WAFL round 15
These are interesting times in the WAFL. The alignment between East Perth and West Coast will finish at the end of the season, West Perth is broke, there’s talk of mergers but best of all the Perth Demons are playing the kind of footy that might just mean they’ll participate in the finals for the first time since 1997.
Playing some of their most attractive footy of the year, Peel kept their noses in front at Lathlain and by three quarter time led by 16 points. But this is a different Perth team and fuelled by powerful midfielders Cody Leggett, Corey Yeo, Brant Colledge and Clint Jones they dominated the last quarter scoring 4.7 to 1.1 to record a memorable and vital victory. Michael Sinclair was again in form in defence and small forwards Cody Ninyette (three goals) and Michael Bennell (two) made things happen. Harley Bennell played his best game of the year for Peel, winning the hard ball and using it well, Danyle Pearce was tireless in the midfield and Michael Johnson was in control in the backline. In a puzzling decision Fremantle dropped big man Michael Apeness a day after giving him a contract extension – he did a hammy in the first quarter at Lathlain and probably won’t play again this year.
Perth 10.15 (75) Peel Thunder 10.7 (67)
At Leederville it was tight for three quarters but top team Subiaco broke second placed South Fremantle in the last quarter scoring 7.1 to two points. Midfielders Chris Phelen, Hayden Kennedy, Kyal Horsley and Leigh Kitchin again proved too strong and too many for their opponents to deal with. The versatile Lachlan Delahunty provided plenty of drive, youngster Tom Edwards-Baldwin kicked three goals and Zac Clarke had a great battle in the ruck with Brock Higgins. Captain Ryan Cook battled hard for the Bulldogs and Brandon Donaldson again impressed.
Subiaco 13.10 (88) South Fremantle 3.10 (28)
In their first game since the announcement of the end of the Eagles alignment, East Perth sent out of powerful message by crushing Swan Districts at Bassendean. In a timely performance as it turns out Nathan Vardy dominated the game and Dom Sheed and Patrick McGinnity were grateful recipient of his effective ruck work. Hamish Bradshaw had his best game at WAFL level, Jackson Nelson was dynamic in defence, Liam Ryan and Jack Petruccelle each kicked three goals and Mitchell Dobson showed good signs. Tobe Watson and Tony Notte were good in defence and Notte helped when moved into attack in the last quarter when Swans kicked 4.5 to make the score more respectable.
Swan Districts 8.6 (54) East Perth 18.7 (115)
The ladder: Subiaco 52; South Fremantle 36; West Perth 32; Perth 24; East Perth 20; Claremont 20; Swan Districts 20; Peel 20; East Fremantle 8.
Round 10: Peel vs South Fremantle; Claremont vs East Perth; Perth vs East Fremantle; West Perth vs Swan Districts.