WAFLW Round 17 wrap: Thunder crash Subi’s finals foray
PEEL Thunder crashed Subiaco’s final foray towards the postseason, denying the Lions a top five spot in a thriller to see out the regular season. Meanwhile, East Fremantle capped off a flawless home-and-away campaign, and Claremont achieved a defensive shutout against the winless West Perth. We recap all the Round 17 action.
Claremont made an emphatic leap back onto the winners list on the eve of finals, shutting out West Perth in a 10.9 (69) to nil drubbing at Revo Fitness Stadium. The Tigers were relentless throughout, producing 37 inside 50s to five against a Falcons side which struggled to move the ball out of defence.
In what was a sign of things to come, it took Claremont under 90 seconds to get on the board, and within another minute-and-a-half the Tigers made it two majors. With less than half of the opening term elapsed, the home side had booted its three goals for the period to be well on top.
After much of the same in term two, the scoring slowed past half time as West Perth battled valiantly on the last line to limit the damage. The margin ended up sneaking over 11 goals despite the Falcons’ best efforts, making for a disappointing end to their maiden WAFLW campaign.
Dealing most of the damage up forward was Tayla Thorogood, who snared three majors for the victors. The only other multiple goalkicker, Jasmin Stewart, bagged two and looked a class above at times, en route to notching a game-high 23 disposals.
No Falcon ticked up over 20 touches, but Keely Byrne got close with 19. On another tough day for the bottom side, Kaitlyn Roper fared well in a slightly altered role for her 14 touches and five tackles, while Kayla Van Den Heever (13 disposals, four marks) was a bright spot in midfield.
Having already secured second spot, the Tigers improved their regular season record to 11-3, setting up a meeting with undefeated minor premier East Fremantle in next week’s semi-final.
East Fremantle put the cherry on top of its home-and-away season, sealing undefeated status with a 52-point win over South Fremantle at Fremantle Oval. Three games clear as minor premiers, the Sharks were far too strong for their Southern counterparts, whom they held to a single goal in each half.
The victory was inspired by five-goal heroine Melissa Caulfield, who stepped up in a big way after Julia Teakle was drafted into the AFLW ranks. She set the tone with a goal in the first minute of play, and finished strongly with the last two majors of the day to round out East Fremantle’s win in style.
At the heart of the Sharks’ cause were some usual suspects in the on-ball unit. Amber Kinnane and Sharon Wong (both 18 disposals) provided plenty of drive from the inside, while Abbey Amaranti racked it up on the outside. Larissa Versaci and Ashlee Atkins were also productive in the forward half.
East Fremantle’s youngsters were a real feature too, with the combination of Georgie Cleaver and Anjelique Raison proving strong up forward, and Emmelie Fiedler playing a good hand in the ruck while Zippy Fish was elusive as ever on the wing.
Sweeping back from midfield, Bryany Parker notched a game-high 21 disposals for South Fremantle, with skipper Lauren Vecchio reliable as ever for her 17. Poppy Stockwell (16 disposals, one goal) added a bit of grunt to what was a relatively even performance from the Bulldogs.
While South’s season ends at 4-11, good enough for sixth, East Fremantle will look to secure premiership glory as the finals kick off this weekend. The Sharks will take on Claremont in the second semi final.
Peel Thunder crashed Subiaco’s quest for finals in a dramatic end to the home-and-away season, denying the Lions fourth spot by a single goal at Leederville Oval. Neither side registered a major until Kate Pocsidio‘s opportunist effort put the Lions ahead over 14 minutes into term two. The Thunder’s two-goal to nil third quarter proved the difference, as they held on to win 2.9 (21) to 2.4 (16).
Despite the lack of scoring, both sides were up for the contest and brought a contested style of play to the fore. With the pressure gauge high, skills were scrappy and the cream rose to the top for the dual reigning premiers. Shutting up shop in the last five minutes, they stood firm despite conceding a whole lot of territory.
Arguably best afield for the victors was Chloe Wrigley, who notched 24 disposals and seven marks while laying nine tackles. The Thunder’s wingers were also important, with Jaide Britton sweeping back and Kaitlyn Srhoj storming forward to good effect. In defence, Ebony Dowson was prolific on the rebound alongside Bella Mann, while star youngster Ella Roberts lifted in the latter stages.
Subiaco had its fair share of contributors, lead by the likes of Tiah Toth (27 disposals, eight tackles) and Tarnica Golisano (25 disposals) in midfield. Madison Dodd and Jayme Harken were resolute behind the ball, and tall Hanna Dethlefsen kicked a crucial goal in the final quarter.
While Subiaco’s season comes to an end, Peel Thunder’s pursuit for three-straight WAFLW premierships rolls on. They take on Swan Districts, who finished fourth, in what will be the third meeting between the sides in five weeks.