WAFLW Round 16 wraps: Thunder secure third as Lions tame Tigers

THE top three West Australian Football League (WAFL) Women’s Finals spots are now decided, with only fourth up for grabs heading into the final round. An understrength Peel Thunder found a way to roll Swan Districts by 17 points on the road, whilst the Swans’ loss couple with Subiaco’s 14-point win over an understrength Claremont meant the Lions will just need to upset the Thunder in the final round to secure a top four spot. Top of the table East Fremantle took care of West Perth with an inaccurate 8.14 (62) to 0.0 (0) in a one-sided contest as expected.

  • Team
  • Swan Districts
  • Peel Thunder

In a critical game for both sides, reigning premiers Peel Thunder were able to edge ahead of Swan Districts in the head-to-head ledger for season 2022, coming away with a 17-point victory at Steel Blue Oval. The Thunder – missing captain Cassie Davidson and leading goalkicker Kate Bartlett – were able to debut two players and take care of a Swans side that failed to make the most of early chances. Heading into the main break with eight scoring shots to three, the Swans still trailed by five points, and with a three goals to two third term from the Thunder, the inaccuracy hurt the home side. Peel started to miss chances in the final term, but dominated possession and forward half entries, allowing them to maintain a lead and win, 7.7 (49) to 4.8 (32).

Debutant Jordain Thompson slotted two goals with fellow first-gamer Holly Britton slotting one, as the Thunder attack looked more varied than it had for most of the season. The run and carry from players such as Ebony Dowson (23 disposals, two marks), Ella Roberts (21 disposals, two marks, four tackles, six inside 50s and a goal), Jaide Britton (19 disposals, three marks and five tackles) and Greta McKinley (11 disposals, three marks and three tackles) was crucial, while Jade Briggs also slotted two goals in the victory. The inclusion of Sabreena Duffy was just as crucial for the Thunder, picking up 15 disposals, three tackles and three inside 50s in the victory.

Sarah Wielstra took control with 14 disposals, five marks, three tackles, 18 hitouts, four inside 50s and a goal, feeding it down to a midfield minus Jaime Henry. In her place, the likes of Ruby Mahony (17 disposals, two marks, 11 tackles and two inside 50s) and Abbygail Bushby (17 disposals, four marks, three tackles and three inside 50s) stepped up, whilst defenders Lauren Osborne (14 disposals, two marks and two tackles) and Isabella Edgley (14 disposals, two marks) tried hard. Forward Hope Ugle-Hayward worked up the ground to finish with 14 disposals, six tackles, four inside 50s and a goal in the loss.

Swan Districts will now go from despising Peel Thunder to barracking for them next week, with the Swans needing the Thunder to defeat Subiaco in the last round in order to force a grand final rematch in the elimination final. If the Thunder do defeat the Lions, then these sides will face off again in the finals whilst a Thunder loss means Peel will take on Subiaco in two consecutive weeks.

SWAN DISTRICTS 1.3 | 1.7 | 3.8 | 4.8 (32)
PEEL THUNDER 1.0 | 3.0 | 6.1 | 7.7 (49)

Swan Districts: C. Zappara, S. Rene, H. Ugle-Hayward, S. Wielstra
Peel Thunder: J. Thompson 2, J. Briggs 2, E. Roberts, H. Britton, K. Phillips

Swan Districts:
S. Wielstra, A. Bushby, R. Mahony, H. Ugle-Hayward, L Osborne
Peel Thunder: E. Roberts, S. Duffy, J. Britton, E. Dowson, G. McKinley

  • Team
  • West Perth
  • East Fremantle

Minor premiers East Fremantle is just one win away from going through the 2022 WAFL Women’s season undefeated, after rolling past West Perth in a predictable 62-point win. The Sharks would have preferred a more accurate display than their 8.14 effort, but holding the Falcons scoreless – and to just one inside 50 for the match, would have been a pleasing result for the top of the table side. The kicked six first half goals from 17 scoring shots, before the Falcons were able to stem the bleeding, only conceding 2.3 in the second half. Nonetheless, East Fremantle still came away with the four points required for victory.

With 324 disposals to 182, East Fremantle monopolised the ball, as all bar two players picked up at least eight disposals in the win. Of the more premier ball-winners, the midfield of Amber Kinnane (32 disposals, four marks, three tackles and five inside 50s) and Ashleigh Gomes (32 disposals, five marks, eight tackles and eight inside 50s) were dominant, as Ashlee Atkins (28 disposals, four marks, nine tackles, four inside 50s and a goal) and Larissa Versaci (26 disposals, four marks, five tackles and seven inside 50s) also found plenty of it. Beth Beckett and Melissa Caulfield both had the 21 touches in the win, while Julia Teakle and Torrens Revell slotted two majors apiece.

For West Perth, just the nine players picked up double-digit disposals, lead by full-back Karla Stagg, who had 18 disposals, two marks and three tackles. The Roper sisters combined for 30 disposals and 11 tackles, as younger sister Kaitlyn (17 disposals, five marks and six tackles) marginally pipped top-age sister Jess (13 disposals, two marks and five tackles). Elissa Price pulled down a match-high 10 marks to go with 12 disposals, while Jaymee Duke (11 disposals, five marks) and Molly Conroy (11 disposals, six marks) were both strong aerially.

East Fremantle finishes its season up against a refreshed South Fremantle next week at home, while West Perth closes out what is looming as a winless debut WAFL Women’s season up against Claremont on the road.

WEST PERTH 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 | 0.0 (0)
EAST FREMANTLE 3.4 | 6.11 | 6.12 | 8.14 (62)

West Perth:
East Fremantle: J. Teakle 2, T. Revell 2, A. Atkins, M. Caulfield, Z. Fish, M. Leitch

West Perth: K. Roper, J. Roper, E. Price, K. Stagg, J. Duke
East Fremantle: A. Gomes, A. Kinnane, A. Atkins, L. Versaci, J. Teakle

  • Team
  • Subiaco
  • Claremont

Subiaco kept its finals hopes alive with a 14-point upset win over an understrength Claremont outfit. The Tigers copped the downside of being such a successful developing team, losing captain Ella Smith, Tessa Doumanis and Sasha Goranova as part of being prelisted to AFLW sides. Neither team could kick a goal in the first term, but eventually Subiaco got on the board in the second quarter to take a six-point lead at half-time. A goal in the first five minutes to AFLW-experienced Jasmin Stewart levelled the scores, but from that point on, Subiaco slotted 2.2 to 0.0 to secure the 3.5 (23) to 1.3 (9) victory.

Captain Tarnica Golisano returned and lead from the front, picking up 28 disposals, seven tackles and two inside 50s in the win, teaming up well with fellow midfielders, Jayme Harken (23 disposals, eight marks, five tackles and three inside 50s) and Madizen Wilkins (21 disposals, five marks and three tackles). The inclusion of Aisling McCarthy and Tiah Toth paid dividends with both players picking up 19 disposals, and combining for six marks, 13 tackles and 11 inside 50s, with the West Coast-listed McCarthy slotting a goal as well. Cheney Armstrong also kicked a goal from the ruck, collecting 13 disposals, four marks, three tackles and 22 hitouts.

Claremont still had plenty of impressive individual performers, headlined by the sole mature-age Tigers AFLW Draft Combine invitee, Madeleine Scanlon. The youngster managed a team-high 23 disposals, three marks and five tackles from defence, whilst Stewart picked up 17 touches, four tackles and four inside 50s to go with her goal. Also stepping up in defence was Claire Ortlepp (16 disposals, four marks and seven tackles), while Tess Blackburn and Brooke Hongell tried hard. Matilda Dyke (10 disposals, 34 hitouts) worked tirelessly through the ruck.

Next week both sides have home games, with Claremont closing out its regular season against West Perth ahead of the massive qualifying final with East Fremantle, while Subiaco will face Peel Thunder for a spot in the finals.

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