Swan Districts beat Claremont 14.8 (92) to 12.11 (83) at Steel Blue Oval, East Fremantle downed East Perth 15.9 (99) to 14.8 (92) at Medibank Stadium, South Fremantle beat West Perth 15.5 (95) to 13.8 (86) at Arena Joondalup and Peel Thunder won over Subiaco 20.15 (135) to 12.11 (83) at Bendigo Bank Stadium.
The results mean that Swan Districts can now finish on top if it beats Perth this weekend and if Claremont is upset by Subiaco. East Fremantle could still finish second as well with a win over Peel and a Swan Districts loss to the Demons.
However, the top-four teams are set and it looks most likely that heading into the final round Claremont will host Swan Districts in a second semi-final with East Fremantle hosting East Perth in a cut-throat first semi-final.
Click here for the summary of Round 23 of the WAFL
THE BIG WINNERS
Peel and South Fremantle did well to beat Subiaco and West Perth respectively, but really those wins counted for little while Swan Districts and East Fremantle recorded crucial victories over fellow top-four sides.
Swans are an outside chance of finishing as minor premiers, but now look more likely to remain second with a win over Perth in the final round and it completes a tremendous turnaround from a six-win 2011 season.
The black-and-whites will be sweating on the fitness of spearhead Ash Hansen, though, after he hurt his hamstring early in Saturday's win over Claremont while Swans are also currently without three more of their top five goalkickers – Ryan Davis, Murray Newman and Michael Walters.
East Fremantle had to work hard to overcome East Perth on Saturday, but did so in the end by seven points and that victory ensures that the Sharks will now either finish in second spot and earn a double chance, or more likely third and earn a home first semi-final against East Perth.
THE BIG LOSERS
Subiaco and South Fremantle were disappointing, but Claremont and East Perth's losses could have ramifications come finals time.
Claremont left the door slightly ajar to give up a third consecutive minor premiership with its winning streak ending at seven. However, the Tigers can still sew up the minor premiership with a win over Subiaco this Saturday.
East Perth now will finish in fourth position no matter the result against West Perth on Saturday after going down to East Fremantle. The Royals did certainly miss Zac Clarke and Michael Swan, but started well with the first three goals of the game.
They also came back with four straight goals after being 26 points down early in the last quarter, but it wasn’t to be.
THE SHINING LIGHTS
East Fremantle had to come back from conceding the first three goals against East Perth, and then also losing most of a 26-point last quarter advantage, but in the end got the crucial seven-point victory over East Perth at Medibank Stadium.
Jack Perham, Brock O'Brien and Brad Dick all kicked three goals apiece with captain Mark McGough tremendous with 32 possessions and a goal. Rory O'Brien also racked up 26 disposals, Bradd Dalziell 24, Sam Menegola 20, Steven Dodd 20, Richard Hadley 19 and Sean Henson 19.
East Fremantle's defence was outstanding with Mitch Brown (pictured) keeping Josh Smith to just two kicks for two goals.
Andrew Stephen held Mat Seal goalless, Scott Jansen made sure Paul Johnson or Joe Boys had no impact forward and Tom Howlett took 13 marks in a fascinating duel with ex-teammate Adam Prior.
Prior loomed as East Perth's big threat up forward and finished with four goals from 14 possessions and 11 marks. Josh Smith and Shaquille McKenzie kicked two goals each but the Royals dearly missed Zac Clarke and Michael Swan.
Nick Kommer continued his rapid improvement into a hard working midfielder for East Perth finishing with 27 possessions, seven marks, five tackles, five inside 50s and a goal. Garry Moss also picked up 24 disposals, Aaron Sweet 23, Freddie Clutterbuck 21 and Steven Payne 18.
Craig Wulff also had it 18 times in a different role across half-forward trying to shut down the run and drive from Jayden Schofield. He did that well with Schofield only collect 13 possessions.
Ruckman Paul Johnson was again outstanding with 20 disposals, six marks, 41 hit outs and a goal for the Royals.
Swan Districts had an outstanding first three quarters against Claremont to set up its crucial eventual nine-point victory. Ash Hansen started brightly kicking 2.1 in the opening minutes before hurting a hamstring. Ray Daniels and Matthew Jukes also kicked two goals for the black-and-whites.
Veteran wingman Shaun Hildebrandt was tremendous with 31 possessions and 10 marks. Marlon Motlop (pictured) picked up 33 disposals as well, Kyle Hams 24, Matt Riggio 24, Tom Roach 22, Graham Jetta 22, co-captain Josh Roberts 20 and Adam Faulkner 19.
Paul Medhurst returned for Claremont to kick three goals with Sandover Medallist Luke Blackwell also back from suspension to rack up 33 possessions to go with six tackles, six inside-50 entries and a goal.
Captain Andrew Browne also had 26 disposals for the Tigers with Andrew Foster picking up 24 touches, Rory Walton 21, Kane Mitchell 20 and Lewis Stevenson 18 to go with his two goals.
South Fremantle finished its season on a high with a seventh victory. After a tough run mid-season with eight straight losses, the Bulldogs now finish 2012 winning four of their last five games to certainly have reason to head into 2013 with optimism.
South Fremantle beat West Perth by nine points at Arena Joondalup with Jarrad Winter kicking three goals, and Ben Saunders and Adam Doughty two each.
Ashton Hams was simply brilliant, though, in response to being dropped by West Coast. He definitely put in a performance that John Worsfold would have taken notice of with 34 possessions, five marks and two goals.
Shaun Bewick (pictured) also picked up 28 possessions for South Fremantle against his former team. Shannon Burnett had 23 disposals, Jacob Martinez 22, Kris Miller 21, John Sgherza 20, Ryan Cook 19, Joel Palumbo 19, Adam Guglielmana 19 and Jayden Woods 18.
It was another tough loss for West Perth despite three goals from Anthony Tsalikis in his 151st game as well as three to Ray Bartholomew, and two each to Joel Rice, Brent LeCras and Matt Guadagnin.
Captain Jason Salecic had 21 possessions, six marks and four entries inside-50 in his 200th game for the Falcons.
Young gun Shane Nelson racked up 29 possessions, Mark Hutchings 24, Steven Browne 22, Guadagnin 22, Dustin Burns 20 and Jay van Berlo 20.
Peel Thunder dominated the first, second and fourth quarters against Subiaco at Bendigo Bank Stadium on Saturday to record its first victory at home for the season.
The 52-point victory was also Peel's biggest of the 2012 season with Brad Holmes (pictured) kicking four goals, Jesse Crichton three and Rhett Mason, James Bristow, Ash Thornton and Eddie Dann two each. Dann played likely the best game of his career also picking up 22 possessions and having six inside-50 entries.
Captain Brendon Jones picked up 26 possessions for Peel, Matt Orzel 23, Pat Travers 22, Kristin Thornton 21, Kamdyn McIntosh 20, Ryan Herring 19 and Jamason Daniels 19.
Fremantle's Jack Anthony kicked four goals for Subiaco from 20 possessions and 10 marks with Alliston 'Buddy' Pickett and Blake Broadhurst adding two majors apiece.
Brett Mahoney gathered a team-high 23 possessions with captain Aidan Parker having 22 to go with eight marks, 16 hit outs and six inside 50s. Joseph Daye gathered 20 disposals, Rhett Kerr 19, Kane Bloxsidge 19, George Hampson 19 and Dominic Sheed 19.
PUSHING FOR A SPOT
East Fremantle's reserves beat East Perth by 34 points with Scott Hancock kicking four goals, Adam Waight three and Louis Cronan two. Lewis Fasolo gathered 25 possessions, Corey Yeo 25, Hancock 22 and Callum Leslie 21.
Steven Wityk kicked three goals for East Perth with Cameron Grover adding two to go with his 22 possessions. Boston Williamson also had 22 touches, Jayden Pitt 20, David Marinovich 17 and Julian Locantro 17.
Claremont's reserves won a thriller over Swan Districts by five points with Keegan Knott kicking four goals and Anton Hamp two. Alroy Gilligan gathered 19 possessions, Clay McLernon 18, Keifer Yu 17 and Tom Willett 16. Mitch Andrews had 40 hit outs in the ruck.
Adam McKinlay booted four goals for Swan Districts with Simon Parry picking up 21 possessions, Nathan Broad 20, Anthony Stephens 19 and Nathan Blakely 18.
Subiaco's reserves beat Peel by 73 points with Brant Chambers starring with eight goals from 19 possessions and 11 marks. Nick Hay, Rowen McDonnell and Kyal Cranley kicked two each. Tim Whyte gathered 26 possessions, McDonnell 21 and Simon Moore 19.
Matt Battye kicked three goals for Peel with Liam McKenna picking up 20 disposals, Brayden Sutton 18 and West Coast's Ashley Smith 17.
West Perth's reserves had a 91-point win over South Fremantle with Matt Fowler, Matt Johnson and Corey Chalmers all kicking four goals and Alex Elisseou three. Chalmers racked up 27 possessions as well with Johnson having 24 and Laine Rasmussen 23.
South Fremantle has been struggling for depth in the reserves and that was again on show on Saturday. Jordan Wilson-King picked up 19 possessions, James Laurino 15 and Jason Maskos 14.
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