Thunder roars and there’s a draw

WAFL round 15

• Sam Sturt slams through a six pointer. Photos by Les Everett

The history making meeting between East Perth and Peel led me to East Fremantle Oval despite the game between first and third also being within walking distance. While I missed the first WAFL draw in 10 years there was still plenty of interest at the neutral venue where the finals aspirations of the Royals dived.

The Thunder were in charge from the start with Darcy Tucker showing everything you’d want in a midfielder from ball winning ability to evasive skills and goal kicking (three). After Fremantle’s dysfunctional forward line display the previous evening Sam Sturt’s four-goal performance was timely. At his best he is exactly what the Dockers need. Unfortunately he hasn’t been at his best this year. On Saturday he marked well, kicked well and with a little bit more vision from team mates could have finished with seven goals. The time is right. Young midfielders Matt Johnson and Neil Erasmus were impressive and I liked the games of local youngsters Hayden Matthews and the very very fast Ty Anderson who gets better each week.

A worrying sign for the Royals was the amount of arguing between players including some very loud choice language. Scott Jones won the ruck battle, Nick Robertson was admirable in his early return from injury, Tye Willcocks tried hard and Stan Wright attempted to get things going from defence.

• Ty Anderson of Peel. Fastest player in the WAFL?

Down the road was a low scoring thriller with Tyler Keitel levelling scores late in the game after a free kicking in a  ruck contest. Midfielders Shane Nelson (West Perth) and Tom Blechynden (South Fremantle) led the way.

At Claremont Oval the home team hung on to beat Swan Districts, who lost no friends with a gutsy performance, but did lose their spot in the five. There was bad blood between the teams over the treatment of Swans star midfielder Jesse Turner so a meeting in the finals would be spicy if Swans make it.

The Sharks kicked a cricket score at the WACA (sorry) against the hapless Demons. WA 18s player Jed Hagen made an impressive senior debut for East Fremantle and kicked two goals. Perhaps the best news for the Sharks is that Jason Schoenfield is getting close to his best – he’s been missing for so long that his presence is a bonus.

Leederville Oval’s condition has gotten worse so Subiaco will play West Coast at East Fremantle Oval – look for a record low crowd.

Meanwhile it’s first against second at Joondalup. I might get to that one if I can arrange accomodation.

East Fremantle 23.14 (152) Perth 9.2 (56)

Peel 13.15 (93) East Perth 6.4 (40)

Claremont 10.12 (72) Swan Districts 9.9 (63)

South Fremantle 9.11 (65) West Perth 9.11 (65)

Ladder: West Perth 42; East Fremantle 40; Claremont 40; South Fremantle 38; Peel 32; Swan Districts 32; East Perth 24; Subiaco 16; Perth 8; West Coast 4.

Round 16: West Perth vs East Fremantle; Subiaco vs West Coast

• A tangle that sums up the game at East Fremantle Oval. Five Peel players and one from East Perth.

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