In the second semi-final of the WAFL Colts competition, East Fremantle defeated Claremont by 15 points to advance to the Grand Final, a berth they haven’t experienced since 2012.
Claremont now turn their attention to the Preliminary Final, where they will take on their opponent from last year’s Grand Final, East Perth.
In the fourth minute of the first quarter, East Fremantle’s Brandon Collard took a strong mark inside 50 and converted his set shot to record the first goal of the game. Claremont’s Isaac Barton nailed a difficult set shot from the boundary to tie the scores up in the 12th minute. However, Dillon O’Reilly (twice) and Milan Murdock hit the scoreboard for the Sharks to go into quarter time with an 18-point lead.
O’Reilly got proceedings under way in the second quarter, when he was able to take a contested mark inside 50 and nail his set shot in the fourth minute. Tom Joyce intercepted an attempted rebound out of defensive 50 by Claremont, and found Dwayne Nevill who kicked his first for the match. In the 15th minute, Tim Bockman found O’Reilly inside 50, who went back and slotted his fourth goal. Damon Enosa snapped one through for the Tigers, but only minutes later, Bockman converted a set shot after taking a sensational pack mark. Callan England banged one through for the Tigers in the 21st minute, but soon after Collard found Bockman inside 50, who went back and kicked his second.
After the main break, the Tigers came out firing. Enosa (twice), Lewis Davis, and Jake Patmore all kicked goals to bring the margin to just 10 points. However, in the 22nd minute, East Fremantle’s Sam Lewis slotted a goal after receiving a downfield freekick.
In the sixth minute of the final quarter, Jack Buller nailed a goal, but Murdock scored the reply for the Sharks, when he produced a checkside from the boundary that went elegantly through the goals. In the 17th minute, O’Reilly banged through his fifth goal. In the 23rd minute, Davis kicked a goal for Claremont to reduce the margin to 15 points, but it was too late.
Below were the best players in the game.
JACK BULLER/KEY POSITION UTILITY/194cm/85kg
The Christ Church Grammar student showcased why he was inducted into the 2017 AFL Academy’s Development Squad intake. He only finished with eight possessions, 12 hit-outs, two marks and a goal, but he is still only 16-years-old and his potential is sky high, especially with the way he leads and tries to utilise his strength. He is a player well worth monitoring for the 2019 AFL Draft.
LEWIS DAVIS | UTILITY | 197cm | 82kg
The Borden FC junior was at his imposing best against East Fremantle. Stationed in the forward line, Davis finished with 13 possessions (nine contested), three marks (two contested), three tackles, three inside 50s and two goals. He also helped Jack Buller out in the ruck, with nine hit-outs and two clearances.
CALLAN ENGLAND | MIDFIELD | 182cm | 73kg
The 2015 WA U16s MVP showcased why he is such a highly rated prospect for the 2017 AFL Draft. He accumulated 26 possessions (14 contested), got the ball inside 50 on five occasions, took four marks, won three clearances, recorded two score assists and kicked a goal in a dazzling display. Despite being a smaller midfielder, England still accumulates a lot of possessions, often using his unheralded strength to win the contested ball, similar to Fremantle star Lachie Neale.
DAMON ENOSA | FORWARD | 185cm | 79kg
The Broome product was electrifying in the front half for the Tigers, often using his speed and agility to dance his way past the Sharks’ defenders. He accumulated 12 possessions (six contested), grabbed three marks, recorded two inside 50s and kicked three goals (he could have had a bag of five if his kicking was straighter) in a dazzling performance.
RYLIE MORGAN | MIDFIELD | 181cm | 80kg
The 2016 WA U16s Captain continued his fine form in the finals, this time against East Fremantle. He gathered an equal team-high 26 possessions (10 contested), laid four tackles and won three clearances in a sensational game. They say the big boys come out in September, and right now it is fair to say that Morgan belongs in that company.
JAKE PATMORE | MIDFIELD | 180cm | 72kg
The AFL Academy member showcased why he so highly touted for this year’s draft. He won 24 possessions (11 contested), laid seven tackles, won five clearances and kicked a goal in a magnificent performance. His ability to create a spark during the game will have recruiters making sure to monitor him for the draft.
BRANDON COLLARD | FORWARD | 188cm | 73kg
The Kelmscott junior was at his explosive best against Claremont. He finished the game witn18 possessions, six marks, five inside 50s and a goal in a dazzling display. The way he crashed and bashed his body through contests was simply inspirational.
TOM JOYCE | MIDFIELD | 179cm | 67kg
An AFL Academy member, Joyce produced a performance that indicated why he is such a highly rated draft prospect for 2018. He gathered a team-high 23 possessions, took six marks, won a game-high six clearances, laid five tackles, got the ball inside 50 on three occasions and recorded two score assists. You can expect recruiters to be monitoring his progress with intent.
DILLON O’REILLY | KEY FORWARD | 193cm | 79kg
If anyone wants a reminder of how good Stephen O’Reilly’s son is, they need to look no further than Sunday’s game. Dillon booted five goals from 10 possessions, seven of which were contested. He also won six hit-outs, took four marks (two contested), and won two clearances in a memorable performance.
AMBROSE RYAN | MIDFIELD | 177cm | 67kg
A member of last year’s WA U18s team, Ryan produced a performance that would have reminded recruiters of his talents. The Winnacott junior accumulated 20 possessions, won three clearances, took two marks and laid two tackles. His speed had the Claremont defenders nervous, and he looms as an x-factor for the Grand Final.
CHRIS SCOTT | KEY DEFENDER | 193cm | 79kg
The state combine invitee produced a game that would have done his draft prospects no harm. Stationed on the half back line, Scott gathered 12 possessions, took three marks, rebounded the ball out of defensive 50 three times and won two hit-outs in an outing that confirmed his considerable ability.
NICK WATSON | RUCK | 194cm | 89kg
The 2016 WA U16s ruckman was at his dominant best against the Tigers. He finished with 12 possessions (eight contested), 29 hit-outs, three marks and two clearances in a very worthy performance. He looms as a key cog for the Sharks’ premiership tilt.