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.
Wet conditions often produce the purest contests and in Round 19 we were treated to three games which were decided by one, three and six points.
East Perth 8.8(56)
Aaron Redhead kicked the winning goal with just minutes to play to secure a crucial one point victory over the Tigers at Claremont Oval which moved them into the top five.
The first quarter was a real dour affair with only one goal kicked which came courtesy of the Royals’ Matthew Young who continued his excellent form with 10 possessions six inside 50s and four tackles for the term. The game continued its tight, contested nature with only one point separating the teams and the Tigers with their nose just in front. Claremont took a hold of the game in the third quarter by kicking five goals to one and took a four goal lead into the last term.
With the opportunity to play finals still a distinct possibility, East Perth had plenty to play for and quickly kicked the first two goals of the fourth quarter. The Royals could get a sniff of victory and pressed hard once again, narrowing the gap to under a goal with five minutes remaining.
As we have seen in many thrilling finishes in the Colts this year there is always a hero, and this time it was Aaron Redhead who kicked truly to give the visitors a one point lead which they duly held onto for the remaining three minutes of the contest and claim their second one point win in a row. It was a crucial victory in terms of their 2017 campaign as they climbed over Subiaco into the all important fifth position on the ladder.
The Tigers held a decisive margin when it came to overall possessions (330-266) but the Royals were a clear winner in the ruck statistics (62-24). However, their advantage in inside 50s (44-33) did not translate into many more scoring shots in the day (16-15).
Matthew Young was a star for East Perth throughout the four quarters and he amassed 32 possessions, five marks, eleven inside 50s and kicking 2.3. Teammate Aaron Redhead is also in a rich vein of form and was just as important compiling 18 possessions, eight tackles, five marks, four inside 50s, 37 hitouts and two vital goals.
Swan Districts 8.6.(54)
Peel Thunder 7.9.(51)
Swan Districts withstood a last quarter surge from Peel Thunder to claim a three point win at Steel Blue Oval on Saturday.
Peel made a strong start to the contest leading by eleven points at quarter time. There was nothing much between the teams in the second quarter but the Swans had the better of the term kicking three goals to two and trailing by just eight points at half time. Peel had an even spread around the ground while Lochie Huntley was a real standout for Swans with 17 possessions, six inside 50s and a goal while Oskar Matthews had 24 hitouts.
Swans carried over their momentum into the third quarter with Jarred Cameron excellent with two goals and Huntley continuing his impressive game. In contrast, Peel could only muster a solitary benign and the Thunder had a significant challenge ahead of them trailing by 17 points with a quarter to play.
Peel dominated the overall pattern of the fourth quarter but could not convert that to the scoreboard kicking 1.3. However another goal soon after and Swans’ nerves would have been fraying by the second, however, they managed to keep the visitors at bay to claim their ninth win of the year and they now have a bit breathing space over fifth placed Subiaco (six points) and are just four points from second placed Peel who have played a game extra .
Peel controlled the tempo of the match in terms of possessions (285-231) but despite having only 26 inside 50s to their opponents 40, Swans were a lot more efficient generating 14 scoring shots coming from their forward line entries. In a low scoring contest, multiple goalkickers were rare, but Jarrod Cameron’s contribution was vitally important kicking two goals from his ten possessions while Huntley finished with 26 possessions and four inside 50s. WA U18 defender Jordan Boullineau was very solid for Peel with 20 possessions and seven marks.
East Fremantle 9.9.(63)
A last quarter masterclass from Dwayne Nevill saw East Fremantle come over the top of a gallant Subiaco by six points at East Fremantle Oval on Saturday.
Coming up against the top team in the league you always have to start well and Subiaco did just that leading by 13 points at quarter time. However, the Sharks responded very well kicking four goals to one behind in the quarter to open up a two goal lead at half time. The duo of Joshua Ritchie and Dillon O’ Reilly were looming as big keys in the contest each kicking two goals. Hobley was impressive for the Lions in the first half picking up 15 possessions and three inside 50s.
It has become a trend this season that when East Fremantle get momentum they are very hard to stop, but Subiaco bucked that trend in the third term kicking the first four goals of the quarter and reclaiming the lead with Jackson Bilchuris, Kyron Hayden, Liam Hickmott and Thomas Edwards-Baldwin prominent figures. The Sharks had one of their poorest quarters of 2017 failing to register a score and trailing by 15 points at three quarter time.
The final quarter was a real grind with East Fremantle peppering the goals with five straight behinds. Dwayne Nevill kicked the vital first goal of the term and the game was certainly up for grabs with under ten minutes remaining. Nevill then bobbed up again to reclaim the lead for the Sharks with three minutes remaining. Subiaco registered a behind to tie up the scores, however, it was that man Nevill who was the hero, kicking his third goal of the quarter to help win the Sharks a game where they were outplayed for large parts. However, it was a testament to the spirit of their group that they managed to grind out a victory when not at their best. While the Sharks were naturally jubilant, it was a crushing blow for the Lions who did a lot of things right in the game and a win would have been what they certainly deserved for their efforts on the day. Instead, they fall outside of the top five for the first time in a few months and need to pick themselves up quickly from this major disappointment.
With other results going their way that day, the Sharks had extra reason to celebrate at the end of the game as they extended their margin on top of the ladder to six points which could prove crucial with the finals just a few weeks away.
East Fremantle always seem to find a way to share the load with every player playing a role in the success of the side and Dwayne Nevill is a case in point. Never a prolific possession accumulator, the top ager manages to produce a really solid overall game every week and he showed that once again against the Lions finishing with 18 possessions, 10 tackles, seven inside 50s and four crucial goals. Samuel Lewis was also very accomplished with 19 possessions, three marks, three tackles and five inside 50s. Luke Foley produced a tireless display for the Lions with 19 possessions, 13 tackles and a goal.
South Fremantle 16.11(107)
West Perth 10.6(66)
A superb first quarter set up a 41 point win for South Fremantle which put a dent in West Perth’s finals hopes in the process.
South Fremantle got off to a blistering start with a six goal to one opening quarter with bottom ager Luke Moore superb with four goals of his own. The Falcons produced a much better effort in the second term kicking four goals to three to trim the margin back to 27 points at the long break. While Moore was the standout player on the ground in the first two quarters, WA U/18 ruckman John Frampton was not too far behind with 13 possessions, two marks 10 hit-outs and four inside 50s.
Moore kicked his fifth goal for the game early in the third term and West Perth were finding it difficult to get the margin under four goals However a late goal in the term by the Falcons got the margin to 22 points and gave the visitors a sniff of victory. However, the Bulldogs had other ideas and kicked the first three goals of the final term to put the game out of the Falcons reach. Moore kicked two more goals to have seven for the game and in the end, South Fremantle ran out very comfortable winners.
A telling stat of the Bulldogs victory was their advantage in inside 50s (47-37) which they used to create ten more scoring shots (27-17). The bottom ager Moore was undoubtedly the star of the show with seven goals along with 18 possessions and nine marks, while Glenn Byron had 18 possessions and two goals and Frampton finished with 18 possessions, 16 hitouts and three marks. Dylan Yem was certainly the Falcons best performer on the day with 18 possessions, 10 tackles, five marks and three goals.
As well as an analysis of the WAFL Colts games, starting this week Footy Prophet will be providing an update on the players who have moved up to the reserves and seniors in recent times.
The West Perth duo of Oscar Allen and Connor West produced strong performances in their second game in the reserves. Allen played a roaming role around the ground producing 14 possessions, seven marks seven tackles and 15 hitouts while the inside midfielder West was in his element in the greasy conditions with 25 possessions and 11 tackles as the Falcons lost to the top of the table South Fremantle by 32 points. In his sixth game at the reserves level, Brayden Ainsworth had 16 possessions which included seven in the final quarter as the Lions lost by 10 points to East Fremantle.
Aaron Naughton has taken to senior football like a duck to water and his stellar form continued against Swan Districts. Naughton had 23 possessions and eleven marks for the game with his poise under pressure a real asset of his game. Fellow WA U/18 All Australian Sam Taylor made his debut in the senior ranks and while his stats line was five possessions and four marks, he played his role very nicely in the Swans’ 16 point win.