Lions rise to outright third after stopping Sharks

SUBIACO is outright third on the WAFL Women’s ladder after upsetting reigning grand finalists East Fremantle by 10 points at the WACA on Saturday. It was a hard-fought contest throughout the match, and while Sharks top-age key forward Anjelique Raison kicked all three of her side’s goals, it would ultimately not be enough, going down, 5.4 (34) to 3.6 (24).

The Lions came into the game off the back of a confidence-boosting win over East Perth, while the Sharks came away with the draw against the undefeated Claremont, handing the visitors favouritism in the Round 10 match. But despite that favouritism, Subiaco showed from the opening term it was up for the fight.

Tiah Toth got the game started after finding space inside 50 and slotting the set shot goal just four minutes into the contest. Two minutes later and double bottom-ager Olivia Wolmarans was on the board after a long-range kick under pressure bounced the right way, and by quarter time, a conversion from Hanna Dethlefsen had the Lions up by 17 points. Raison missed a sitter from the top of the goalsquare which she would normally nail, and the Sharks headed into the first break down by 17.

The second term saw the forward half possession belong to East Fremantle with the trio of Raison, Chloe Reilly and Roxy Roux all hitting the scoreboard, but only the teenager was able to put one through the big sticks. For all of the forward half dominance, the Sharks had only been able to convert 1.3 and cut the deficit to eight points at the main break.

Raison was at it again early in the third term kicking her second major after a good mark on a lateral lead. The Sharks made good on a rare forward foray early in the term after Subiaco had several chances that just fell short including from Wolmarans and Olivia Crane. Subiaco resumed attacking hard for the majority of the third term and went three points up before a late goal to Meadhbh Moloney out of nothing extended the lead out to nine points.

Subiaco skipper Tarnica Golisano returned to the side and had a tumbling shot on goal early in the fourth but it bounced through for a behind, and then up the other end, East Fremantle applied further scoreboard pressure. After a behind from Beth Beckett, Raison marked 40m out from goal. Running around to gain more power, Raison launched from 45 metres and it sailed home to cut the deficit to just three points with 11 minutes to play.

Both teams had chances in that time, with a rushed shot from Wolmarans only going through for a behind, but a critical moment came in the 10th minute of the final term. Liana Burchell and Roux went for a mark colliding with the former winning the one-on-one. Aggrieved, Roux pushed Burchell into the turf and the umpire paid a 50 metre penalty. That became a 100 metre penalty shortly after Roux appeared to have another crack at the defender, sending Burchell to the goalline.

The unlikely goalscorer became the hero as she slotted the goal from point blank range. Unfortunately, her celebration would not last long, as when she went for a groundball, crashed front-on into Raison up the other end of the ground and had to be helped off. Though perhaps sore, she, like the rest of the Subiaco side, could celebrate an immense win, getting up over one of the major title contenders by 10 points.

Golisano returned to the action as she had never left with 18 disposals, seven tackles and six inside 50s, while Crane and Wolmarans were busy up their respective ends, and the former even rolling through the midfield. Toth and Madison Dodd also cracked in hard throughout the match for the Lions.

Raison was the prime target inside 50 with three goals from 11 disposals and four marks, while Roux finished with 13 disposals, four marks and five tackles. In her 100th game, Ashleigh Gomes (16 disposals, two inside 50s) also tried hard in a loss.


Top of the table Claremont proved too strong for Peel Thunder, storming to a 25-point lead and never letting up throughout the match. The Tigers kicked the same amount of goals in the final three quarters as they did in the first (five) but did enough to hold off the Thunder comfortably, 10.9 (69) to 2.1 (13).

Jayme Harken and Matilda Sergeant each racked up 29 disposals in a dominant ball-winning performance, while Sarah Garstone helped herself to 22 disposals, seven marks and six inside 50s. Young gun Ella Slocombe and experienced forward Brooke Whyte both booted two goals from 17 disposals. For the Thunder, defenders Ebony Dowson (27 disposals, four marks and three tackles) and Evie Cowcher (22 disposals, three marks and six tackles) were the best once again.

South Fremantle showed no mercy for East Perth en route to a dominated 104-point victory, the largest win of the 2023 WAFL Women’s season. The Bulldogs booted six goals in the first term to race out to a 30-point lead, and held the Royals scoreless after that while adding 9.8 themselves during the 17.8 (110) to 1.0 (6) victory.

Charli Wicksteed (19 disposals) was the top ball-winner for the Bulldogs and one of nine goalkickers, with Bethany Bond and Trinity Brown combining for five goals. Casey Byrne slotted five goals from nine touches and four marks, while Molly O’Hehir had another impressive outing. For East Perth, Madeleine Goodman and Julia Uhe both had 12 touches.

In the sole Sunday game, Swan Districts ran away with the contest against a sore West Perth side to post a 50-point win at Joondalup. The Black Ducks had a fight on their hands in the first half, but put the foot down after that as the Falcons picked up a couple of injuries. In the end, seven goals to one in the second half told the tale of the match as the visitors made it five wins in a row and slotted into fourth with a 10.6 (66) to 2.4 (16) victory.

Ruby Mahony had a day out in the midfield collecting 28 disposals, three marks and three inside 50s as Jaime Henry collected 23 disposals, four marks, three tackles and five inside 50s. Kayley King provided run on the outside, but the big story was that of in-form forward Courtney Zappara who slammed home six goals from 19 touches and four marks. Emily Bennett (21 disposals, three marks and two tackles) and Megan Norbury (20 disposals, five marks and five tackles) were the most prominent Falcons ball-winners.

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