The WAFL has been a wonderful breeding ground for AFL talent over the years and 2018 will be no exception.
Every week, Footy Prophet will be giving you the best coverage of the WAFL U/18 action.
Swan Districts made a clear statement that they are the team to beat in the WAFL Colts competition this year with a 44-point win over Perth at Steel Blue Oval on Saturday morning.
The final score was 13.6.(84) to 6.4(40).
This point of the season is when all the sides are truly tested as the state representatives are away at the U/18s carnival.
It was at this stage last season where East Fremantle had a tough few weeks, but were good enough to recover and claim the 2017 premiership.
The two top teams on the ladder were missing some of their quality players for this contest in Luke English, Deven Robertson and Ian Hill (Perth) and Graydon Wilson and Jarrod Fazioli (Swan Districts).
However, the scene was set and perfect still conditions were the order of the day so there were no excuses to be made in that sense.
As expected, it was a very competitive opening to the contest with no quarter asked for and none given by either side.
Swans forward Patrick Farrant kicked the first goal of the game courtesy of a free kick from 40 metres.
Soon after, a 50-metre penalty to Jarred Cameron gave Swans their second major of the game.
The home side were starting to control possession around the ground with Perth seeming to lack any structure in their forward 50.
Out of nowhere from a scrappy passage of play, Ashley Colbung nailed a banana goal from 45 metres from the boundary to give the visitors their first six-pointer of the game.
Swans were by far the more threatening side heading into their forward 50 but only led by eight points at quarter time.
The start of the second quarter was scrappy but tight once again.
Perth was still struggling to find a true marking forward in their inside 50, but the Swans backline was playing with immense confidence.
The first score of the quarter came in the 17th minute, courtesy of a goal to Swans player Brandon Hilton from just inside the 50-metre line.
They didn’t have to wait long for their second for the term when bottom-ager Jak Watson was in the right place at the back of the pack to snap truly from close range.
Perth got a desperately needed late goal courtesy of a great tackle from Nyika John who quickly played on and gave it to Ethan Hansen for the running goal.
So while Perth could play a great deal better, they were well and truly in the tightly contested affair.
The Swans midfield duo of Mitchell Bain (15 disposals, four tackles) and Riley Garcia was prominent in the first half, while Sydney Stack (12 disposals, four tackles) was busy around the ground for the Demons.
The start of the second half began with some impressive ball movement down the outer wing by Swans which led to a goal by Atem Deng from 50 metres.
Garcia then delivered a kick inside 50 which led to a strong pack mark by Farrant who became the first multiple goalkicker of the game.
It was beginning to be a tale of frustration for the Demons as every time it was kicked into their forward 50, they were swarmed by a diligent Swans defence.
Zac Casey gave the Demons something to build upon with a set shot major twelve minutes into the term.
Nyika John soon cut the margin back to two goals and the Demons suddenly had the momentum.
However, their chances were to suffer a savage blow due to a few minutes of madness in their defensive 50.
Kane Edwards marked and goaled for the home side from a scrambled kick and then carnage prevailed when an off the ball incident led to a free kick and goal to Joseph Hinder before the ball returned to the centre square.
More remonstrations occurred and undisciplined play from Perth’s Blake Simpson gave Hinder another free for high contact which he converted.
Three goals in as many minutes was certainly a game breaker in a low scoring contest.
Alan Narkle gave the Demons a glimmer of hope close to the three-quarter time siren, but the way the game was tracking, it was likely to be a very tall order.
Great vision by Cameron early in the last term set up the ever-present Mitchell Bain for his first goal and what seemed to be the sealer.
That was put beyond any doubt by Hinder’s third from just inside the 50, and it was now percentage boosting time for the Black and Whites when the small forward kicked his fourth for the half.
Brenton Hilton kicked a deserved second goal for his tireless efforts at both ends of the ground.
Jordan Jackson got a consolation goal for the Demons but it was not going to be a happy trip home for the visitors as they fell to their third defeat of the season.
Conversely, for Swans, they could not wish for a better outing as they now sit a game and percentage clear of Peel and Perth at the top of the ladder.
The home side amazed 86 more possessions on the day (334-248) which was pivotal as it led to nine more scoring shots (19-10).
The impact of Joseph Hinder was incredibly telling in the second half with his four goals and in all had 16 disposals, five marks and four tackles.
WA U/18 squad member Riley Garcia was tireless all game with 28 disposals and nine tackles.
It was the work of the back six that also caught the eye game led by bottom-ager Brenton Hilton with 25 disposals, seven marks, three tackles and two goals.
16-year-old Denver Granger-Barras was also very impressive on the last line of defence with 11 disposals and six marks while Jake Pasini had 19 disposals and four marks.
Zac Casey and Ethan Hansen tried hard all game for the Demons with 23 and 22 disposals respectively while Sydney Stack was serviceable with 19 disposals and nine tackles.
In other games, Peel kept up their momentum with a fourth straight victory and their second win over Claremont in 2018 with a 36-point win at Claremont Oval, 12.14.(86) to 7.8(50).
Bottom ager Jack Sears kicked three goals for the Thunder and in all the home team had ten individual goalkickers in a great team individual effort.
While East Perth broke a run of three consecutive defeats to claim their second win for 2018 with a 13-point win over an inaccurate West Perth at Joondalup Arena, 6.10(46) to 3.15(33).
Jarrod Hamer-Mathew had a strong all-round game for the Royals as he was the only multiple goalkicker with two along with 22 disposals, while Thomas Baulch was excellent with 31 disposals and ten marks.
Finally, Defending premiers East Fremantle overcame a slow start to record their fifth win for 2018, a 14-point win over arch rivals South Fremantle at Fremantle Community Bank Oval, 10.8.68 to 8.6.54.
Top-ager Tom Wright was tenacious with his pressure amassing 10 tackles to go along with 11 disposals and two goals while Nicolas Watson gave his midfielders prime service with 40 hit-outs along with 17 disposals and four marks.
While for the Bulldogs, Lachlan Feeney was a lively presence particular in the first half where he kicked three goals. He ended up with 10 disposals, four tackles, three marks and three goals.