Subiaco finishes 2024 WAFLW season on a high

THOUGH finals were already out of the question, Subiaco punished West Perth for terrible inaccuracy in the first half to come away with a commanding 33-point win in the end. While the result looked comfortable by the final siren, the Lions did most of the damage in the last quarter, kicking four goals to win, 6.6 (42) to 0.9 (9).

Neither team had much more than pride on the line in the clash, with West Perth locked into third spot on the ladder, and Subiaco only able to leap up to as high as fifth – which the Lions did in the end – which meant it was more about who could finish the regular season on a positive note.

For the first 30 minutes of the match, the ball just about could have paid rent in the West Perth forward 50 the way it was camped there. The Subiaco defence struggled to clear the area and could not get it past halfway until the 12-minute mark of the first term, and any chances after that were few and far between.

However for all of West Perth’s forward half dominance, the Falcons could not land a blow through the big sticks. Time and time again shorts either missed or fell short, and while the home side was missing in-form young gun Mia Russo, it was not through lack of shots but rather unable to convert chances.

Brooke Hongell looked the most dangerous of the Falcons forwards but just kept putting them either side of the posts, while the one shot on target from Imahra Cameron was just touched on the goalline. The worst miss was a set shot miss from the top of the goalsquare after a good mark from Tahlee McVee, one of two behinds for the day from her, while Hongell had the four misses.

Adding salt to the wound, in Subiaco’s first forward 50 entry – which was also the first time the Lions got it past halfway – 13 minutes not the first term, Tiah Toth got on the end of one and converted a goal. Despite the ball not moving from the Falcons’ forward half in the first 12 minutes, they were now trailing at quarter time.

That bad luck continued until midway through the second term, with West Perth funnily enough taking the lead by kicking the first three behinds of the quarter and going ahead, 0.7 (7) to 1.0 (6). However Subiaco recaptured that lead when after a couple of chances went begging, Aimee Schmidt snapped a classy goal right before the half-time siren.

That goal meant the lead was now out to nine points with Subiaco leading 2.4 (16) to 0.7 (7), a score that was near identical through the third term. In fact the only score came outside the usual 20-minute flat term, with a mark just before the siren to Kate Pocsidio resulted in a behind.

Just nothing had gone West Perth’s way all match, and when Krstel Petrevski won the opening clearance of the fourth term and got it inside 50 to Olivia Wolmarans for a goal just 44 seconds into the quarter, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Up one end, Hongell tried to soccer it off the deck but was unfortunately smothered, while up the other, Eva Popovsky snapped a shot on goal that looked destined to hit the post or miss, only to bounce at a right angle and go inside the post for a goal. That came after a second Wolmarans major following a free to Schmidt, and by midway through the term, the lead was out to 28 points.

West Perth kept trying to kick that elusive goal, but Hongell and McVee had their fourth and second misses respectively in between a Leila Rowe goal. In a microcosm of how the game had gone, Rowe was goalside of two Falcons who had gone in to attack the ball, only for it to bounce past them into Rowe’s arms for her to turn and slot it on the run.

By the final siren, Subiaco had won by 33 points, 6.6 (42) to 0.9 (9), but the Falcons had been in the game right up until the final term. The frustrating nature of missing so many chances had hurt, and the Lions took full advantage in the final term, with a combination of hard running and some luck.

Incredibly West Perth had 19 more inside 50s (40-21), but the Lions had score on 12 of those 21 occasions, and laid 16 more tackles in the process. Leading the way was Petrevski who did well in defence and moving into the midfield, finishing with 27 disposals, three marks and five tackles. Up the other end, Wolmarans clunked four marks from 22 disposals and kicked 2.2

Ruck Tess Lyons took control in her role, while the defensive work of Beatrice Devlyn and Madison Dodd was important, and Toth showed all her experience through the game. for the Falcons, there was much frustration, but the likes of Megan Norbury, Bianca Webb and Emily Bennett all found their fair share of the football.

SUBIACO 1.0 | 2.4 | 2.5 | 6.6 (42)
WEST PERTH 0.4 | 0.7 | 0.7 | 0.9 (9)

O. Wolmarans 2, E. Popovsky, L. Rowe, A. Schmidt, T. Toth
West Perth: Nil.

K. Petrevski, O. Wolmarans, T. Toth, B. Devlyn, T. Lyons
West Perth: E. Bennett, M. Norbury, B. Webb, I. Cameron. B. Hongell


West Perth’s opponent in the do-or-die semi-final next week, Swan Districts, had a dominant 59-point win on the road against Peel Thunder. It was Taylah Edwards turn to kick a bag, booting half a dozen goals in the win, while livewire small forward Sienna Gerardi finished with three majors. They kicked the first eight goals of the game and ended up securing a 10.9 (69) to 1.4 (10) victory.

Swan Districts midfielder Lily Paterson had a day out, racking up 37 disposals and six marks, while Edwards had the 19 touches, four marks and four tackles to go with her 6.1. Evie Cowcher (34 disposals, seven marks and six tackles), Holly Britton (28 disposals, six marks) and Ebony Dowson (20 disposals, three marks and five tackles) were prominent for the losing Thunder side.

East Fremantle came back from a half-time deficit to kick six goals to two in the second half and win by four goals over South Fremantle. The Sharks kicked 7.10 (52) to 4.4 (28), with 6.6 of that coming in the second half after an inaccurate first two quarters. Zippy Fish (32 disposals, nine marks and a goal) starred yet again, while Ashlee Atkins (23 disposals, two goals) and Ashleigh Gomes were prominent through midfield.

The youngsters in Noa McNaughton (17 disposals, four marks and three tackles) and second-gamer Marie Polimeno (16 disposals, two marks and five tackles) were among the most productive Bulldogs, as bottom-ager Renee Morgan (15 disposals, six tackles) made her return.

Claremont did as it pleased in a dominant 102-point smashing of East Perth. The tired Royals avoided the wooden spoon this year but have faded of late, going scoreless in the first half and conceding 29 scoring shots in the 15.14 (104) to 0.2 (2). It was a one-way procession for the Tigers who matched into finals with a commanding performance ahead of their massive clash against East Fremantle.

Bottom-ager Juliet Kelly ran hard off half-back and had stints through the middle to finish with a game-high 25 touches and kicked two goals while taking seven marks and laying eight tackles. Taylah Orzel (24 disposals), Sarah Viney (24 disposals, three marks and six tackles) and Emily Bonser (17 disposals) controlled the midfield, but was the forward craft of Eva O’Donnell (22 disposals, six goals) and Jacinta Valentini (20 disposals, six marks and three goals) were outstanding. Lucy Greenwood (19 disposals, four marks and seven tackles) was a standout for the Royals.

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