THE seasons are over for the Peel Thunder colts and Perth reserves after thrilling elimination final losses while Claremont's colts and Subiaco's reserves also recorded hard fought qualifying final victories.
The opening weekend of the AHG WAFL Finals Series began on Saturday at Fremantle Community Bank Oval and that the colts elimination final take place between Peel Thunder and East Perth. It was the Royals who won a nail-biter 9.12 (66) to 9.11 (65) to end the season of the Thunder.
Then it was time for the reserves qualifying final at Fremantle Community Bank Oval and it was another thriller with Subiaco defeating Claremont 13.10 (88) to 13.8 (86).
The focus then turned to Steel Blue Oval on Sunday starting with the colts qualifying final with the premiers of the past two years, Claremont proving too strong for Swan Districts winning 9.11 (65) to 6.11 (47).
It was another tight contest in the reserves elimination final at Steel Blue Oval with Swan Districts holding on to beat Perth 14.10 (94) to 13.11 (89).
The weekend's results mean that in Sunday's colts first semi-final, Swan Districts plays East Perth at Fremantle Community Bank Oval with the winner to advance to the preliminary final and the season of the loser to be over.
The colts second semi-final will pit East Fremantle up against Claremont at Leederville Oval. The winner will be straight into the grand final while the loser will play in the preliminary final.
Meanwhile in the reserves this Sunday, Claremont plays Swan Districts in the first semi-final at Fremantle Community Bank Oval with the winner to advance to the preliminary final and the loser to be eliminated.
Despite being the dominant team all season and finished clear as minor premiers, South Fremantle can consider itself unlucky to have to play the second semi-final in the reserves at Leederville Oval against Subiaco on Sunday. The winner will be straight into the grand final and the loser into the preliminary final.
STANDOUT RESERVES PERFORMERS
Little had separated Claremont and Subiaco in the reserves throughout 2017 and it turned out to be a terrific qualifying final at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday as they battled for the right to face South Fremantle in the second semi-final.
It was a tight contest from start to finish but in the end it was Subiaco who prevailed by two points.
Dylan Nelson and Dylan Clarke both kicked three goals apiece for Subiaco with Ryan Vermeersch and Brayden Ainsworth also booting two goals each.
Bailey Matera gathered 24 possessions for the Lions, Ainsworth 23, Justin Joyce 22, Simon Parry 18, Ray Daniels 17 and James Garcia 17. Brandon Wallace had 25 hit outs.
Eddie Simpson played a starring role for Claremont with the key forward kicking five goals from seven kicks and seven marks.
CJ Oakley was Claremont's only other multiple goal scorer finishing the game with two from 17 disposals and six tackles.
Lachlan Martinis picked up 26 possessions for the Tigers, Bailey Rogers 24, Nick Winmar 23 and Tom Shanahan 20. Jeremy Goddard had 39 hit outs in the ruck.
It was then time for the reserves elimination final at Steel Blue Oval and it was a cracking contest between two desperate teams from Perth and Swan Districts.
In the end, Swans held on for the thrilling five-point victory after Perth's Cody Leggett hit the post with a running shot on goal with time running out.
Jake Nuich delivered a strong performance for Swans with three goals along with 14 possessions, eight marks and 15 hit outs. Steven Wityk also kicked three goals, Brody Sutton two and Giles Dent two.
Josh Cipro amassed 27 possessions for the black-and-whites, Jackson Slater 21, Jesse Manton 20, Chad Daniels 20, David McKay 19, Josh Power 19, Ethan Maguire 19 and Brayden Hackett 18 while Troy Yukich had another 42 hit outs.
Joseph Ugle, Marshall Jones, Blake Johnson and Matt Thompson all kicked two goals each for Perth.
Zareth Roe played in the ruck while severely undersized and did his best with 18 touches, eight tackles, 17 hit outs and a goal.
Ugle also picked up 18 possessions for the Demons, Kurtis Chester 18 and Taran Etto 18.
REDiMED COLTS SHINING LIGHTS
Saturday's colts elimination final took place at Fremantle Community Bank Oval and it was Peel who was in control of the contest against East Perth for the opening three quarters.
Peel kicked away with five goals to nil in the third quarter to lead by 27 points at three quarter-time but the Royals then booted the only five goals of the last term to claim the one-point victory to keep their season alive and end that of the Thunder.
Brandon Starcevich kicked two goals for East Perth along with 19 possessions and five marks.
Eric Bashemule gathered 21 disposals for the Royals, Matthew Young 20, Christian Ameduri 20, Jaxon Cahill 19, Nathan Arbon 19 and Harley Stack 16.
Jordan Boullineau compiled 25 possessions for Peel, Jackson Perry 19, Lachlan Mitchell 18 and Billy Chambers 25 hit outs.
The day began at Steel Blue Oval on Sunday with Swan Districts taking on Claremont in a qualifying final, with the Tigers prevailing by 18 points.
Joshua Devitt-Boyd, Cooper Nitschke and Rylie Morgan all booted two goals apiece for Claremont.
Morgan also amassed 31 possessions for the Tigers to go with 15 marks and six tackles.
Jake Patmore finished with 28 disposals for Claremont, Nitschke 24, Callan England 24, Jack Monaghan 21, Shaquille Morton 21 and Jack Buller 15 to go with 18 hit outs.
Aidan Clarke kicked four goals for Swan Districts from 10 kicks and four marks. Patrick Farrant and Stephen Hay were the other goal kickers.
Gregory Ottaviano gathered 29 possessions for Swans, Lochie Huntley 24, Riley Garcia 17, Thomas Whittle 17 and Jack O'Sullivan 17.