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WAFL R10 & WAFLW R15 Wrap Up with Jacob Landsmeer - Thanks to The Left Bank

Monday, June 10, 2024 - 9:49 AM

Brilliant Blakiston leads Sharks to come-back win

A starring performance from rookie ruckman Lachlan Blakiston has led East Fremantle to a vital win in their premiership defence, storming home with a seven-goal final term against West Perth at Fremantle Oval.

In slippery conditions East Fremantle slumped to a 22 points deficit at half time, before launching a stunning comeback in the second half, kicking 11 goals to one in what became a 64-point turnaround, 12.10 (82) to 5.10 (40).

Wet and rainy conditions greeted the teams for a crucial clash, East Fremantle (5th) and West Perth (6th) playing for a spot in the top five at the end of round ten.

Premiership defender Lennon Marlin was a late withdrawal for the clash, a calf injury keeping the former Demon out of the contest but replaced by fellow premiership backman Lachlan Bailey.

The heavens opened in the hour leading up to the match, making conditions slippery and heavy underfoot for both teams.

Subsequently scoring was extremely tough in the first term, neither side able to score a goal until time on as stoppages ruled the roost for the most part.

Jed Hagan had the best chance to kick an early goal but hit the post running in to the goal square, able to atone in the 23rd minute with the game’s opening goal from a set shot at right full forward.

Aaron Black responded for the Falcons with a goal of his own two minutes later, scores locked up at quarter time at 1.3 (9) apiece.

As the rain continued to fall the Falcons simplified their game style in the second term, looking to move the ball on at every opportunity and kick rather than handball, the Sharks guilty of over possessing the ball as they struggled to produce fluent passages of play.

Zak Patterson bobbed up with two goals for the visitors as they kicked the only three goals of the second stanza, leading by 22 points at the half as East Fremantle failed to score for the term.

Midfielders Tom Joyce, Milan Murdock and Kyle Baskerville were fighting hard around clearances, but Luke Meadows was causing problems with his size and strength for the Falcons, Bill Monaghan with some thinking to do at the long break as his side chased a response in the second half.

They got it almost immediately despite more heavy rain, Jono Marsh able to soccer off the ground to find the goal, his side desperately needed.

Fraser Turner produced a brilliant snap from a clearance with a waterlogged ball to make it two goals in eight minutes of football, but Noah Pegoraro steadied West Perth with a snap of his own to keep the margin at a comfortable enough 15 points.

Ben McGuire bobbed up with a brilliant boundary line crumb to continue the comeback for the Sharks, the Falcons though able to control the game through field position for the majority of the quarter to keep East Fremantle at bay.

That was until the dying moments of the term when a quick slingshot from defence resulted in a magnificent Cody Leggett goal on the run, tight to the boundary at right full forward in slippery conditions giving the premiership forward a goal of the year contender, and the Sharks momentum at the final change.

While West Perth had the lead heading in to the last quarter it was the reigning premiers charging towards the finish line, scores level when Michael Tassone got forward and kicked a rare major three minutes in to the term.

Leggett then reprised his third quarter major with another clinical finish from the angle, this time courtesy of a set shot to push his team in to the lead for the first time since the opening term.

When Jono Marsh landed his second major from beyond fifty it was officially a blue and white tidal wave to the Town Hall End, the shellshocked Falcons with no answers as the Sharks ran away from their beleaguered opponents.

Dillon O’Reilly toe-poked a major from the goal line, the Sharks get the ball forward at all costs mentality and a dominant ruck performance from Lachlan Blakiston sparking a remarkable turnaround in the match.

Ben McGuire kicked two late goals to give him three for the day, making the most out of his comeback to the senior side after spending round nine in the reserves.

Josh Schoenfeld capped off a blistering final term for the home side with the final goal of the match, the three-quarter time deficit a distant memory as East Fremantle ran out convincing winners.

Blakiston’s ruck heroics didn’t go unnoticed, the 25-year-old in just his fourth match rucking almost unchanged all day against the Falcons duo of Brock Carter and Zak Patterson to record 19 disposals, 61 hitouts and numerous clearances in a breakout performance from the former Perth Football League ruckman.

East Fremantle Head of Football Brad Dodd praised Blakiston’s breakout game.

“Lachie rucked manfully all day and displayed the competitiveness and athleticism he’s shown consistently at Reserves level,” he said.

“He’s still only 4 games into his League career and we expect him to keep improving with more experience.”

Milan Murdock was typically at the bottom of most packs, winning 30 disposals in another outstanding midfield performance.

Jack Cleaver’s move in to the midfield in the last term paid dividends as he finished with 26 touches, while Tom Joyce (23) and Kyle Baskerville (24 and 9 tackles) did a lot of the heavy lifting early.

Defensively the Sharks were led by captain Matthew Jupp, who kept reigning Bernie Naylor Medallist, Tyler Keitel goalless, Cameron Eardley typically fearless with 22 disposals and repelling many a Falcons attacking foray.

Leggett was strong up forward with two brilliant goals, drawing praise from Dodd for his competitiveness.

“The goal by Cody just before 3/4 time was really important. He’s been our most consistent key forward over the year and lead the way with his attack on the ball.”

Dodd lauded his side’s powerful second half performance, which pushes them up to fourth spot on the WAFL ladder.

“WP adapted to the conditions better in the first half and once we played a surge brand of football, we were able to turn it around in the 2nd half,” he said.

“To score 7.6 in the last quarter in those conditions was outstanding.”

East Fremantle next face Subiaco at Revo Fitness Stadium on Sunday in round 11, before a bye the following weekend.

Earlier in the day the Sharks Colts struggled against West Perth, slumping to a second straight loss courtesy of a goalless second half, beaten 11.19 (85) to 3.4 (22).

Having trailed by 12 points at the major break, East Fremantle managed just two behinds for the second half, Taj Forrest with two first half majors.

Noah Dean (26 touches) led the way, Elijah Stockden with 22 disposals to continue his good form.

The Reserves shrugged off a sluggish opening half to run out comfortable winners, 15.14 (104) to 10.3 (63).

Phoenix Knight kicked four goals, while premiership player Alex Montauban ramped up his claims for a return to senior ranks with 3 goals and 19 disposals.

Jackson McDonald continued to accumulate at reserves level, recording 30 disposals having been squeezed out of the league side.

League emergency Zach Rankin (24 disposals and 6 inside 50’s) continued his push for a return to league level.

The win leaves East Fremantle in second spot in the Reserves competition, only behind the undefeated Claremont with a 6-2 record.

In the WAFL Women’s competition the Sharks officially secured he minor premiership with a dominant 95-point demolition over East Perth at Fremantle Oval on Saturday.

The Royals had just one scoring shot in the 15.11 (101) to 1.0 (6) scoreline, the reigning premiers win set up by a dominant five goal opening quarter.

The tenth straight win for East Fremantle came without Zipporah Fish (rested), Sarah Wielstra with 3.3 and 19 disposals in a dominant performance.

Chloe Reilly’s brilliant season continued with three goals, Grace Freeman also with three majors as the forwards feasted, recording 26 scoring shots from 37 inside 50’s.

Siena Jezierski-Brown was adjudged best afield with 18 disposals, the teenager playing just her seventh league match.

The result makes certain of the minor premiership with one round remaining, a derby clash with South Fremantle at Revo Fitness Stadium the last assignment before embarking on a finals campaign that could bring back-to-back premierships for the club.

The Rogers Cup side had the bye, also headed for finals with a match against South Fremantle in round sixteen next Saturday to come.