Matthew Johnson of West Perth gathered the ball on the wing at Joondalup early in the Perth derby nobody could have predicted what was to happen. The 19-year-old took off, bounced twice handballed to a team mate, took a return handball and kicked the first goal of the game. It was audacious and it didn’t end there. Johnson finished with six goals and displayed strong marking ability to go with the incredible pace… he will be one to keep an eye on. After a tight first half West Perth crushed their traditional rivals with East Perth kicking just 1.2 (8) in the second half. Chris Keunen had a great duel with Paul Johnson in the ruck, Josh Mellington kicked three goals and Shane Nelson worked hard in the midfield. Danny Chartes in defence was a good player for the Royals.

West Perth 19.19 (133) East Perth 9.3 (57).

It was even at Claremont Oval at half time and then the premiers turned it on to beat South Fremantle by 48 points and show they’ll be hard beat again. Jeremy McGovern kicked four goals for the Tigers, captain Andrew Browne began the season well and Jake Murphy kicked three goals in an outstanding effort midfield and showed he might be ready to take over from Kane Mitchell. Veteran Kris Miller was good for the Bulldogs and Mitch Banner kicked three goals in his first game for South Fremantle.

Claremont 20.12 (132) South Fremantle 12.12 (84).

It was also even at half time at East Fremantle where Swan Districts won a tight one by 11 points. Tim Geappen kicked six goals and Murray Newman four for Swans while Swan Medal winner Shaun Hilderbrandt was strong in the midfield along with Lachie Neale. Max Duffy and Brett Peake each kicked three goals for the Sharks.

Swan Districts 13.15 (93) East Fremantle 12.10 (82).

At Lathlain Park the home team, confidently predicted by most to win the wooden spoon, pulled off an upset victory against last year’s spoon winners. Perth kicked the first five goals and held on to beat an inaccurate Peel by 12 points. Young midfielder Brett Hodge was outstanding for the Demons, Chance Bateman enjoyed his return home and Karl Reimers kicked three goals. Pat Travers was tireless for Thunder and young Dockers Viv Michie and Tom Sheridan were in good form.

Perth 12.10 (82) Peel 9.16 (70).

Next week it’s Subiaco vs West Perth at Leederville Oval on Friday night and East Perth vs Peel at Leederville on Saturday afternoon. Now that’s interesting filtering.


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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