SUBIACO went ever so close to having all three grades straight into the 2018 WAFL Grand Finals on Sunday but its reserves were overrun by East Perth as the Lions' league and colts teams advanced and West Perth set up a preliminary final with South Fremantle in the process.
Subiaco's colts, reserves and league teams all finished as minor premiers for 2018 earning the right to hose three second semi-final match ups at Leederville Oval on Sunday.
The day began well for the Lions with the colts beating Swan Districts and then the reserves kicked the first eight goals against East Perth. But remarkably the Royals stormed home to overrun the Lions and score a dramatic win to book a place straight in the Grand Final.
Subiaco's league side then started slowly too against South Fremantle but soon steadied to kick 11 goals to five after quarter-time to end up winning 12.12 (84) to 10.6 (66) and advance to a fifth successive WAFL Grand Final.
Joondalup Arena hosted the three first semi finals on Sunday as well with Peel Thunder keeping its colts season alive winning a thriller over East Perth with Claremont winning big in the reserves against Swan Districts.
The league first semi-final then saw West Perth impressively respond to a 98-point loss last week to South Fremantle by emphatically beating Claremont 19.9 (123) to 10.10 (70) to book in a preliminary final contest against the Bulldogs.
Subiaco and South Fremantle were playing for a spot in the Grand Final at Optus Stadium in the second semi-final at Leederville Oval on Sunday, and despite the Lions being undefeated in 2018, the Bulldogs were on fire early kicking five goals to one in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs still held a 10-point lead at half-time but Subiaco kicked the only five goals of the third term to set up the 18-point win and move straight into the Grand Final.
Kyle Halligan, Zac Clarke and Braden Fimmano kicked two goals each for Subiaco with Josh Deluca gathering 27 disposals, Leigh Kitchin 26, Kyal Horsley 21, Angus Litherland 19 and Rowen Powell 18.
Marlion Pickett was superb for South Fremantle with 25 possessions and two goals while Ashton Hams also kicked two goals.
Shaun Bewick gathered 27 touches, Jacob Dragovich 26, Shane Hockey 25, Dylan Main 24, Haiden Schloithe 23 and Ryan Cook 20.
West Perth and Claremont were doing battle in the first semi-final at Joondalup Arena to keep their seasons alive with the Falcons coming off a 98-point loss to South Fremantle while Claremont had beaten East Perth by 28 points.
But it was a complete domination from the start by West Perth who led from start to finish, and by as much as 59 points before ending up winning by 53 to book in a preliminary final rematch with South Fremantle on Sunday at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.
Tyler Keitel kicked four goals for West Perth while captain Aaron Black was best afield with 31 possessions and three goals.
Keegan Knott also kicked three goals against his former side with Andrew Strijk, Corey Chalmers and Shane Nelson all booting two with Nelson also racking up 32 disposals.
Tom Lee kicked four goals for Claremont and Alex Manuel three with Jye Bolton collecting 30 possessions, Ryan Lim 27, Tom Ledger 24, Kane Mitchell 22, Jared Hardisty 22 and Lachlan Martinis 20.
Meanwhile in the reserves, Subiaco kicked the first eight goals of the second semi-final at Leederville Oval but East Perth delivered a remarkable comeback to win 13.8 (86) to 11.13 (79) including six goals to nil in the last term.
Nathan Eaton, Aaron Redhead and Dwayn Bolton kicked two goals each for East Perth while Mitch Dobson gathered 26 disposals, Shayne Hille 24, Ben Miller 21, Stan Wright 19 and Tom Gorter 19.
Brad Stevenson kicked five goals for Subiaco and Ray Daniels two while Adam Cockie gathered 26 possessions, Nick Menegola 19, Michael Braut 17, Craig Hoskins 16, Mckenzie Lawrence 16 and Daniel Leach 16.
And in the reserves first semi-final, Claremont proved too good for Swan Districts winning 22.3 (135) to 10.7 (67) at Joondalup Arena to move into the preliminary final against Subiaco.
Matthew Palfrey kicked five goals for the Tigers, Alec Waterman three, Brett Wilson three, Morgan Davies two, Shaquille Morton two and Nic Bucknall two.
Tom Curren gathered 28 possessions for Claremont, Rylie Morgan 22, Ryan Murphy 21 and Josh Bennett 20.
Steven Wityk kicked four goals for Swan Districts and Freddie Clutterbuck two to go with 25 possessions.
Then in the colts, the second semi-final at Leederville Oval saw Subiaco too good for Swan Districts winning 14.10 (94) to 7.6 (48).
Nathan French kicked three goals for the Lions along with 25 possessions while Jordan Faraone, Luke Foley and Nicholas Martin kicked two goals each.
Kade Wallrodt kicked four goals for Swan Districts and Ethan Nordahl two with Mitchell Bain gathering 24 possessions, Blake Pescud 18, Graydon Wilson 18 and Seb Bright 18.
The colts first semi-final took place at Joondalup Arena it was a thriller with Peel Thunder beating East Fremantle 8.14 (62) to 9.6 (60) to advance to the preliminary final.
Ben Middleton and Jack Sears kicked two goals each for Peel with Lachlan Riley racking up 25 disposals, James Sturrock 22, Michael Randall 20 and Andrew Butler 19.
Trent Rivers kicked two goals for East Fremantle while Milan Murdock gathered 23 possessions, Max Murphy 23, Cameron Davidson 21, Rivers 19 and Trey Ruscoe 19.
SEMI-FINAL WAFL RESULTS
FIRST SEMI FINALS
West Perth 19.9 (123) defeated Claremont 10.10 (70)
Claremont 22.3 (135) defeated Swan Districts 10.7 (67)
Peel Thunder 8.14 (62) defeated East Fremantle 9.6 (60)
SECOND SEMI FINALS
Subiaco 12.12 (84) defeated South Fremantle 10.6 (66)
Subiaco 11.13 (79) lost to East Perth 13.8 (86)
Subiaco 14.10 (94) defeated Swan Districts 7.6 (48)