The WAFL Colts has been a great feeding ground for the AFL clubs over the years. Footy Prophet will be giving you a weekly update of some of the best U/18 talent in the nation.
Subiaco 7.12(54) Swan Districts 10.8(68)
Swan Districts secured a finals berth with a 14 point win over an inaccurate Subiaco at Leederville Oval on Saturday.
The fixture was a must win game for the Lions who after being in the top five for a large majority of the season were suddenly on the outside looking in with only a few rounds before the finals. In the first term both teams exchanged goals throughout the quarter as Swans held a four point lead at the first change. The second quarter saw Subiaco make a strong start with goals to Nathan French and Jaxon Birchuris to take an 11 point lead which they held for the majority of the second quarter.
The third quarter kept with the pattern of the game as it was tough tight footy with the visitors going into the last term with a seven point lead courtesy of a late goal by Dylan Brockbernd. The fourth quarter was always going to be a tense affair and it was Swans who rose to the occasion the best kicking three goals to two with Patrick Farrant a prominent factor as they ran out 14 point winners.
With the victory, Swans increased their buffer over the fifth placed Lions to 10 points with three rounds to play. However, as the Lions have the bye next week, they now cannot overtake the Swans meaning their only hope of playing finals lies with overtaking East Perth who also have a game in hand over them. To add interest, they play each other in the final round of the season. Swans will be well and truly battle tested when the finals begin as they play the in form Royals, Claremont and East Fremantle to end the regular season.
The lack of a cutting edge in the forward line for Subiaco was clear as while they had 12 more inside 50s (43-31), they lacked the finishing touch only generating 19 scoring shots and were inaccurate kicking 7.12. The Lions’ fourth loss in a row is likely to be a fatal blow to their finals chances, and this game adds to the list of frustrating losses that they have had this season where they have been in the contest but just failed to grab the four points.
Lochie Huntley continued his very impressive form for Swans with 31 possessions, eight marks and five inside 50s while Farrant had 15 possessions and four inside 50s to go along with three goals. Meanwhile for Subiaco Liam Hickmott led the way once again with 22 possessions, 10 marks and five inside 50s.
West Perth 2.8(20) East Perth 17.12(114)
East Perth showed they are a team to be feared in the lead up to the 2017 finals series as they won their fourth game in a row thumping West Perth by 94 points at HBF Arena.
East Perth shot out of the blocks In the first quarter kicking the first three goals of the game without response with the in-form top ager Aaron Redhead kicking two of them. Redhead kicked his third for the term just before the quarter time break and the Royals have a 39 point lead. It became clear that it was going to be an uphill battle for the Falcons.
The second quarter saw the Falcons kick their first goal through Lachlan Sherriffs but East Perth continued their dominance kicking three goals of their own to lead by 50 points at the long break. In a superb show of efficient football, the Royals kicked their nine goals from just 18 inside 50s.
East Perth continued on their merry way in the third quarter with Redhead kicking his fourth and fifth goals for the game. Matthew Young kicked his first goal to increase the dominance of the Royals and they led by 71 points with a quarter to play.
The Royals finished the job off kicking another four goals to just two behinds in the last term with Redhead adding to his goal tally for the game kicking his sixth and the final margin was a true reflection of their dominance across the four quarters.
The Royals were potent in the forward 50 generating 29 scoring shots from their 45 entries while West Perth only kicked two majors from their 30 forward line entries. Aaron Redhead was a dominant figure around the ground with 14 possessions, 13 hit outs and four marks to go along with his six goals. While Matthew Young was very good again with 24 possessions, six marks, five tackles and a goal. Nathan Murray with 21 possessions and six marks and tried his heart out for the Falcons cause.
Perth 10.6(66) Claremont 10.7.(67)
It may have not been entirely convincing, but Claremont secured a thrilling one point win over Perth at Lathlain Park which might prove vital for their chances in securing a top two berth.
The first quarter was a real dour affair with only two goals kicked for the term with Claremont two points in front despite having double the inside 50 entries(10-5). The second quarter saw Claremont kick three goals to two to take a eight point lead to half time. While the Demons were trailing, the work of Ian Hill was a highlight with 14 possessions, five inside 50s and a goal. The third quarter saw nine goals kicked with the Tigers extending their lead to 14 points with a quarter to play with Corey Hitchcock looking dangerous in the forward line for the Tigers
The final quarter began with Perth getting right back into the contest by kicking the first two goals of the term and levelling the scores. Hitchcock gave the Tigers the lead with his fourth of the game.With the game in the balance the final stages of the game saw some frenetic footy played and Perth trimmed the lead to a single point but it was in vain as the siren went and the Tigers ran out one point winners. While the victory will win few style points, it was a crucial one as the reigning premiers cut East Fremantle’s margin on top of the ladder to four points. Two of their last three opponents (West Perth and South Fremantle) look highly likely to miss out on the top five with their only finals bound opponent set to be Swan Districts in round 22.
Nothing much separated the teams in the major categories with Perth winning the possession count (298-276) and marks (60-53) but Claremont used their possessions to greater effect with eight more inside 50s (41-33) and were stronger around the ball in the tackle count (76-55). Jack Lewsey was superb with his energy in and around the ball with 28 possessions, nine tackles, five tackles and five inside 50s while Declan McNamara was similarly effective with 24 possessions, seven tackles and six inside 50s. While Perth will end up with the wooden spoon, their effort in this game must be commended and they were best served by the impressive trio of Luke English, Caelen Bennell and Hill who shared 72 possessions and two goals between them.
South Fremantle 14.8(92) East Fremantle 11.8(74)
South Fremantle may have had a up and down year in the Colts in 2017, but one thing they can claim is Derby bragging rights. They kept their very faint finals hopes alive by recording a 18 point win over East Fremantle recording a 18 point win at Fremantle Oval, their second victory over the Sharks this season.
The first quarter started in a open fashion with six goals kicked in the first fifteen minutes, but it was the Bulldogs making the running kicking four goals to two. The top of the table Sharks hit back quickly with goals to Tim Bockman and Josh Ritchie but a late goal by Jarren Colpitts saw the underdogs take a six point lead into the quarter time break.
The Sharks as they so often do, flicked the switch in the second term and kicked three goals without reply with Dillon O’ Reilly and Ritchie proving real focal points in attack. However South Fremantle were not going anywhere in a hurry and relied with two goals of their own including one to WA U18 ruckman Jon Frampton. The Sharks kicked a late goal through Bockman to take back the lead at half time which was quickly turning into a gripping Fremantle Derby.
The Bulldogs made a strong start to the third quarter kicking two goals with Lachlan Feeney superb in the early stages of the term and a Frampton goal extended their lead to 14 points and they took that margin into the last quarter.
The final quarter began with O’Reilly kicking his fourth to trim the margin to eight points and soon after the leading goal kicker in the WAFL Colts kicked his fifth soon after and that was followed by Brandon Collard kicking his second to restore the lead for the Sharks. However the Bulldogs as they had done all game, responded to lead by one point with ten minutes remaining.
For the second week in a row, the Sharks needed someone to stand up in the dying stages of the game. However it was Feeney who had another ideas as he kicked his third and pushed the lead for South Fremantle beyond two goals.
A goal on the siren by Kyle Hamersley which was his third of the game put the cream on a delicious cake for the Bulldogs. The 18 point win was arguably their best for the season and was very well deserved as they won every major category. In turn they kept their finals hopes flickering, however they will have to heavily depend on others badly faltering while continuing to win themselves. That wont be easy as they face top level opposition in Peel Thunder and Claremont.
Feeney was excellent for the Bulldogs with 21 possessions, 13 marks and three goals and was very well supported by bottom ager Hamersley with 16 possessions, six marks and three goals and Ryan Burrows with 16 possessions and two goals.
O’Reilly continued his fantastic form this season with 13 possessions, 10 marks and five goals while Jayden Quill was very good with 24 possessions three tackles and two inside 50s. East Fremantle’s first loss in over a month has opened up the minor Premiership race again. Their finish to the season provides them with a searching test as after they play the Falcons next week, they then play Peel Thunder in round 22 and follow that with a away encounter against Swan Districts in the final round.
Three of the WA U18s each made solid contributions for their side in the reserves. Brayden Ainsworth had 17 possessions, three tackles and three inside 50s as Subiaco lost by 40 points to Swan Districts. Connor West was efficient with 12 possessions, nine tackles and two goals as West Perth went down in a thriller to East Perth by five points. However, there was happier news for Jake Patmore who had 18 possessions, four marks and two inside 50s in the Tigers 37 point win over Perth.
Sam Taylor and Oscar Allen were also on the losing side of things although their teams produced contrasting performances. Swan Districts came up against the juggernaut that is Subiaco who have lost just one game all year. Although outclassed, they were certainly not disgraced going down by five goals. Taylor was one of those players who held their own with 14 possessions, six marks and four tackles floating between defence and attack.
Meanwhile, just like in the Colts, West Perth were thrashed by their bitter rivals in the seniors, this time to the tune of 84 points. Naturally with the lack of clear forward entries, it was always going to be a tough day for the 2017 Larke Medalist. Despite this fact and typical of the individual, Allen kept his head up and took a number of strong lead-up marks particularly in the third quarter when he was opposed to West Coast Eagles rookie listed player Tom Gorter. In the end he finished with eight possessions, five marks, two inside 50s and one behind but expect him to get more opportunities in the seniors and build his confidence from here.