Bulldogs send Falcons to the Tigers while Royals bow out

The WAFL finals begin…


Claremont’s Dylan Smallwood getting the ball moving. Photos by Les Everett.

East Perth’s display in the final qualifying round left WAFL observers wondering whether they might just be able to do a Peel, especially with their AFL host club well and truly in the finals. Well we can breathe easy. Claremont kicked the first four goals of the elimination final at Claremont Oval and were never headed. The Royals got close in the third quarter after a brilliant goal by ruckman Ajang Ajang and looked dangerous when they kicked the first goal of the last quarter but the Tigers always had the counter moves. The efforts of hard working midfielders Jye Bolton, Kane Mitchell (100th game for Claremont) and Jared Hardisty were crucial for the home team as was the marking of key forward Tom Lee who kicked five goals. Keifer Yu and Ian Richardson were dangerous in an often open forward line, youngster Jordan Clark looked classy in just his fourth league game, Hayden Busher was dynamic in a more attacking role and ruckman Oliver Eastland impressed again. Ajang kicked two goals and looked likely turn the game East Perth’s way at times – it was his third league game. Francis Watson was quite superb in defence with his marking and pace often under notice and Patrick McGinnity did his best to get his team back into the game.



Francis Watson.

Claremont 12.11 (83) East Perth 8.7 (55)

In the qualifying final at Fremantle Oval on Saturday the Bulldogs handed out an awful hiding to the Falcons. Nick Suban and Dylan Main paved the way early for South Fremantle and West Perth were never in it. Marlion Pickett was clearly the best player on the ground dominating the midfield and kicking four goals, Mason Shaw kicked six goals, Zac Strom’s marking was critical, Jason Maskos and Blayne Wilson were good in defence, Cory Dell-Olio kicked three goals and set up others and Haiden Schloithe was well held early but was destructive after being moved forward and finished with three goals. Keegan Knott kicked three goals in an enterprising effort for the Falcons, Shane Nelson kept at it all day and Luke Meadows was good early.

South Fremantle 22.12 (144) West Perth 6.10 (46)

Next Sunday: First semi final (Joondalup Arena) – West Perth vs Claremont. Second semi final (Leederville Oval) – Subiaco vs South Fremantle.



In close at Claremont.

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