A FASCINATING weekend in the Optus WAFLW competition saw Swan Districts send a statement as the team to beat while East Fremantle opened its account and Claremont impressed as well.
The third round of the 2021 Optus WAFLW Premiership Season got underway on Saturday with East Fremantle playing its first home game of the season and holding Subiaco goalless on the way to a 6.9 (45) to 0.1 (1) victory.
Saturday even then saw the Match of the Round take place between the two undefeated teams over the opening two rounds of the new season. Swan Districts came away victorious with the impressive 10.6 (66) to 5.8 (38) win against Peel Thunder at Mandurah's David Grays Arena.
The last game of Round 3 took place on Sunday afternoon at Claremont's Revo Fitness Stadium with the Tigers proving too strong for South Fremantle winning 11.7 (73) to 3.4 (22).
That means that after three rounds of the 2021 season, it's Swan Districts out on top of the ladder as the only remaining undefeated team with a perfect 3-0 record.
Claremont sits in second spot at 2-1 percentage ahead of Peel Thunder with East Fremantle rounding out the top four at 1-2. Subiaco is fifth at 1-2 and South Fremantle is the only winless team remaining at 0-3.
The WAFLW Reserves results from Round 3 saw Swan Districts defeat Peel Thunder 9.11 (65) to 1.2 (8), West Perth beat Subiaco 6.9 (45) to 1.0 (6) and Claremont down South Fremantle 6.4 (40) to 2.6 (18).
And in the Youth Girls Rogers Cup action, East Fremantle defeated East Perth 10.16 (76) to 1.5 (11), Peel Thunder downed Swan Districts 10.5 (65) to 2.5 (17), West Perth downed Subiaco 15.13 (103) to 0.1 (1) and Claremont prevailed 7.7 (49) to 5.5 (35) over South Fremantle.
OPTUS WAFLW PREMIERSHIP SEASON – ROUND 3
EAST FREMANTLE 6.9 (45) defeated SUBIACO 0.1 (1)
East Fremantle and Subiaco locked horns at East Fremantle's New Choice Homes Park on Saturday with both teams looking to bounce back in Round 3 of the WAFLW competition.
East Fremantle opened the 2021 season with a loss to Swan Districts in Round 1 and then went down to Claremont last weekend meaning the Sharks were at home for the first time this year looking to avoid slipping to 0-3.
Subiaco, meanwhile, did start the new season with a win against South Fremantle but the minor premiers of the past two seasons then struggled against Peel Thunder last week losing at home by 44 points.
So that set the stage for a tantalising match up on Saturday afternoon at Shark Park and it was the home team who proved too strong. East Fremantle dominated the contest to go on and record the 6.9 (45) to 0.1 (1) to open their winning account for 2021.
East Fremantle had the only five shots of the opening quarter but were only able to convert that into one goal and four behinds.
Subiaco did score its only point of the game in the second quarter but East Fremantle had another four scoring shots themselves and kicked two more goals to head into half-time leading by 23 points.
The Lions would then go through the entire second half without managing a score while East Fremantle kicked three goals in the third term, and two behinds in the fourth to take out the 44-point winners.
Madeline Ross kicked three goals for East Fremantle while Alli Nokes, Larissa Versaci and Elle Sanders added a goal apiece.
Samara Pluschke, Elle Sanders, Madeline Ross, Gabby Radojkovich and Laura McClelland were all among the standard performers for the Sharks.
It might have been a tough outing for Subiaco but Liana Burchell, Tayla Thorogood, Sarah Walters, Ellie Blackmore and Jayme Harken all battled hard for the Lions.
PEEL THUNDER 5.8 (38) lost to SWAN DISTRICTS 10.6 (66)
Without question the game of the season in the WAFLW competition so far took place at Mandurah's David Grays Arena on Saturday evening with Peel Thunder hosting Swan Districts.
Peel was coming off winning the premiership in 2020 while Swan Districts played off in the Grand Final of 2019, and then the Thunder and Swans opened their 2021 campaigns with two impressive victory.
The Thunder defeated 32 points to open their season against East Fremantle on home turf before backing it up with a Grand Final rematch last week at Leederville Oval against Subiaco and winning by 44 points.
Swans opened up beating Claremont by six points in a low-scoring affair in Round 1 before going on to beat South Fremantle last week by 53 points at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.
It was a tight opening to the contest too with both teams coming into it in good form and with momentum. Peel had five scoring shots to three in the first quarter, but the Thunder kicked just one goal and four behinds while Swans kicked two goals and one behind.
That meant the black-and-whites were on top by three points at quarter-time but things followed a similar path in the second term. Peel kicked another 1.3 and Swan Districts 1.2 to mean things had tightened up further with Swans leading the Thunder by just two points at the main break.
The game really opened up in the third quarter with the teams combining to kick six goals. Four of those went the way of Swan Districts and two to Peel to leave the Black Ducks pulling away to hold a 15-point edge by three quarter-time.
Swan Districts then secured the impressive victory with another three goals to one in the final quarter to be the last remaining undefeated team this WAFLW season recording the 10.6 (66) to 5.8 (38) win against Peel Thunder.
Mikayla Morrison came into the team for Swan Districts and was outstanding kicking four goals while Sarah Wielstra and Sarah Lakay kicked two apiece.
Sarah Wielstra, Aimee Ralph, Jaime Henry, Melisha Hardy and Ashley Sharp were all tremendous on the evening in the victory for Swan Districts.
Kate Bartlett continued her outstanding start to the season for Peel by kicking another three goals while Aisha Wright kicked two.
Jaide Britton, Chloe Wrigley, Nel Baxter, Hannah Church and Cassie Davidson were all among the better players for the Thunder.
CLAREMONT 11.7 (73) defeated SOUTH FREMANTLE 3.4 (22)
The lone Round 3 match in the WAFLW competition on Sunday took place at Claremont's Revo Fitness Stadium with the Tigers hosting South Fremantle.
Claremont and South Fremantle are the only two teams in the WAFLW competition not to have reached a Grand Final yet, and both were looking to put in a strong showing to start building some momentum on Sunday.
The Tigers opened their season with a narrow loss to Swan Districts despite kicking just the one goal before then beating East Fremantle in Round 2. But across the two games the Tigers had only manage to kick the three goals.
The Bulldogs put in their most competitive showing in the WAFLW so far only falling three points short of Subiaco back in Round 1 but they went down to Swan Districts by 53 points last Sunday while managing just the one goal for the contest.
That set the stage for an interesting contest at Revo Fitness Stadium but Claremont was on fire in the opening quarter kicking five goals. Having kicked just three goals in their first eight quarters this season, that was quite an achievement.
South Fremantle did kick a goal themselves in the first term before the Tigers added two more in the second. The Bulldogs added a second goal too but Claremont went into the half-time break leading by 32 points.
Things tightened up in the third quarter with both teams kicking just the one goal apiece before Claremont was able to kick away a little further in the last term with three goals.
South Fremantle wasn’t able to hit the scoreboard in that fourth quarter with Claremont going on to record the 11.7 (73) to 3.4 (22) victory.
Amy Franklin kicked two goals for Claremont with Andie Payne, Adele Arnup, Jacinta Valentini, Tessa Doumanis, Ella Smith, Brooke Whyte, Mikayla Western, Madeleine Scanlon and Sophie McDonald all managing a goal apiece.
Claremont's best in the win included Paige Hamilton-Smith, Brooke Whyte, Tessa Doumanis, Andie Payne and Matilda Husband.
South Fremantle's three goals were kicked by Hunter Cronin, Zoe Huggett and Ella Ward.
The Bulldogs had plenty of players who fought hard throughout the game including Aaliyah Ugle, Lauren Vecchio, Tahlia Holtze, Gabrielle Canicosa and Kiara Templeman.