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WAFL R11 & WAFLW R16 Wrap Up with Jacob Landsmeer - Thanks to The Left Bank

Tuesday, June 18, 2024 - 8:29 AM

Superb Sharks too good for wounded Lions

East Fremantle has recorded consecutive wins for the second time this season, thrashing Subiaco by 86 points at Revo Fitness Stadium on Sunday.

The 17.14 (116) to 4.6 (30) result pushes the Sharks back to fourth spot on the ladder heading into their mid-season bye, with Jed Hagan and Jono Marsh each with five majors in a dominant performance.

Bill Monaghan’s side kicked 13 unanswered goals in the middle two quarters of the match to obliterate their opponents, the Lions had no answer to a dominant Sharks midfield group.

The win may come at a cost though, with 2022 Sandover Medallist Blaine Boekhorst injuring his shoulder in the first quarter and set to undergo scans this week to determine the extent of the damage.

The second meeting between the sides in season 2024 came at the neutral venue of Revo Fitness Stadium, a scheduled East Fremantle home game yet just minutes from Subiaco’s regular home venue Leederville Oval.

The Sharks were without Jarrad Jansen (wedding) and Kyle Baskerville (illness) who went out of the selected side late, Max Murphy in for his first game of the season and premiership midfielder Jackson McDonald winning a last-minute reprieve.

East Fremantle headed into the fixture having won their previous six matches against Subiaco, who earlier in the millennium had won 20 consecutive matches against the blue and whites.

Murphy marked his return to league ranks in more than a year with a brilliant intercept mark across half back, East Fremantle controlling the early passages of play thanks to ruck dominance from Lachlan Blakiston.

Jed Hagan kicked the first goal of the match for a second week in a row, on the end of a quick handball chain that allowed the forward to run in to an open goal.

Blaine Boekhorst found Jono Marsh for the second goal of the contest thanks to a centring pass, East Fremantle with early scoreboard pressure in stark contrast to their previous performance against West Perth.

Cody Leggett hit the scoreboard too before Subiaco finally got in to the game with a major to Jacob Evitt, but the midfield dominance was starting to tell as Milan Murdock, Tom Joyce and Jack Cleaver all had their say around stoppages.

A towering pack mark and goal from Dillon O’Reilly after a miscued Hagan set shot gave the key forward confidence, finishing with two for the term when he nailed a long set shot from left half forward just before the siren.

Sadly, Boekhorst left the field in the dying stages of the term with a shoulder injury, ruled out of the remainder of the game as a result after taking a tumble in a contest on centre wing.

East Fremantle’s lead was 19 points at the first change, all one-way traffic in the second term as the Sharks dominated field position thanks to continued midfield dominance.

They failed to put it on the scoreboard initially, starting the term with 1.6 before Luke English broke a string of behinds with a nice running major.

Cody Leggett added another either side of a pair of behinds, before Jono Marsh firstly took a strong contested mark and converted and then just shrugged off Lions defender Henry Berenger with strength, kicking truly on the run to push the margin to 57 points at half time.

While offensively brilliant if not wayward with 5.8 for the term defensively the Sharks didn’t concede a solitary point in the second term, Cameron Eardley marking everything with support from captain Matthew Jupp, Lachlan Bailey and Murphy.

It was more of the same in the third term as the Sharks showed no mercy, becoming the Jed Hagan-Jono Marsh show as the duo combined for five goals for the term, teenager Hagan with five majors for the first time in his career.

Marsh two had a handful of goals, imposing himself on the contest to produce his second bag of goals at Revo Fitness Stadium for the season, having kicked 7 majors in round two against Claremont.

Subiaco simply had no answer for an inspired Sharks side, conceding seven goals for the quarter as East Fremantle found their radar that had deserted them earlier in the match, kicking 7.0 for the term.

The goals dried up in the final term as Subiaco snapped the consecutive run of goals at 13, Lachlan Henderson with a strong mark and finish in front of goal for the Lions.

The only other goal of the term came from Subiaco’s Luke Foley, the Sharks with just two behinds to record an 86 point win having looked certain to record a three figure victory margin at the final change.

It was a healthy percentage boost all the same for East Fremantle, who head in to their bye with a 6-4 record and fourth spot on the table.

East Fremantle men’s coach Bill Monaghan was delighted with a strong performance heading in to the bye.

“I thought our effort all day was pretty good, we butchered a few chances in the first half and it felt like we were a little unders on the scoreboard at half time,” the Sharks mentor said.

“We rectified that after half time kicking seven straight in the third quarter and then the game fizzled out a little bit in the last quarter. It would have been nice to finish with a couple more goals.”

“I thought our ability to win the ball in tight and to run the ball and move it quickly really created some scoring opportunities for us.”

Ruckman Blakiston shone again in ruck with 21 disposals and 57 hitouts, recognised by coaches and playing staff as best afield in just his fifth game of senior football for the club.

Monaghan praised Blakiston’s perseverance to make it to WAFL league level.

“He’s been a success story before the last two weeks. He’s played some community footy, now in his mid 20’s after it didn’t work out at South Fremantle. He won our ‘twos’ best and fairest last year.

“What we have seen the last two weeks is his ruck craft is getting better, but he’s also very good with ball in hand. He kicks the ball well for a big guy and that makes a difference.”

The dual premiership coach was hopeful that star midfielder Boekhorst had avoided serious injury despite being ruled out of the match early.

“The initial prognosis is they don’t think he has dislocated his shoulder; they don’t think he as injured his AC joint,” he said.

“He will get scanned early this week, there’s probably a few things that it could be.”

Milan Murdock had 33 disposals in a tireless midfield display, his quick hands in traffic and link up play a feature for the Sharks.

Joyce (28 disposals) had another strong game in midfield, Eardley (27 disposals and 7 marks) superb down back while Marsh, Hagan and Leggett shared 13 of their side’s 17 goals, winners all over the field in a strong showing.

Murphy showed tremendous courage late in the match to go back with the flight and mark despite attention from Subiaco defender Galen Savigni, who was reported for rough conduct in the incident after colliding with the young Shark utility.

The news was less positive earlier in the day for the other men’s grades, East Fremantle suffering a one-point loss to Subiaco in the Colts on Sunday morning, 6.14 (50) to 7.9 (51).

Declan Pauline (29 disposals) and Elijah Stockden (27 disposals and 1.1) continued their outstanding seasons, but the Sharks lacked scoring firepower, with no multiple goalkickers as they squandered numerous chances in front of goal.

It was a similar story for the Reserves, who left their run just too late against Subiaco in a 9.16 (70) to 11.7 (73) contest.

East Fremantle kicked 2.9 in the first half and 4.14 to three quarter time before kicking five goals in the final term, the Sharks running out of time as the siren sounded with the ball kicked in to their forward 50.

Austin Ball (24 disposals and 2 goals) was terrific while Zach Rankin (23 disposals and 2 goals) also had a strong game, Ezra Jones with 17 disposals and 21 hitouts in the ruck having assumed the number one mantle due to the absence of Reuben McGuire.

In the WAFL Women’s, East Fremantle tuned up for finals with an eleventh straight victory, seeing off a gallant South Fremantle in a terrific Fremantle derby at Revo Fitness Stadium on Saturday.

The 7.10 (52) to 4.4 (28) win completed a dominant home and away season, only a loss in round 3 to Claremont scuppering a perfect record, securing a minor premiership and a second semi-final date with the Tigers at Pentanet Stadium this Sunday.

The second derby of the season started with plenty of physicality, neither side able to score a goal in the opening term as Souths looked to finish their season on a winning note, all but out of finals contention heading in to the match.

The Sharks were a little wasteful as they registered four behinds for the term, Souths midfield matching East Fremantle around the ball but perhaps without the class going forward to hurt them on the scoreboard.

Ashlee Atkins was everywhere in the second quarter and produced a trademark snap from a stoppage to kick the first goal of the game early in the term, but Souths edged ahead at half time thanks to consecutive goals before the break.

The margin pushed out to 11 points early in the third term as the reigning premiers were offered a stern challenge by the Bulldogs, the Sharks midfield lifting as Atkins, Zippy Fish as well as Ash Gomes and Chroe Wrigley lifted their side back in to the contest.

After squandering a couple of shots at goal it was Siena Jezierski-Brown who broke through for East Fremantle’s second goal, intercepting a Souths kick in before breaking clear and kicking truly on the run from 20 metres out.

Atkins was providing the impetus for the Sharks comeback, kicking her second goal to return her team to the lead, an intelligent tap from Laura Catherine allowing Nadya Browne to find the prolific midfielder by hand who snapped truly.

Mylee Leitch produced a brilliant crumbing goal on the cusp of three quarter time to give the minor premiers some breathing space, leading by 10 points at three quarter time.

There was to be no final quarter comeback from the Bulldogs as the Sharks midfield continued to shine, Zippy Fish’s class shining through as she put the full stop on a dominant home and away season for her and the team, kicking the final goal with just seconds remaining in a four goal triumph.

Souths were far from disgraced but couldn’t match the run and spread of the Sharks, also without the threats up forward to worry Matt Templeton’s side.

Fish was outstanding with 32 disposals, 6 inside 50’s and a major, Atkins with a similar impact with her 23 touches and 2.2 to be a dual threat in midfield and attack.

Gomes (21) and Wrigley (20) were excellent, while Leanne Gubbins was watertight down back with 20 touches of her own.

Coach Matt Templeton was pleased to head into finals on a high.

“I think the girls responded really well from a slow start. It felt like we had the game under control but we kicked inaccurately and didn’t put it on the scoreboard.”

“Souths went small up forward and we had to make some match up adjustments. I’m pleased with how we closed it out.”

The Sharks will now face Claremont at Pentanet Stadium in the second-semi-final, the winner to go straight through to the Grand Final.

Templeton, who has returned to the club this season after two seasons in the AFLW as an assistant at Fremantle said his focus is on the team rather than any personal unfinished business, having being at the helm of the side two years ago in their Grand Final loss in 2022.

“I wouldn’t describe it as unfinished business for me. 2022 is 2022 and that’s how it finished (with a loss to Claremont). It’s a part of history, we can’t do anything about that.

“What we can do is look at the present and focus on what we have in front of us. We deserve to win premiership medals and a cup, and anyone who wants to take that off us is going to have to be pretty good.”

The second semi-final gets underway at 1:10 PM, as East Fremantle hunts a third straight Grand Final appearance.

The Rogers Cup side also qualified for a second semi-final after a 40-point blitz of South Fremantle, Elsie Simpson and Sienna Lilly kicking 2.2 for the winners.

The young stars of tomorrow will face unbeaten West Perth in the second semi-final at 3:15 PM at Pentanet Stadium.