WAFL R5/WAFLW R9 Wrap Up with Jacob Landsmeer - Thanks to The Left Bank

Monday, April 29, 2024 - 3:06 PM

A clutch goal after the siren from premiership midfielder Jackson McDonald has given reigning premiers East Fremantle a last gasp triumph over Swan Districts, winners by two points at Bassendean Oval on Sunday.

Trailing by as much as 22 points in the last quarter the Sharks produced a stunning comeback, kicking the final four goals of the game to win 11.10 (76) to 11.8 (74).

McDonald marked a rushed kick from Swans stopper Jehb O’Donohue from a clearance with just seconds remaining on the clock, the siren sounding as the 26-year-old went back to take his kick for goal.

The Victorian native in his third WAFL season produced a superb finish with the game on his boot, kicking the goal from 45 metres as the ball swung from left to right to split the middle, and split the heart of Swans fans in to two in the process.

It was a fitting finish to a fantastic match, both teams with periods of momentum but ultimately the reigning premiers able to record their first premiership points of the season, pushing off the bottom of the ladder in the process.

Both teams headed in to the Sunday fixture off a bye in round four, Swans stewing off their three-point loss to Perth and the Sharks similarly dismayed following their four point loss to West Coast a fortnight previous.

East Fremantle were without Cody Leggett (wedding) and Tom Joyce (calf) for the contest, welcoming back premiership defender Cameron Eardley for his first game of the season and young ruck/forward debutant Josh Cripps, brother of Carlton captain and Brownlow Medallist Patrick.

Bill Monaghan’s side headed in with good form against Swans, having won their previous five matches against the black and whites dating back to 2021, narrow victories over them at Bassendean in 2022 and 2023.

The match started as an arm wrestle in what was crucial battle for both teams, Tom Edwards kicking the first goal of the game for the home side after nine minutes.

The Sharks were slowly gaining midfield control though, Brynn Teakle continuing his strong form in ruck with Milan Murdock finding plenty of the ball, despite close checking from Jehb O’Donohue.

Jarrad Jansen won a free kick for holding the ball at left full forward and duly converted from 25 metres out on a 35-degree angle, the first of three straight goals that gave the visitors early scoreboard pressure.

Ben McGuire produced a trademark crumbing goal early in time on while a strong contest from Cripps won the Sharks a free kick close to goal, Jed Hagan taking the advantage to kick the major from the square.

It was becoming a fiery contest at times, umpires keeping a close eye on the Murdock-O’Donohue battle as the Simpson Medallist got under his opponents’ skin.

A late goal to Swans kept the home team in touch, East Fremantle a goal in front at the first change.

Teakle and Murdock set up Jansen for his second major early in the second term with some great link play, Jansen producing a towering mark in the goal square to give the Sharks some more breathing room.

Swans’ playmakers slowly gained control in the second stanza though, winning ball around stoppage and able to gain ascendency in general play, booting three consecutive goals to whittle away the deficit and take the lead.

East Fremantle steadied things though close to half time, the returning Eardley slotting in seamlessly across half back and even pushing forward of the centre to set up attacking forays.

Teakle and Jack Cleaver missed chances to return the lead to the Sharks but Jed Hagan took his after the half time siren, on the end of a sizzling pass from Cleaver and kicking truly from 45 metres.

When Cleaver sidestepped two Swans opponents and slotted truly on the run from inside 50 a minute in to the second half belief was growing the reigning premiers could pull away, leading by eight points.

A brace of goals to Swans forward Leigh Kohlmann pulled the home side back into the contest, Kyle Baskerville able to find Fraser Turner with a squaring pass that resulted in the lead changing hands for the sixth time in the match.

It was Kohlmann’s quarter though, as he slammed on his third for the term and fourth for the match to give Swans the advantage again, Jarvis Pina taking his chance also in the dying moments following a questionable free kick.

A nine-point lead at the last change for Swans was quickly extended to 22 with majors to Jesse Glass-McCasker and Will Reidy in the opening three minutes of the final term, the biggest lead of the game for either side now belonging to Swan Districts.

A terrific gather and forward handball from Jed Hagan sent Ben McGuire in to an open goal to breathe life back in to it for the Sharks, but Swans seemed to have the game under control, leading by 17 points entering time on of the last.

Jansen kept the door open with a brilliant long bomb from 50 metres to cut the margin to 11, the premiership utility then thrown in to the centre square to ruck with Teakle the deepest forward.

Teakle duly completed a contested mark at right half forward, kicking a magnificent set shot goal from almost 50 metres out on the boundary line, silencing the Swans fans in the McDonald stand in the process.

With less than a minute on the clock the Sharks locked the ball in their forward half, a rushed behind reducing the margin to four points.

Eardley launched himself to take a clutch contested mark 60 metres from goal, driving the ball deep inside 50 where the forwards competed strongly to secure a stoppage.

The resultant play saw McDonald’s moment arrive, etching his name in to East Fremante folklore with a clutch finish, sparking wild celebrations from players and supporters alike.

“First of all, I was looking to handball it, then I realised I probably should kick it!” McDonald said post match.

“I went through my normal routine, picked a spot behind the goals and just kicked it. I tried not to think about the moment too much.”

The goal to win the match after the siren served as a late birthday present for the former Victorian, who turned 26 on Wednesday.

An important part of the premiership 22 in 2023, McDonald hoped the result would serve as a confidence boost for the Sharks premiership defence.

“It felt like we were never out of the contest today. We believed.

“The first couple of games have been up and down, we had a couple of good weeks on the track. We know we are good enough; we are just slowly putting it together.”

Teakle was outstanding with 19 disposals, 31 hitouts and his late goal, Murdock with 22 disposals to still impact the game despite a heavy tag.

Eardley (18 disposals and 6 marks) was a pillar down back, while Jansen’s three goals and late impact in the ruck proved pivotal to the result, Hagan and Ben McGuire with two goals to impact the scoreboard.

The remarkable comeback win completed a clean sweep on the day for East Fremantle, earlier winning the Reserves and Colts matches.

The Reserves kicked the first six goals of their clash with Swans to never be headed on their way to a 14.9 (93) to 7.7 (49) result that marked the return of 2022 Sandover Medallist Blaine Boekhorst and key forward Dillon O’Reilly.

Boekhorst, playing his first match since August of 2022 looked in good touch with 21 disposals and a late goal, among his side’s best players on the day.

Lachlan Blakiston continued his push for a league spot with 22 disposals and 21 hitouts, while Luke Yeo and Mitch Zadow each kicked two majors with twelve players hitting the scoreboard.

The Colts clash was a much tighter affair, the Sharks accurate kicking keeping Swans at arm’s length for most of the day on their way to a 11.3 (69) to 7.9 (51) triumph.

Declan Pauline had 28 disposals and laid 10 tackles to continue his great form, Luke Carrello (26) and Elijah Stockden (25) also finding plenty of the ball while Joshua Nomlatyu and Jake Austin (3 goals) impacted the scoreboard.

East Fremantle General Manager of Football Brad Dodd was delighted for a great day for the club.

It was a gutsy performance by the players- down by 22 early in the last in a low scoring game, they just kept attacking and found a way to win,” he said.

“We felt we defended quite well and gave our forwards opportunities to score- but we were let down by the delivery inside 50.”

Dodd was pleased to welcome back two key players through the Reserves.

Great to have Blaine and Dillon back playing. Both have had a long wait between their last games and now and both got through, which is the main thing.

Both were a little rusty but we expect them to keep building and put themselves in the frame for League selection shortly.”

A six-day break lies ahead for all three grades, preparing to head to Sullivan Logistics Stadium to face Subiaco on Saturday.

The Colts will play at Pentanet Stadium on Saturday at 2:15 PM as part of the Colts Super Round.

It was a productive Saturday for the senior women’s program at Fremantle Oval, the reigning premiers overcoming a plucky Lions side to record their fifth win in a row.

After an even first quarter the Sharks side pulled ahead in the second term, only for Subiaco to fire back in the third quarter, Matt Templeton’s side only two points up at the last change.

However East Fremantle dug deep in the final stanza, kicking the only two majors to pull away to a 6.10 (46) to 4.6 (30) victory.

The Sharks controlled the midfield and inside 50 battle, also defending strongly under immense pressure from a solid Subiaco outfit.

Chloe Wrigley was outstanding again with 25 touches for the winners, Zippy Fish returning from a week off to have 17 disposals while Ashlee Atkins and Chloe Reilly each finished the game with two majors.

Impressively 19 of the 21 players had 10 disposals or more, showcasing the even nature of the performance.

The win puts East Fremantle just percentage off top spot with the previously unbeaten Claremont slumping to a 25-point defeat to Swan Districts.

The news wasn’t as good for the Rogers Cup side, who suffered a 32-point loss to Subiaco earlier in the day.

The Lions jumped the Sharks, kicking eight of their ten goals in the first half to establish a 36-point halftime lead, never headed from there despite a more competitive second half.

Alicia Blizard kicked two goals for the Sharks, who now surrender second spot in the Rogers Cup to their opponents.