EAST Perth won its third WAFL Colts game on the trot on Saturday, downing Perth by 11 points in our Round 13 featured game. Fresh off a bye, the Royals, were made to overcome a half time deficit and booted seven goals to three in the second half to run out 11.10 (76) to 10.5 (65) victors. We noted some of the top performers from that game, before taking a look around the grounds.
By: Hayden Narducci
#9 Will Cassidy
In just his fourth game for the year, 17-year-old Cassidy was a standout across the ground for the Royals. Finishing with 18 disposals and three goals, he proved vital in both winning the ball at the coalface and finishing off good plays in front of goal. He set the tone hard, winning the first centre clearance of the day, and kept the fine form up throughout the game. Cassidy possesses great composure and vision when looking for a target by foot despite being under pressure and is an enjoyable player to keep an eye on for the Royals.
#28 Darcy Miller
By far the standout player for his side, Miller has picked up some fine form in recent weeks and continued on with this, finishing with a game high 28 disposals and game-high six tackles. His relentless pressure in the centre of the ground was imperative for the Royals comeback victory as he continued to hit contest after contest at 110 per cent. He showed great strength to break through opposition tackling efforts and take some great one on one marks.
#33 Soka Sokaa
Sokaa produced as dominant a ruck performance you could see in this game, consistently giving his mids first crack at the footy. Finishing with 33 hitouts, Sokaa’s strength and athleticism made it a miserable day for anyone rucking for Perth, with no one from the opposition managing double digits in hit outs for the day. It was a slow start for Sokaa in the first quarter, not managing a single disposal, but he found his feet quite quickly afterwards to finish with 14 disposals and five inside 50s. He expertly used his size to break through tackles like nothing and dish the footy off to a running teammate.
#14 Aiden O’Driscoll
The younger brother of Fremantle’s Emma and Nathan O’Driscoll, Aiden has shown off his talent in recent weeks to show us why his older siblings declare him the best of the bunch. Finding himself running on the wing and through the centre, O’Driscoll was the perfect showcase of impact per touch finishing with a game high nine inside 50s from 21 disposals. O’Driscoll possesses unreal decision making for a 16-year-old and his game was highlighted by his first quarter goal, streaming through a pack of players to receive the handball and kick true from 45 metres out on the run. Keep an eye out for the youngest O’Driscoll as he continues to improve week in, week out.
#20 Oliver Zolnier-Owens
The man who seemed to be at every contest in this game, Zolnier-Owens topped the disposal chart for the game with 30 of the best. He constantly found himself breaking through packs around the ground either getting the hardball or receiving the hands and taking on the tacklers to get the ball out of there. His one goal came from a dubious free kick but was well finished with a snap around the body and well earned, as he showed relentless efforts to try and get his boys across the line.
#21 Kalib Dempster-Park
Making it a trio of midfielders from Perth, Dempster-Park’s performance was too good to ignore. Finishing with 27 disposals and a goal, the 17-year-old’s third colts game has proven to be his best as he continues to improve week after week. With the absence of Connor McDonald with state duties, Dempster-Park stood up to hit the pill hard at every contest, showcasing some beautiful kicking and decision making when dishing out the footy. He was one of the leading deliverers of the ball inside 50 for both sides and constantly took the game head on.
AROUND THE GROUNDS:
By: Michael Alvaro
The closest match of the round saw South Fremantle down Swan Districts by five points at Fremantle Oval, with the Swans fighting back hard in the late stages. Down by nine goals to two at half time, the visitors clawed back to a two-goal deficit at the final break, and just fell short of a remarkable comeback.
A pair of Bulldogs turned in outstanding performances, with Christian Wilson racking up 34 disposals while Liam Brandis slotted a game-high five goals. Edward Graham kicked three, which was matched by Swan Lewis Zolnier-Owens. Luke Kelly (22 disposals) was the lone Swan to tick over 20 touches.
Under lights, West Perth defeated Claremont by 35 points to remain a game clear in first place, leading at every break and looking every bit the minor premier contender. The Falcons restricted Claremont to just 1.5 in the opening half, and did enough in the second to match the Tigers’ rise in scoring output.
Three of the Falcons’ five goalkickers snared multiples, lead by four from Aiden Nelson. Trio Jack De Marte, Nate Dimanlig, and Byron Sherwood were the top ball winners afield, each having at least 10 more touches than the next-best Falcon. Rhori Williams-Jolley was Claremont’s leading disposal getter with 23, while Cooper Childs claimed two goals.
The round’s second night game saw Peel Thunder keep touch with West Perth in second spot, beating Subiaco by 17 points in a top five clash at Lane Group Stadium. The Thunder were almost made to pay for their inaccurate 7.21 return, with Subiaco kicking the same amount of goals but unable to trim the deficit.
Jackson Broadbent returned from the state Under 18 side and fared well with 1.3 from 17 disposals and 21 hitouts. Scott Tuia was prolific for his 29 touches, while Rory Murison and Dylan O’Dea had 23 in Subiaco colours. Reece Torrent and Richard Bartlett were their respective sides’ sole multiple goalkickers.