WAFL R3 & WAFLW R7 Wrap Up with Jacob Landsmeer - Thanks to The Left Bank

Monday, April 15, 2024 - 4:04 PM

East Fremantle’s premiership defence has hit another hurdle, suffering an agonising four-point defeat to the West Coast Eagles WAFL side at Lathlain Park on Sunday.

The visitors led by as much as 24 points early in the contest but were overrun by a hungry and determined opponent, who broke through for their first win in WAFL football for 660 days, 13.17 (95) to 14.7 (91).

The result leaves East Fremantle without any premiership points after three rounds, consigned to ninth position, the reigning premiers with work to do in season 2024.

Beautiful autumn conditions greeted the sides for a rare Sunday morning fixture, the match commencing at 10:00 AM as a pre cursor to the AFL clash between the Eagles and Tigers later in the day.

Jono Marsh was a late withdrawal with hamstring tightness, having starred with seven goals against Claremont in round two.

Jamie Meade returned to the side for his first game of the season, the popular clubman having missed all but one game last year due to an injury ravaged campaign.

Jed Hagan picked up from where he left off with the first major of the game, getting on the end of a strong linking possession chain to mark and convert from the goal square.

The Eagles, who had 12 AFL listed players in their side had the majority of possession and inside 50’s for the term but failed to take their opportunities, late goals for Ben McGuire, Josh Schoenfeld and Fraser Turner pushing the margin out to 19 points in the shadows of quarter time.

A goal after the siren from East Fremantle product and former Magpie Trey Ruscoe reduced the margin to 13 points at the first change, the Eagles matching it with the highly fancied Sharks.

Another three-goal burst early in the second term put East Fremantle back on top, the highlight a superb Cody Leggett tackle to win a free kick for holding the ball, the premiership forward bouncing up and playing on to slot the goal on the run from right half forward.

The Eagles again finished the quarter strongly though, late goals to Harvey Johnston and Ruscoe trimming the margin to 11 points at the half.

Brynn Teakle was having a superb match in the ruck, partnering with midfield maestro Milan Murdock to give East Fremantle a slight midfield ascendency.

Both teams were hurt on turnover, warm conditions perhaps playing their part as the April heat continued to have an effect on the competition.

When Jarrad Jansen kicked the first goal of the second half followed by Mitch Zadow’s league major on the run from right full forward it seemed like the Sharks may run away with the contest, only for West Coast to hit back hard with the final four goals of the quarter, the ball locked in the home side’s forward half as Bill Monaghan’s men struggled to find an answer for the inspired Eagles.

The last term was a desperate one as the reigning premiers looked to fight back, the Eagles able to kick the first two goals through Jai Culley and Johnston to extend the lead to 13.

Brayden Lawler kicked a goal from a set shot to break the run of consecutive goals, the margin a goal with more than half of the quarter remaining.

Both teams looked out on their feet as the Eagles pressed again, kicking four consecutive behinds before a brilliant Josh Schoenfeld snap reduced the margin to four points at the 24 minute mark.

A long kick inside 50 fell in to the lap of Eagles forward Andries Mercer two minutes later, the former Demon running in to an open goal to make life tough for the Sharks.

Luke English kept the game alive with a clutch finish at the 29 minute mark, but time ran out for East Fremantle, who slumped to their second defeat in the opening three rounds of a stuttering premiership defence.

Murdock was again his side’s best player, showing great poise in the clinches to record 26 disposals and 11 tackles as well as a first quarter goal, while Teakle also showed his class with 17 disposals and 52 hitouts.

Jarrad Jansen had 20 touches and a goal to be in the best players while Lennon Marlin was his side’s best defender, recording 18 disposals and three marks.

The Colts and Reserves had the bye, with East Fremantle’s three men’s teams now set for another week off before facing Swan Districts at Bassendean Oval on Sunday April 28th.

The news was more encouraging for the WAFL Women’s program, recording a dominant 36-point win over West Perth at Arena Joondalup under lights on Friday night.

In a battle between second and third on the table the Sharks produced a trademark defensive performance, the Falcons with 34 inside 50’s for just one goal in the match as the reigning womens premiers emerged with a 7.3 (45) to 1.3 (9) scoreline.

Laura Catherine was dominant in attack with two goals, her height causing all sorts of problems for the West Perth defenders to kick two goals, while young superstar Zipporah Fish was everywhere as she recorded 39 disposals and kicked a goal to put her stamp on the match.

Fish, 18 will be draft eligible later this year, having been adjudged best on ground in last year’s Grand Final win over Claremont.

Chloe Wrigley (22 disposals) and Ashleigh Gomes (18) were their usual reliable selves, while Tiani Teakle kicked two goals, the Falcons goalless after half time as the Sharks slammed on four goals to one behind after the major break.

The result gives Matt Templeton’s side three straight wins, sitting behind the unbeaten Claremont in second spot.

The Sharks face East Perth in their next clash, the Royals having recorded their first ever WAFLW victory over Peel Thunder on Saturday.

The Rogers Cup side had a bye in round seven, also preparing to head to Sullivan Logistics Stadium to face East Perth Saturday morning.