THE WA Day long weekend saw the five WAFL matches spread across three days beginning with a nail-biting Perth win on Saturday before Claremont and Subiaco won solidly on Sunday and then in two tremendous traditional derbies, South Fremantle and East Perth were victorious.
The WA Day Round is traditionally the biggest occasion of the home and away season any WAFL campaign, and certainly with the five contests across the three days the 2019 version was no different.
The Round 8 WAFL action got underway with a standalone clash at Lathlain's Mineral Resources Park with Perth coming from behind to defeat Swan Districts 11.14 (80) to 11.8 (74).
There were then two matches on Sunday beginning at Optus Stadium with Claremont proving too good for the West Coast Eagles, winning 12.7 (79) to 6.12 (48).
The other Sunday clash was later in the afternoon at Mandurah's David Grays Arena with Subiaco retaining top spot on the WAFL ladder with a 15.9 (99) to 8.10 (58) victory over Peel Thunder.
That all set the stage for two traditional derbies on WA Day starting with the Foundation Derby at East Fremantle's New Choice Homes Park.
Despite losing Haiden Schloithe (knee), Shaun Bewick (ankle) and Jake Florenca (concussion) throughout the afternoon, South Fremantle kicked the only five goals of the last quarter to beat East Fremantle 16.7 (103) to 10.11 (71).
The round then concluded at Leederville Oval and it was a tight affair all afternoon in the Perth Derby with East Perth ending up holding on for the 10.12 (72) to 9.8 (62) victory over West Perth.
ROUND 8 OPTUS WAFL PREMIERSHIP SEASON
PERTH 11.14 (80) defeated SWAN DISTRICTS 11.8 (74)
For much of the afternoon on Saturday, Swan Districts looked set to make it consecutive wins and to hand Perth a third straight loss at Lathlain's Mineral Resources Park.
Swan Districts did lead by as much as 27 points midway through the third quarter to appear on track to back up last week's win over the West Coast Eagles to win consecutive games this season.
However, Perth wouldn’t be denied and finished strongly including kicking the game's last two goals to end up winning 11.14 (80) to 11.8 (74).
The win snaps a two-game losing run for the Demons to improve them to a 6-2 record on the season while Swans slip to 2-6 as a result of the defeat.
Swans came out and kicked the first goal of the game thanks to Brayden Noble before Perth responded with the next two courtesy of small forwards Zareth Roe and Cody Ninyette.
Swan Districts, though, regained the lead when ruckman Nathan Blakely kicked truly and then went further ahead with quick goals to Josh Simpson and Leigh Kohlmann.
The Black Ducks still led by seven points at quarter-time despite a late first quarter Perth goal from Guy Langdon.
Kohlmann added his second goal to start the second term for Swans and by the time George Hampson kicked truly for the black-and-whites shortly before half-time, they maintained a 16-point advantage.
Twice after third quarter goals to Mitchell Bain and Corey Gault did Swan Districts lead by a game-high 27 points, but Perth wasn’t going away and with four goals of their own in the third term, they had cut the lead for Swans to just a solitary goal by three quarter-time.
Swan Districts did still lead by eight points when Matt Riggio goaled at the 12-minute mark, but Perth was coming. In the end goals to Matthew Rogers against his old side and then second-gamer Ethan Hansen delivered Perth the six-point win.
Guy Langdon had just three kicks for Perth but two of them went through for goals with him also finishing with 16 hit outs and seven tackles while Brent Edmonds kicked two goals as well to go with 19 possessions, eight marks and five inside-50 entries.
Clint Jones was outstanding for Perth with 42 possessions and 11 inside-50 entries while Cody Leggett racked up 31 disposals, Matthew Taylor 28, Michael Sinclair 26, Corey Yeo 25, Jacob Payne 22, Mitch Browne 20 and Corey Byrne 19.
Corey Gault was outstanding for Swan Districts with 19 possessions, 18 hit outs, five tackles, four marks and two goals.
Brayden Noble and Leigh Kohlmann had limited opportunities up forward throughout the afternoon but kicked two goals apiece.
Matt Riggio finished with 22 possessions for Swan Districts with Steven Payne also having it 20 times, Warrick Wilson 18, Alex Howard 16, Jesse Turner 14, debutant Nathan Ireland 14 and Josh Simpson 14.
Nathan Blakely had a strong afternoon made up of 17 disposals, 25 hit outs, four marks, three tackles and a goal.
CLAREMONT 12.7 (79) defeated WEST COAST EAGLES 6.12 (48)
Sunday's Round 8 WAFL action got underway at Optus Stadium and despite a scare in the third quarter, Claremont came away with the 31-point victory against the West Coast Eagles.
The game was played at Optus Stadium as a curtain-raiser to the AFL clash between West Coast and the Western Bulldogs later that afternoon.
Despite the gap between the two games being too long for too many fans to be in attendance even by the end of the WAFL contest, it was a game that still had plenty of intrigue before Claremont finished up on top.
Claremont dominated the opening to the game and with West Coast inaccurate in front of goal managing just the five behinds, the Tigers kicked 4.4 and were in command by quarter-time leading by 23 points.
Claremont continued to be in control of the contest throughout the second quarter kicking another four goals to two from the Eagles, whose first goal didn’t come until the 18-minute mark courtesy of Jarrod Brander.
But the Tigers remained well in control heading into the half-time interval with a 34-point advantage over the Eagles.
The game underwent a complete change, however, in the third quarter with the Eagles' intensity in the middle and around the ball lifting significantly. That saw them gain ascendancy and end up holding Claremont scoreless the entire quarter.
Again West Coast couldn’t quite capitalise on their opportunities created, though, kicking just three goals from eight scoring shots and that allowed Claremont to still be leading by 11 points despite the scoreless quarter.
The swings in the game continued with Claremont then turning things back around to dominate the last quarter with four goals to one to end up winning 12.7 (79) to 6.12 (48).
The win improves Claremont to a 5-3 record on the season to be solid inside the top five while the West Coast Eagles have now lost four straight to be 2-6.
Jack Bradshaw was lively in attack for Claremont kicking three goals from just eight kicks while Tom Lee kicked two goals despite being well held by Josh Rotham to just three kicks for the afternoon.
Oliver Eastland kicked two important goals as well from centre half-forward while Ryan Lim added two majors to go with 22 possessions and five marks. Tyron Smallwood kicked two goals as well for the Tigers.
Claremont's Sandover Medal pair Kane Mitchell and Jye Bolton were ultimately the difference between the two sides on the day. Mitchell finished with 34 possessions, 13 marks and eight tackles while Bolton produced 33 disposals, 11 inside-50 entries and 10 marks.
Bailey Rogers was strong off half-back once again with 22 disposals and nine marks with Declan Mountford finishing the game with 21 touches, Lachlan Martinis 18, Anton Hamp 18, Tom Ledger 16 and Jack Lewsey 16.
Nick Reid was West Coast's only multiple goal scorer for the game finishing with three.
Chris Masten returned from injury as the AFL premiership player pushes to return to West Coast's senior side and did his chances no harm with 30 possessions and seven marks.
Jackson Nelson collected 19 possessions for the Eagles, Brady Grey 18, Jarrod Brander 17, Brendon Ah Chee 17 and Andrew Fisher 17.
PEEL THUNDER 8.10 (58) lost to SUBIACO 15.9 (99)
The Sunday Round 8 WAFL action continued in Mandurah later in the afternoon and Subiaco retained top spot on the ladder proving too strong for Peel Thunder to end up winning by 41 points.
The two teams have built quite the rivalry in recent times playing in the 2016 and 2017 WAFL Grand Finals where Peel was victorious on both occasions meaning the Lions never lack motivation against them while the Thunder also know perhaps better than most they can knock off the league powerhouse.
But Subiaco had already beaten Peel by 62 points earlier this season and it was a similar story on Sunday afternoon at David Grays Arena.
Subiaco had responded well to its first defeat of any kind since the 2017 Grand Final to South Fremantle two weeks ago with a four-goal win over Claremont and the Lions continued that momentum on Sunday against Peel in Mandurah.
The Lions only had three scoring shots in the opening term but made them all count against an inaccurate Peel to see Subiaco lead by nine points at the first change.
Subiaco then took complete control in the second term with six goals to just one behind and the game effectively was over as a contest with the Lions heading into half-time with a 47-point lead.
It was four goals apiece in the third quarter and then Peel outscored Subiaco in the last, but the Lions still cruised to the 15.9 (99) to 8.10 (58) victory.
The win keeps Subiaco on top of the WAFL ladder with a 7-1 record while Peel has now lost three in-a-row to be 3-5.
Ben Sokol continued his strong season for Subiaco kicking three goals from 18 possessions and 12 marks. Simon Moore, Ben Newton, Ryan Borchet and Lachlan Delahunty all kicked two goals each with Delahunty contributing 24 possessions and 13 marks as well.
Hayden Ballantyne returned to action from a hamstring injury to kick three goals for Peel from just six kicks. Blair Bell also booted two majors.
Mitch Crowden gathered 26 possessions for the Thunder, Harley Bennell 25, Bailey Banfield 25, Jackson Merrett 22, Jason Carter 20, Stefan Giro (before going off with a serious knee injury) 18 and Travis Colyer 17.
EAST FREMANTLE 10.11 (71) lost to SOUTH FREMANTLE 16.7 (103)
East Fremantle threw the gauntlet at South Fremantle with a tremendous start to the WA Day Foundation Derby but despite losing three important players to injury, the Bulldogs dominated the second half to win by 32 points.
South Fremantle came into the 2019 version of the WA Day Foundation Derby as the form team in the WAFL having won five straight games including handing Subiaco its first defeat since the 2017 Grand Final.
But East Fremantle, too, had won its past couple of matches setting the stage for what loomed as a tremendous contest with a strong crowd of over 5000 people on hand at East Fremantle's New Choice Homes Park.
The Sharks started impressively with their attack on the ball and opponents fierce as they clearly come out fired up and ready to make a statement against a Bulldogs team that has toyed with them in recent seasons, including a 91-point win in the ANZAC Derby earlier in 2019.
East Fremantle would kick the first goal of the derby thanks to Milan Murdock before South Fremantle eventually got on the board 15 minutes into the game thanks to captain Dylan Main.
But the Sharks' strong start continued with goals to Tom Monaghan, Blaine Boekhorst and Cameron Eardley. Despite the Bulldogs getting one back before quarter-time, East Fremantle still led by 14 points after one.
It took just 20 seconds for South Fremantle to make the perfect start to the second term with a snapped goal from Andrew Haydon, playing in his first WA Day Foundation Derby.
But East Fremantle would respond with the next two majors courtesy of Jarrad Jansen and Ambrose Ryan to lead by 22 points before South Fremantle got rolling for the first time in the contest with goals to Brendan Verrier, Zac Strom and Mason Shaw.
That saw South Fremantle close to within five points but East Fremantle was still up by 10 at half-time with a late goal to Monaghan.
Once again South Fremantle made the perfect start to the third quarter, this time thanks to a goal to Jake Florenca. Then suddenly when Main also kicked truly the Bulldogs were in front for the first time in the afternoon.
They would soon have just one man left on the interchange when Florenca suffered a heavy knock to join injured pair Haiden Schloithe and Shaun Bewick out of the game, but the Bulldogs would never again surrender the lead.
But it was only a one-point lead South Fremantle held by three quarter-time with the job ahead of them to hold on with three players already down and out for the day.
There was no need for concern for the Bulldogs, though, as they kicked the only five goals of the last quarter, starting with two quickly from Main despite a sore shoulder and then another from debutant Tom Blechynden.
Brandon Donaldson and Shaw then capped the day with goals and to secure the 32-point win for South Fremantle.
The result means that South Fremantle has won six straight games this season to improve to a 7-1 record while East Fremantle is now 2-6.
It is a ninth straight derby win for South Fremantle as well with the Bulldogs also having now won on their last 11 visits to Shark Park.
Captain Dylan Main kicked four goals for South Fremantle, Mason Shaw three and Zac Strom two.
Brendan Verrier racked up 28 possessions for the Bulldogs with Jacob Dragovich finishing with 24 disposals, Kade Stewart 20, Steve Verrier 20, Blayne Wilson 18, Zac Dent 17, Andrew Haydon 17, Nick Suban 16 and ruckman Brock Higgins 15 to go with 29 hit outs and four tackles.
Tom Monaghan booted three goals for East Fremantle and Cameron Loersch two.
Blaine Boekhorst is working back nicely to top form and fitness after his knee reconstruction to rack up 29 possessions to go with seven marks, four inside 50s and a goal.
Cameron Eardley also picked up 28 touches for the Sharks, Jarrad Jansen 23, Nick Kommer 21, Kody Manning 20, Morgan Davies 20, Kyle Baskerville 19 and ruckman Jonathon Griffin 16 to go with 41 hit outs, six tackles and five marks.
The tackling from East Fremantle, especially early in the game, was ferocious with Eardley, Jansen and Kommer laying 33 between them.
EAST PERTH 10.12 (72) defeated WEST PERTH 9.8 (62)
East Perth and West Perth did battle in the 2019 WA Day Perth Derby at Leederville Oval on Monday and despite having to come from behind at half-time, the Royals produced an impressive performance to win by 10 points.
Both teams came into the game in good form with East Perth having beaten West Coast two weeks ago by 34 points and then only losing to South Fremantle the previous Saturday by a point on the last kick of the day.
West Perth, meanwhile, had won its past three games over East Fremantle, Perth and Peel Thunder after losing its opening four games of the season to be building some momentum.
Little separated the two teams all afternoon in front of a solid crowd at Leederville Oval with West Perth managing to kick four goals to three in the first quarter to lead by four points at quarter-time.
It was two more goals apiece in the second quarter which saw the Falcons holding on to a narrow three-point lead heading into the half-time interval.
East Perth then took over coming out of half-time and produced three goals to just one in the third quarter and that saw the Royals assume a 12-point advantage by three quarter-time.
West Perth did mount a charge in the last quarter but it wasn’t to be with East Perth holding on for the 10.12 (72) to 9.8 (62) triumph.
The win improves East Perth to a 3-5 record on the season while West Perth is now 3-5 as well.
Mitch Dobson might not be a traditional key forward size or shape, but he's doing a great job of providing the Royals with some hard to find goals. He kicked four of them from 11 possessions and eight marks in the WA Day Derby win.
Shayne Hille and Stan Wright also kicked two goals apiece for the Royals.
Rohan Kerr racked up another 33 possessions for East Perth with Jackson Ramsay gathering 30 disposals, Patrick McGinnity 23, Angus Scott 23, Matthew Young 17 and Kye Willcocks 17.
Ajang Ajang put in a strong performance in the ruck with 14 touches, 32 hit outs, four marks and four tackles.
Michael Lourey and Tyler Keitel kicked two goals each for West Perth with Keitel also racking up 21 possessions, 10 marks, eight hit outs, six tackles and six inside 50s.
Shane Nelson amassed another 28 possessions for the Falcons while captain Aaron Black had it 24 times, Aidan Lynch 24, Trent Manzone 23, Blake Wilhelm 23, Corey Chalmers 22, Mitch Peirce 19 and Rudy Riddoch 19.