WAFL round 22
IT was two for the price of one in the WAFL on Saturday. The competition had a much-needed upset and that result set up a four way contest for the last two finals spots.
After another season from hell the Demons will go into the summer break as winners and maybe not wooden spooners after upsetting the in-form East Perth at Lathlain Park. Perth trailed by 15 points at half time, got back into it with a six-goal third quarter and then fought back from three goals down in the last to pull off a thrilling victory. Cody Ninyette (left) put in a amazing performance kicking seven goals as a small forward, Clint Jones finally got reward for effort, Corey Byrne impressed again and Aidan Tropiano had one of his best games of the year. East Perth would have secured a finals spot with a win but couldn’t get it done. Jordan Snadden looked good for the Royals, Sharrod Wellingham was effective as was Patrick McGinnity, who kicked three goals.
Perth 14.14 (98) 13.15 (93)
East Fremantle looked set for a rare win then they led Peel by 31 points at three quarter time at home. However, led by a dominant Jonathan Griffin in the ruck, the Thunder surged and piled on seven goals to none in the last quarter with a strong breeze. Blair Bell was a powerful force for Peel, Haydn Matthews played his best game at league level, Aaron Naughton (right) showed good signs in attack and Calvin Thorne was lively. Thomas Bennett was a willing worker for the Sharks, Jack Perham marked strongly, Andrew Stephen was applauded from the ground by players from both teams at the end of the game – his 163rd and last game was good one.
Peel 10.8 (68) East Fremantle 8.7 (55)
Claremont gave themselves a chance of playing finals by beating Swan Districts at Bassendean. The Tigers were inaccurate but too good for Swans. Jye Bolton loves playing at the home of the Swans, this time he had 41 disposals. Jared Hardisty was at his bustling best and Haydn Busher was again outstanding in defence. Ricky Cary kicked five goals for Swans, Corey Gault maintained his good form and Taryce Stewart kicked three goals.
Claremont 13.17 (95) Swan Districts 11.5 (71)
Subiaco keep rolling along and they thrashed finals aspirant West Perth at Leederville. Ben Sokol kicked six goals for the Lions, Kyle Halligan played his first game of the year after a long injury lay-off and kicked four goals while Lachlan Delahunty was a damaging big man and kicked three goals. Blake Wilhelm worked hard for the Falcons.
Subiaco 19.14 (128) West Perth 6.10 (34)
The ladder: Subiaco 72; South Fremantle 60; Peel 48; Swan Districts 40; East Perth 36; West Perth 36; Claremont 32; Perth 12; East Fremantle 8.
East Perth will stay in the final five and maybe go to fourth if they beat Subiaco at Leederville. The game presents a nice opportunity for the Lions to get rid of one of their biggest finals threats – topped up by Eagles squad members the Royals looked on track to do what Peel did last year until Saturday’s shock defeat. Swan Districts need to beat bottom team East Fremantle to sew up their spot in the five. The game at Claremont Oval is also vital. A win by West Perth will put them back into the five if East Perth lose and they might sneak in on percentage if Swans go down to the Sharks. Claremont will also be hoping for a Subiaco win – the Tigers are a chance to gain a finals berth on percentage. The only game with no bearing on the make-up of the five is at Rushton Park between Peel and South Fremantle – and they’ll meet in a qualifying final a week later at Fremantle Oval.
Round 23: East Perth vs Subiaco; Claremont vs West Perth; Swan Districts vs East Fremantle; Peel vs South Fremantle.