IT wasn’t quite the demolition job back on the Thursday night in their last meeting but Subiaco continued to be too good for Perth cruising to a 27-point win on Saturday that took them back to the top of the WAFL ladder.
Their last meeting at Lathlain's Mineral Resources Park saw Subiaco hammer Perth by 98 points and hold the Demons to just the one goal in the final quarter so it was going to take a big lift away away from home from the men in black and red to turn things around on Saturday.
Subiaco still proved too good for a fighting Demons outfit, as they held out for a 10.11 (71) to 6.8 (44) win at Leederville Oval on Saturday.
With Claremont losing to South Fremantle on the same afternoon, the win takes Subiaco back to the top of the ladder after 14 rounds while the hopes of Perth reaching consecutive finals series took another hit.
Captain Leigh Kitchin (33 disposals) dug deep when the game was hot for the Lions, while fellow midfielder Greg Clark (36 disposals) was also instrumental to continue his stunning career-best season.
For the Demons, Brady Grey (23 disposals) gave his all to get his team back into the contest, while Sam Stubbs looked dangerous up forward with two goals.
It was only fitting they both stood tall for Perth with the celebrations taking place for NAIDOC Week, in fact Stubbs was the man that designed the jumper that the Demons wore on the occasion.
Both teams went into the game looking to break their run of losses, with Subiaco looking to maintain their top two spot on the ladder, while Perth were aiming to stay in touch with the top five.
Subiaco looked to play the game on their terms, regularly getting the ball inside-50 early.
However, Perth were equal to the challenge, holding off Subiaco before kicking the first goal of the game off the boot of Jayden Quill.
The Lions responded in quick time, with Max Walters kicking truly before Ben Sokol nailed his first of the day.
There was plenty of fight in the contest, with neither team willing to give the other an edge, as Subiaco took a seven-point lead at the first break.
The second term belonged to Subiaco, who took advantage of their momentum in the first.
Emerging forward Nick Martin kicked truly to start the term, before Wil Hickmott found space in the forward 50 to kick his first for the day.
Michael Braut was able to find space in traffic and snap for a goal to give Subiaco three on the run.
The Demons needed a response, and it came in the form of Sam Stubbs, who took a mark directly in front and converted to give the demons a spark.
Despite the willingness for Perth to be in the contest, the Lions looked to be cleaner with ball in hand, as Braut, Hickmott and Walters each kicked their second for the match in the late stages of the quarter to give Subiaco a 36-point lead at half-time.
The Demons came out fighting in the third term, with the team having belief the game was still there to be won.
Perth opened the quarter with two goals in five minutes off Stubbs and Kasey Nicholas, before Kristian Cary gathered the ball on the run and snapped it through the big sticks to breathe life back into the contest.
Subiaco had their chances, but could not capitalise as the Demons kept them goalless, reducing the deficit to just 14 points at the end of the third.
Both teams were in the contest in the last term, but it was Subiaco who took advantage.
After just the one Subiaco behind was scored by both teams within the first 10 minutes, Sokol was able to convert the mark inside-50 to goal.
The Demons aimed to get back into it, but were matched by Subiaco’s defence, who appeared to have all the answers.
Martin dribbled a goal from the pocket late for an impressive goal, closing the door on a Perth upset, as the Lions walked away 27-point victors.
LIONS BACKS DIGGING DEEP
The contest was red hot in the last quarter and there were big moments from Subiaco’s back-line to will their team to victory. Aaron Heal had a couple of crucial tackles to stop the run from the Demons, while Jordan Lockyer went back with the flight to impact the mark in a courageous effort. Drew Rohde also had a big moment in his 101st game, where he laid a tackle on Austin Davis in the defensive 50. It started a passage of play which finished in a goal to Ben Sokol, which put any hopes of a Perth comeback to bed.
PERTH CULT HERO GIVES DEMONS LIFE
Forward Sam Stubbs was huge for the Demons throughout the game. In the guernsey he designed for the WAFL’s NAIDOC Round, he was a strong forward presence for Perth. He kicked two goals including one when the Demons were surging back into the game. Stubbs had a huge presence whenever he was near the football.
LIONS 10 IN A ROW AGAINST DEMONS
Almost five years ago to the day was the last time Perth got the win over Subiaco. Since then, the Lions have piled on the pain, this win making it 10 in-a-row. Subiaco now looks for revenge next week against the West Coast Eagles while the Demons look to snap a four-game losing run against East Perth at home.
OPTUS WAFL PREMIERSHIP SEASON – ROUND 14
SUBIACO 2.2 8.5 8.9 10.11 (71)
PERTH 1.2 2.5 6.7 6.8 (44)
SUBIACO: Goals – Walters, W Hickmott, Sokol, Braut, Martin 2.
Best – Clark, Kitchin, Delahunty, Walters, Marsh, Heal, Sokol, Harris.
PERTH: Goals – Stubbs 2; Clarke, Cary, Nicholas, Quill.
Best – Grey, Davis, Stubbs, Taylor, Byrne, Nicholas.