There are four rounds to go in the WAFL and two of the weirdiest teams – Peel and East Fremantle – are locked in a battle for fifth spot that could well be decided without either team winning another game for the season. The Thunder are one game ahead of the Sharks and as good as equal on perecntage. The run home for Peel is: East Perth, bye, Subiaco and Claremont. East Fremantle have: bye, Perth, Claremont and East Perth. The task for East Fremantle seems a bit easier but both are impossible to read.
The Fremantle derby started on Saturday morning as it was the TV game. There was a strong breeze blowing towards the hospital end and South’s ability to square the first quarter was vital. The wind was a factor for the rest of the game: the Bulldogs kicked five goals to one in the second; it was the Sharks five to one in the third and Bulldogs came home with five to one in the last. Tim Kelly’s (left) mobile clearance work was important for South Fremantle, Mason Shaw and Blaine Johnson each kicked three goals, Haiden Schloithe made a very successful return to the team and the ruck duel between Brock Higgins and James Bristow was a highlight of the game. Jacob Green kicked four goals for East Fremantle and Liam Anthony and Cameron Eardley were good in the midfield. South’s victory bloke a run of 13 victories by the away team in Freo derbies.
South Fremantle 14.16 (100) East Fremantle 10.10 (70)
The WAFL’s weirdest team, however, is Claremont. The Tigers could lay claim to being the among the top four but have lost seven games by less than 10 points and sit second last. On Saturday, bouyed by debuts from youngsters Jake Waterman, Morgan Davies and Matt Guelfi, the Tigers traveled down to Rushton Park and thrashed Peel. Waterman kicked a goal with his first kick and finished with five. Jye Bolton was again prominent in the midfield, Matt Davies provided great run and strength at half back, Mitch Andrews controlled the ruck, Jared Hardisty (right) kicked two goals in a bustling display and Darcy Cameron kicked three. Michael Apeness kicked five goals for Peel, all after half time, and Ryan Nyhuis put in a promising peformance in defence.
Claremont 17.10 (112) Peel 10.7 (67)
At Joondalup the home team was on top all day and kept second place within reach. Michael Lourey and Max Duffy each kicked four goals, Shane Nelson, Aidan Lynch and Jay Van Berlo controlled the midfield and tagger Dean Munns did the job again. Michael Sinclair was again prominent for Perth, Cody Leggett was outstanding and Spencer White kicked three goals.
West Perth 13.13 (91) Perth 6.9 (45)
Top team Subiaco met bottom team Swan Districts at Leederville and the result was predicatable. Midfielders Kyal Horsely and Leigh Kitchen were outstanding, Hamish Shepheard kicked six goals, Greg Broughton played his best game of the year and Clancy Wheeler kicked three goals. Matt Riggio, Tony Notte and Adam Faulkner were, as usual, prominent for Swans but the really good signs came from newcomers Griffin Logue, who played in defence and attack and finished with two goals, and the strong marking Laurence Grescos.
Subiaco 15.18 (108) Swan Districts 5.4 (34)
The ladder: Subiaco 52; South Fremantle 44; West Perth 44; East Perth 36; Peel 36; East Fremantle 32; Perth 24; Claremont 20; Swan Districts 8.
Next week: South Fremantle vs Perth (Carnarvon); Swan Districts vs Claremont; East Perth vs Peel; Subiaco vs West Perth (Kingsway Reserve, Wanneroo).