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Opening quarter surge sees Demons topple SharksSunday, May 2, 2021 - 11:13 AM - by Matt Paddick

A SIX-goal opening term has helped Perth to a 30-point victory over East Fremantle at New Choice Homes Park on Saturday.

Brady Grey was everywhere for the Demons, as the midfielder used the ball well with 29 disposals to go along with 10 inside 50s and nine tackles.

After a week hiatus from the Optus WAFL Premiership Season due to the snap COVID-19 lockdown of the Perth and Peel regions, both teams were hungry to get the win.

Each team had big changes to their initial squad, as former AFL-listed players Josh Schoenfeld and Chris Masten were both late outs for their respective sides.

Perth was the first team to strike, as former Saint Doulton Langlands kicked truly before a second Demons goal in three minutes from Dakota Baldwin-Wright had the Sharks on the back foot early. 

Although East Fremantle were able to kick a goal midway through the first quarter to steady the ship, the Demons hit back with four unanswered majors, including two from forward Sam Stubbs, to lead by six goals at the first break.

It looked to be more of the same in the second term, as Langlands put through his third goal. 

However, East Fremantle upped their intensity and scored two goals to reduce the deficit to 23 points at half-time. 

It was a hard fought third term for both teams, and tensions were high as Perth increased their lead back to 30 points.

Neither team was willing to give an inch in the last quarter, but when it came to breaking the game open, both teams were unable to capitalise.

The momentum went both ways, with two goals apiece, as the Demons came home to the 11.8 (74) to 6.8 (44) victory.

As East Fremantle were fighting back in the second term, the pressure on Perth’s back six was immense. Time and time again, the Demons were able to navigate the ball out of their defensive 50, only conceding two goals for the quarter in the process, and just six goals for the game. Led by Jacob Coniglio and Kasey Nicholas (24 and 15 disposals respectively), the Demons’ defenders weathered the storm and were able to turn defence into offence all day.

It was 2014 when the now 29-year-old Haydn Busher played for Perth. After six seasons for Claremont, the veteran returned for the Demons to great effect. He had 19 disposals playing mainly on the wing. His experience and poise makes him a great pick up for Perth. He would certainly be a player Demons’ coach Garry Moss is happy to have in his best 22.

Cam Eardley was the best of the midfielders for the Sharks. The 27-year-old picked up a game-high 32 disposals and laid five tackles, as he took his game up a notch in the absence of star recruit Josh Schoenfeld. He played an aggressive inside role against the Demons in an attempt to surge the ball forward and worked hard all day defensively to help the Sharks’ defenders.


EAST FREMANTLE        1.2    3.5    4.6    6.8 (44)
PERTH                6.2    7.4    9.6    11.8 (74)

EAST FREMANTLE: Goals – Kommer, Leggett, Davies, Murdock, Lester-Smith, Jansen.
Best – Eardley, Jupp, Tucker, Meade, Davies.
PERTH: Goals – Langlands 3; Stubbs 2; Sinclair, Grey, Richardson, Cary, Nichols, Eyres.
Best – Grey, Henderson, Hill, Taylor, Eyres.