The WAFL Colts has been a great feeding ground for the AFL clubs over the years. With so much talent to follow, Footy Prophet will be giving you a weekly update of some of the best U/18 talent in the nation.
East Perth 10.8(68)
South Fremantle 10.7(67)
East Perth have kept their finals hopes well and truly alive with a thrilling one point win over South Fremantle at Leederville Oval on Saturday.
Matthew Young had a very strong start for the Royals kicking the first goal of the game and was strong around the ground with 10 possessions while WA U18s teammate Christian Ameduri was also important with nine possessions. The second quarter was a relatively scrappy affair with both teams missing opportunities to apply scoreboard pressure. South Fremantle kicked 2.6 to East Perth’s 1.4 to lead by four points. Young had 14 possessions and four marks to lead the way for the Royals while Regan Spooner was excellent for the Bulldogs with 17 first half possessions.
The East Perth trio of Kye Willcocks, Jarrod Hamer-Mathew and Aaron Redhead were
Influential figures in the third quarter kicking five goals between them and putting the Royals out to their biggest lead of the game which was 13 points. Liam Moore cut the margin to single digits with a late goal as we headed towards a fascinating final quarter with the Royals pushing hard to keep in the finals hunt.
The final quarter was extremely tense with South Fremantle pushing hard but the Royals keeping them at bay. However, East Perth’s nervousness was evident and the Bulldogs took full advantage grabbing the lead with under four minutes to play courtesy of Moore’s third goal of the game. Ameduri then stepped up when it was required to put the home team level with two minutes left. Both teams scrambled for the winning opportunity and it was East Perth who scored the match winning behind which could well be a season defining point to give them four invaluable points.
The closeness of the contest was reflected by the overall statistics which saw the Bulldogs hold a slight advantage in overall possessions (311-305) while inside 50s were dead level (39-39). South Fremantle used their entries to generate four more scoring shots (22-18),but in such a close game inaccuracy is always costly. Young was fantastic for the whole game with 30 possessions, seven marks, six tackles and three inside 50s while Redhead was strong all around the ground once again with 19 hitouts, and three goals to go along with eleven possessions and four marks. Redhead had a fascinating battle with Souths ruckman Jacob Warne who had 22 hit-outs, 16 possessions and seven marks while the bottom ager Spooner had 32 possessions, five marks, four tackles and four inside 50s.
Peel Thunder 14.8(92)
A ten goal to three second half was the platform that saw Peel Thunder atone for their defeat last week in fine fashion with a 36 point win over Subiaco at Bendigo Bank Stadium on Saturday.
The first quarter was an extremely tight affair with nothing separating both teams who were looking to respond from losses last week. The second quarter saw the trend continue with both side going goal for goal with first game bottom ager Zane Shellabear Healy looking very lively with two goals for the Lions, and the visitors held a small six point margin at the long break. They were getting good value for their forward entries (16) by having ten scoring shots for the half.
Peel made a great start to the third quarter by kicking three goals to one within the first ten minutes of the term and reclaiming the lead. It soon became a major run-on for the Thunder as they kicked a further three goals without reply, and managed to break the game open to lead by 25 points. WA U-18 representative Jarrad Fazioli was influential in this period with two goals of his own as well as setting up opportunities for his teammates. Michael Randall put the icing on the cake by kicking the seventh goal of the third term for the Thunder. It surely would have to rank up there as one of Peel’s best quarters for the season while conversely for Subiaco it would be one of their worst 25 minutes in 2017 despite a late goal to Jaxon Bilchuris which gave them a glint of hope.
Knowing that they would have to produce something special, the Lions kicked the first goal of the final term through Christian Martin, but Peel put the game to bed by kicking the next three goals and ran out very comfortable winners. Peel held a decisive edge in inside 50s (44-30) which led to six more scoring shots for the game. Fazioli may have only had 13 possessions, but his impact underlined the theory that it is what you do with them that truly counts. The nimble crumbing forward had 13 possessions, seven marks, seven inside 50s, three tackles and three goals. Kyle Havelberg was also very good with 16 possessions, 10 marks and two goals. For the Lions, Liam Hickmott was a willing contributor all game with 27 possessions but the Lions have a real fight on their hands to keep their spot in the top five with the Royals and West Perth now only one game behind them.
West Perth 12.13(85)
After a tight struggle, a four goal to one fourth quarter sealed a 35-point win for West Perth against Perth at Lathlain Park on Saturday.
In the first quarter, West Perth were highly efficient kicking four goals from seven inside 50 entries and had a 13 point lead at quarter time.The second quarter saw the Falcons continue in the same vein with quick goals to Kurt Monaghan and Lane Sedgwick. Not to be deterred, Perth stayed in touch with Simon Hayward kicking two goals of his own and then followed with another goal to Trent Simpson to trim the deficit late in the term to just two goals at the half time break.
Both teams alternated goals in the third quarter, but Perth could not reduce the margin to single digits. Like East Perth, the Falcons knew a victory was imperative to keep the pressure on Subiaco and Swan Districts in the top five. Simpson made the best possible start for the Demons by kicking the first goal of the last term to be as close as they had been all game, but West Perth steadied by kicking one of their own soon after. The Falcons were composed for the rest of the quarter kicking another three without reply which included Monaghan kicking his third for the game to claim a very important 35 point victory. The margin of victory should have been a fair bit higher as they had 16 more inside 50s (49-33) which equated to 15 more scoring shots (25-10).
However, it was a victory which saw the Falcons narrow the gap to fifth placed Subiaco to just four points and they also have a game in hand. It was also a performance full of merit as two of their stars Oscar Allen and Connor West were promoted to the reserves. That allowed some other players to take the limelight and Jamie Dowen (21 possessions, four tackles) and Thomas Medhat (17 possessions, nine tackles, six inside 50s) led the way. Like they have been formthe majority of the season, Perth were served best by Luke English who had 30 possessions, 12 tackles and three inside 50s.