WAFLW Semi-Finals results: New premier to be crowned as Sharks secure grand final spot
EAST Fremantle will await the winner of Claremont and Swan Districts in the West Australian Football League (WAFL) Women’s Grand Final after seeing off the Tigers in the semi-final yesterday. The Swans caused an upset in the other semi-final, downing reigning back-to-back premiers Peel Thunder down in Mandurah, reversing the result of just a fortnight earlier to eliminate the Thunder from the 2022 finals series.
East Fremantle booked its spot in the 2022 WAFL Women’s Grand Final with a nail-biting five-point win over Claremont in the second of the semi-finals played at New Choice Homes Park. The undefeated Sharks are just one win away from completing an undefeated season, but for most of the first half, it looked as if that dreaded first loss might come in the finals.
The Sharks failed to score in the first half, as the Tigers dominated proceedings. Claremont did not make the most of its chances though, with only a clever snap from youngster Ella Slocombe the difference between the sides at the break. For the first time all year, the Sharks were held scoreless at the main break, but then stepped up with the wind in the third term, as Samara Pluschke got them on the board, before a long-range set shot from bottom-ager Anjelique Raison increased the lead out to four points at the main break. East Fremantle held firm in the final term, holding a strong defensive line to score the only behind of the term, picking up a five-point victory, 2.2 (14) to 1.3 (9).
East Fremantle was out-possessed in a rare feat, with Sharon Wong picking up a team-high 20 disposals and laying 11 tackles with five inside 50s. Young gun Zippy Fish (15 disposals, six marks, eight tackles and three inside 50s), Amber Kinnane (14 disposals, seven tackles) and Pluschke (14 disposals, two marks, six tackles, two inside 50s and a goal) were other key ball-winners. Youngsters at either end, Chambers (10 disposals, four marks and three tackles) and Raison (nine disposals, nine hitouts, two tackles, two inside 50s and a goal) were also promising.
AFLW Draft Combine invitee Madeleine Scanlon racked up a match-high 27 disposals, as well as five marks, five tackles and four inside 50s, while AFLW-experienced Tigers Jasmin Stewart (24 disposals, two marks, four tackles and two inside 50s) and Katherine Orme (21 disposals, three marks, and six tackles) were also impressive. Despite getting caught a couple of times bursting away, Brooke Hongell (14 disposals, three marks and six tackles) still found plenty of the footy, while marking forwards, Brooke Whyte and Tayla Thorogood combined for 23 disposals and 10 marks.
EAST FREMANTLE 0.0 | 0.0 | 2.1 | 2.2 (14)
CLAREMONT 0.0 | 1.2 | 1.3 | 1.3 (9)
East Fremantle: S. Pluschke, A. Raison
Claremont: E. Slocombe
East Fremantle: Z. Fish, S. Wong, S. Pluschke, A. Kinnane, T. Chambers
Claremont: M. Scanlon, K. Orme, J. Stewart, B. Whyte, T. Thorogood
Swan Districts has knocked reigning back-to-back premiers Peel Thunder out of the 2022 WAFL Women’s finals series, defeating the side that stopped the Swans in last year’s grand final. The fourth placed sides travelled south to Mandurah, and started strongly then held on from several Peel attacks, including late in the game. Despite the home side’s best efforts – including a couple of chances late from star talent Ella Roberts – the Thunder could not overcome the visitors, going down 4.5 (29) to 5.4 (34).
Swan Districts started the game strongly, holding the Thunder to just one behind in the first term, as Jaime Henry launched a ripping long goal to open the scoring, then Ashley Sharp morphed into Shai Bolton by showing opponent Bella Mann the ball. Sharp would end up with two goals for the game – a clever snap being the other one, with youngster Jorgina Kean, and Courtney Zappara getting on the board. Peel Thunder slotted three second term goals, to trade blows with the Swans, and trail by eight points at the final break with Kira Phillips (two), Chloe Wrigley and Jorja Haines all kicking majors. Roberts had two chances late in the last term as Peel controlled play in its front half, but could not quite convert, with the second of those – with a chance to tie the game – coming from an impossible angle that still nearly went in.
Abbygail Bushby was sensational for the winners, picking up 18 disposals, four marks, six tackles and four inside 50s, one of a number of young guns who shone. Kean (15 disposals, five marks, three tackles and a goal) and Henry (15 disposals, seven tackles and a goal) both hit the scoreboard, while Ruby Mahony (15 disposals, five tackles) and Naomi Baker (15 disposals, three tackles) both caught the eye through the middle. Aimee Ralph and Natalie House also impressed in the victory.
For the Thunder, she might have kicked three behinds, but Roberts was simply sensational all game, standing up with 24 touches, three marks, two tackles and three inside 50s. Talented onballer Sabreena Duffy (26 disposals, eight tackles and four inside 50s) and skilful winger Jaide Britton (17 disposals, two marks and five inside 50s) found their fair share of the ball. Ebony Dowson (20 disposals, two marks and two tackles) was reliable out of defence, while Gracie Fenton, Chloe Wrigley and Kaitlyn Srhoj tried hard all game.
PEEL THUNDER 0.1 | 3.2 | 4.2 | 4.5 (29)
SWAN DISTRICTS 2.0 | 4.0 | 5.4 | 5.4 (34)
Peel Thunder: K. Phillips 2, C. Wrigley, J. Haines
Swan Districts: A. Sharp 2, C. Zappara, J. Kean, J. Henry
Peel Thunder: E. Roberts, S. Duffy, J. Britton. E. Dowson, E. Dowson
Swan Districts: A. Bushby, J. Kean, J. Henry, R. Mahony, A. Ralph