WAFL round 23
THE finals start next weekend but Subiaco landed the first blow by knocking potential rival East Perth out of the race in round 23. The Royals showed a bit of fight in the first half but were eventually undone by the brilliance of Liam Ryan, who kicked six goals and took the mark of the year again, mobile semi-bigman Lachlan Delahunty (left), who scored four goals, and an incredibly well organised defence let by Aaron Heal and Wayde Twomey. The Lions were without top-liners Kyal Horsely, Clancy Wheeler and Chris Phelan but standout midfield performances from Adam Cockie and Scott Hancock help fill the gaps. Sharrod Wellingham worked very hard for East Perth and generally used the ball well while Nathan Blee was good in a more attacking role.
Subiaco 16.14 (110) East Perth 10.8 (68)
A finals spot was up for grabs at Claremont Oval and a thriller decided it. Two late goals from Michael Lourey, who finished with four, got the Falcons over the line. Nic Rodda and Andrew Strijk (three goals) were also effective for West Perth. Jake Murphy and Jared Hardisty worked hard for the Tigers
West Perth 12.6 (78) Claremont 10.14 (74)
Swan Districts will play finals despite being thrashed by the bottom team – and now East Fremantle are not the bottom team any more. The emphatic win by the Sharks lifted them off the bottom and left us with a season where the bottom* two teams ended up as winners. The rejuvenated Jack Perham starred again for East Fremantle and has relished being freed from a key forward spot. Cam Eardley again impressed and Andrew Stephen kicked the last goal of the game in his last game. Ricky Cary kicked three goals for Swans but how they made the finals is anyone’s guess.
East Fremantle 20.10 (130) Swan Districts 10.9 (69)
In the game that didn’t matter at Rushton Park South Fremantle put the foot down in the last quarter an enjoyed a comfortable win over a Peel line-up that included just six Fremantle-listed players. These two teams will meet again in the qualifying final next weekend. Mason Shaw kicked four goals for the Bulldogs and Cory Dell’olio got three. Tim Kelly was in good form as was defensive dasher Steven Edwards. Blair Bell was Peel’s best player, Brayden Lawler looked good and Leroy Jetta kicked three goals.
South Fremantle 18.12 (120) Peel Thunder 12.14 (86)
The ladder: Subiaco 76; South Fremantle 64; Peel 48; Swan Districts 40; West Perth 40; East Perth 36; Claremont 32; East Fremantle 12; Perth 12.
Next week: Qualifying final: South Fremantle vs Peel (Fremantle Oval). Elimination final: Swan Districts vs West Perth (Bassendean Oval).
* Please excuse all the bottoms…