Swans and Peel are for real by Les Everett

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Adam Faulkner of Swan Districts looks for options while Jake Solomon, Tim Kelly and Brandon Donaldson try to put on some pressure. Photo by Les Everett.

I haven’t checked but reckon this is the first time Peel and Swan Districts have shared the top two spots on the WAFL ladder. Many felt the reigning premiers would stumble this year after everything fell into place in 2016 but they’ve started the season with two powerful victories. Meanwhile Swans have already won as many games as they did in 2016 – two.

At Bassendean South Fremantle were unsettled by Swan Districts from the early stages and didn’t help their cause with poor kicking for goals. Seven straight goals in the third quarter sent the home team on the road to victory. Ricky Cary covered a lot of ground and took 12 marks in his best game for ages, Alex Howard, Tony Notte and Tallan Ames kept the South big forward guns quiet, Ryan Crowley kicked three goals and Adam Faulkner was busy in the midfield. Tim Kelly’s work around the clearances was impressive for the Bulldogs, Marlion Pickett used the ball well and Brandon Donaldson had another good game. It won’t do the South Fremantle players any harm to realise being installed as premiership favourites in March means very little.

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Xavier Ellis marks for Swans.

Swan Districts 13.7 (85) South Fremantle 8.16 (64)

East Fremantle’s season fell in a heap last year and they remain there. At Ruston Park Peel were on top from the start inspired again by Leroy Jetta who kicked five goals. Harley Balic starred in the midfield for Thunder, Ethan Hughes impressed in defence, Traye Bennell had his best games at league level and Matt Taberner kicked five goals. Jonathan Marsh, Jayden Schofield and Sam Read battled it out for the Sharks.

Peel 19.12 (126) East Fremantle 5.10 (40)

AFL recruiting experts will be saying a lot of “Yeah, but…” this year when the name Liam Ryan comes up. Ryan was the match winner with six goals for Subiaco in the late game at Leederville on Saturday. Perth took the game up Subiaco in the first half but Ryan took it back in the third quarter. Kyal Horsley was outstanding in his first outing of the season for the Lions and received good midfield support from Chris Phelan. The versatile Sam Garstone played strongly for the Demons and Aidan Tropiano showed his intent with 14 tackles.

Subiaco 13.12 (90) Perth 10.7 (67)

In the Sunday game at Joondalup the home team powered away in the last quarter to win an entertaining Perth derby and claim the inaugural Polly Farmer Shield. Luke Meadows playing as a midfielder was the star for the Falcons, Shane Nelson was in good form, Michael Lourey kicked three goals and Trent Manzone capped an effective game with two goals. Tom Lamb kicked five goals for East Perth and Luke Partington was very busy.

West Perth 14.15 (99) East Perth 12.6 (78)

The ladder: Peel, Swan Districts 8; Claremont, West Perth, South Fremantle, Subiaco 4; Perth, East Perth, East Fremantle 0.

Next week: Perth vs Claremont; West Perth vs Subiaco; East Perth vs Swan Districts; Peel vs South Fremantle.

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