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The teams were greeted by extremely blustery and heavy conditions as the metro area had been lashed by rain for the best part of a week. In the very tricky conditions, it was going to be a case of whichever team adapted best would run out victorious on the day.
East Perth 8.6(54)
Swan Districts 10.11(71)
Swan Districts showed that they are a team well and truly in the Premiership hunt with a 17 point win over East Perth at Leederville Oval.
The first quarter saw the Royals hold a four point lead over an inaccurate Swans in a low scoring scrap. It was an intriguing battle in the second term with Swans dominating inside 50s but really struggling with converting their entries. It seemed East Perth were battling against the tide but credit had to go to them as they were still hanging in there. Two late goals to the visitors saw Swans hold a deserved 12 point lead at half time, where they had seven more scoring shots (13-6), 28 more possessions (144-116) and 13 more inside 50s (27-14).
Swans made a strong start to the third quarter as Aidan Clarke kicked his third for the game but East Perth hit back well through goals to Christian Ameduri and Kye Willcocks and were certainly playing their best footy for the game only trailing by a point with a quarter to play.
The final quarter began with the Royals kicking goal to take a five point lead but the Swans were not willing to throw away their hard work and reclaimed the lead due to majors by Patrick Farrant and Atem Deng who soon after kicked his second to push the lead out to a very handy 12 points with just over five minutes to play. Thomas Whittle put the icing on a very tasty cake for the visitors as they claimed a deserved victory against a worthy and in form opponent. The win sees Swans climb over Peel Thunder and Claremont into the lofty standing of second on the ladder. After their 83 point thumping at the hands of East Fremantle in early July, Swans have been fantastic winning four in a row and playing some great football along the way.
Against East Perth they registered 21 more inside 50s for the game (50-29) which translated into eight more scoring attempts (21-13). Lochie Huntley led the way with 30 possession, five marks and nine inside 50s while top ager Aidan Clarke was excellent with 16 possessions, five marks and four goals. Christian Ameduri kept the Royals in the hunt throughout the game with 17 possessions, five marks, four inside 50s and two goals.
South Fremantle 5.7(37)
South Fremantle continued to be a fly in the ointment of the finals bound teams by completing their second upset win in as many weeks by defeating Claremont by three points at Claremont Oval.
The first quarter saw no goals scored in a tough tight contest, however that changed early in the second with Ben Sherry kicked the Bulldogs first of the game. That was quickly followed by a second goal for South Fremantle by Thomas Weston. Claremont were needing a goal in the tough conditions and got one through Nicolas Allan, but South Fremantle got a very late goal in the second quarter through Luke Moore to hold a nine point lead at the long break.
Shaquille Morton kicked the first goal of the third term for Claremont to narrow the gap to a solitary point. It was turning out into a real slugfest but Claremont were starting to come into their own with Jack Buller giving the Tigers their first lead since the first term which they held at three quarter time.
After not kicking a goal for two quarters, the Bulldogs sprung to life with goals to Moore and Weston giving them back and a handy eight point lead with as many minutes to play. A goal by Cooper Nitschke came too late for Claremont as the Bulldogs continued their giant killing ways upsetting a member of the top three for the second week in a row. They have a very untimely bye in Round 22 which unfortunately halts their momentum. The win saw them close the gap to East Perth but a poor percentage and an extra game in hand for the Royals means that the surging Dogs will just miss out on the final five. Their one point loss to East Perth in Round 18 has proved crucial in the fortunes of both teams, but it has become clear that the future is bright for the red and whites.
While having five more forward 50 entries (38-33) and two more scoring shots (14-12), it was a highly frustrating game for the Tigers who played in their third game decided by three points or less in a row but it was their first loss in six weeks and sees them slip to third on the ladder. There was an even number of contributors for the Bulldogs with Regan Spooner, Zane Sumich and Toby McQuilkin all good with the ball in their hands while ruckman Jacob Warne provided his midfield fleet with great service with 28 hitouts and 17 possessions. For the Tigers, Nitschke was excellent throughout with 22 possessions, eight tackles, six inside 50s and a goal.
West Perth 4.6(30)
East Fremantle 11.13(79)
East Fremantle are just one win away from securing the 2017 minor premiership after securing their thirteenth win in 2017 with a 49 point win over West Perth at HBF Arena.
In the first quarter East Fremantle got out to a two goal lead in the first quarter and continued the momentum into the second term with Timothy Bookman kicking three goals for the half and Jayden Quill and Samuel Lewis excellent in the greasy conditions picking up 33 possessions between them. At half time the lead sat at an imposing 40 points as the Sharks were determined to make up for their disappointing loss against South Fremantle.
The Sharks continued on their charge in the third term with Bockman kicking his fourth and Dillon O’Reilly his second of the game. The Falcons did not drop their heads and kicked two goals of their own to tie the quarter at 2.3 a piece. The beginning of the final quarter continued the goal for goal nature of the second half with Bockman kicking his fifth for the game, but Dylan Yem replied kicking his second of his own. While it was pleasing to see a competitive second half, the Sharks were able to cruise to a 49 point win in a good response to last week’s Derby loss.
The Sharks control of the game was shown in the dominance they had in overall possession as they had 95 more possessions (335-240) and used that to generate eight more inside 50s (36-28) and 14 more scoring shots (42-28). Timothy Bockman was the star of the performance with 23 possessions, three marks and five goals while Jayden Quill was prolific with 30 possessions. Dylan Yem was a willing contributor for the Falcons with 17 possessions, five marks and two goals.
Peel Thunder 9.9(63)
Perth produced their best performance in 2017 with a stunning 18 point triumph against the high flying Peel Thunder at Rushton Park on Saturday.
The upset sure did not look on the cards in the first quarter as Peel kicked four goals to no score by the Demons with Lachlan Cullen kicking two goals. After kicking the first goal of the second quarter to push the lead beyond five goals, Perth hit back hard with Luke English leading the way. The midfielder kicked two goals in the term and the Demons kicked five goals in all and narrowed the gap to two points at half time.
Perth carried their momentum over to the third term when English kicked his third and Lachlan Fraser added his second soon after to give the Demons a handy lead in the conditions. As good teams do, Peel hit back with Cullen kicking his third and Tyson Powell looking dangerous in the forward 50. The teams then played out ten goalless minutes as the visitors took a two point lead into the final term setting the scene for a fascinating contest.
The final quarter began with Perth kicking the first three goals with Fraser kicking both of them, but Jarrad Fazioli kept Peel in touch with its first for the game. However just had they had done for the first three quarters, the Demons had all the answers with Bailey Smith finishing the game off in style as the Demons pulled off one of the upsets of the Colts season in 2017. The result puts Peel’s top two hopes in jeopardy, but it was a win full of merit by Perth who have shown tremendous spirit throughout the season and their overall play has deserved more than the four wins that they have achieved.
While Peel had more possessions (246-231) and inside 50s (47-42) they did not make the most of it as Perth had more scoring shots on the day (21-18). While not as prolific in terms of possessions like he normally is, English still had a major impact on the game with 17 possessions, four tackles and three goals, while Fraser was highly efficient with four goals from his five possessions and young flyer Sydney Stack had nine inside 50s and seven tackles along with 21 possessions. Peel who were best served on the day by Kyle Havelberg with 21 possessions and eleven tackles, have hit a bit of a bump in the road with three losses out of four, and will look to get back on track and build a bit of momentum in the last two rounds before finals against East and South Fremantle.
All three players did not have what you would describe as big games in the true sense of the word, but Aaron Naughton, Sam Taylor and Oscar Allen each gained valuable experience in their exposure to senior football.
Naughton had 13 possessions and six marks and looked typically composed when in possession as Peel secured a 21 point win over Perth as the Thunder consolidated third place on the ladder with their eleventh win of the season.
Sam Taylor had nine possessions and three marks in as Swans went down by 54 points to East Perth, while Oscar Allen tasted success in his second senior game as West Perth chalked up a vital win in their hunt to play finals defeating East Fremantle by 13 points. Although registering less than ten possessions (nine for the game), Allen was very active around the ground strongly presenting well for his teammates with five marks, as well as three inside 50s and two tackles.