IT is hard to imagine a more exciting afternoon of WAFL action than what the four Round 4 matches offered on Saturday with two one-point finishes and the other games also being decided by single figures.
It was the last round of WAFL action before the State Game against South Australia this Sunday at Optus Stadium, and the eight teams in action all put in some tremendous performances to provide for quite the exciting afternoon.
When it was all said and done, Swan Districts handed Claremont its first loss of the season, Subiaco won its first game of 2022, Perth prevailed by a point over Peel and West Perth overpowered South Fremantle.
All four matches were played on Saturday afternoon with Swan Districts beating Claremont 11.14 (80) to 10.11 (71) at Bassendean's Steel Blue Oval.
Swans handed the Tigers their first loss of 2022 with Chris Jones embracing his move forward by kicking five goals while Jesse Turner amassed 35 possessions.
Jack Buller kicked three goals for the Tigers while they had some remarkable ball winners with Jye Bolton racking up 51 disposals, Ben Edwards 44, Ryan Lim 38 and Lachlan Martinis 34.
Ben Sokol's fifth goal and then a last gasp behind from Max Walters ended up being the sealer for Subiaco to win its first game of the season with the 12.12 (84) to 12.11 (83) victory against Leederville Oval co-tenant East Perth.
Sokol kicked five goals for Subiaco and Brandon Matera four with Stefan Giro collecting 32 touches. Sebit Kuek kicked four goals for the Royals and Nick Robertson three while Hamish Brayshaw gathered 31 disposals.
Perth was then able withstand two late goals from Peel Thunder to hold on for a 13.10 (88) to 13.9 (87) win at Mandurah's Lane Group Stadium on Saturday.
Sam Stubbs kicked four goals for the Demons and Kristian Cary three with Austin Davis finishing with 27 disposals.. Sam Sturt kicked three goals for Peel with Mitch Crowden picking up 27 possessions.
West Perth was able to kick the last two goals of the game against South Fremantle at Joondalup's Pentanet Stadium to win 9.9 (63) to 8.7 (55).
Mitch Dobson, Sam Rotham and Sasha Kernutt kicked two goals each for West Perth while Luke Meadows and Shane Nelson had 27 possessions each. Brendon Ah Chee and Mason Shaw kicked two goals for South Fremantle with Ah Chee also having 28 disposals as did Tom Blechynden and Haiden Schloithe.
WAFL PREMIERSHIP SEASON – ROUND 4
SWAN DISTRICTS 11.14 (80) defeated CLAREMONT 10.11 (71)
Swan Districts has now strung consecutive wins together having handed Claremont its first loss of the season on Saturday afternoon at Bassendean's Steel Blue Oval.
Swans opened up the new season with losses to East Perth and East Fremantle, but they got their first win on the board last week against Perth and were able to back it up at home to Claremont this Saturday.
The Tigers had won their first three matches of 2022 against West Perth, Subiaco and South Fremantle, but couldn’t quite keep the run going despite having 90 extra disposals for the game than Swan Districts.
But Swans were more efficient and got the job done with the eventual 11.14 (80) to 10.11 (71) victory on home turf.
The move of Chris Jones forward in the second half last week against Perth was a big reason why Swan Districts got its first win on the board for 2022. He started there again on Saturday and kicked the first minute of the game just a minute into the contest.
Lawrence Evans kicked the Tigers first goal shortly after before Swans finished the opening term with a couple of goals to Sam Fisher and Lachlan Riley to head into the quarter-time huddle with a 16-point advantage.
Claremont then started the second quarter on fire with three goals to Jack Buller, Bailey Rogers and Ben Elliott. They proved the only goals of the term and the Tigers were up by a point at half-time.
Timm House then kicked truly to extend the Tigers lead to start the second half but a couple of quick goals to Swan Districts through Mitch Bain soon had the home team back on top.
Swans were then still leading by two points by three quarter-time and they were then able to kick three goals to two in the final term to make it consecutive wins this season and handed Claremont its first loss with the 11.14 (80) to 10.11 (71) victory.
It was an impressive performance from Swan Districts to make it consecutive victories and the move forward from the start this week of Chris Jones proved a match-winning one from coach Adam Pickering.
He ended up kicking five goals for the black-and-whites from eight kicks and six marks. Mitch Bain and Sam Fisher also kicked two goals.
Jesse Turner produced one of the best performances of his 105-game career with Swan Districts delivering 35 possessions, 12 marks, seven inside-50 entries and five tackles.
Tony Notte was superb as well at centre half-back with 26 touches and 11 marks while Aidan Clarke finished with 24 disposals, Fisher 24, Tobe Watson 18 and Jehb O'Donohue 17 while Matthew Germs had 29 hit outs in the ruck.
Jack Buller kicked three goals from nine kicks and six tackles for Claremont with Timm House adding two goals from five kicks and six marks.
There were some remarkable ball-winning performances from Claremont despite the loss with Jye Bolton amassing 51 possessions to go with nine inside 50s and eight marks.
Ben Edwards added 44 touches, Ryan Lim 38 and Lachlan Martinis 34 while Oliver Sheldrick finished with 22 disposals, Jack Lewsey 21, Bailey Rogers 20, Callan England 19, Ronin O'Connor 18, Ben Elliott 18 and Kieran Gowdie 18 to go with 25 hit outs.
EAST PERTH 12.11 (83) lost to SUBIACO 12.12 (84)
The Leederville Oval co-tenants delivered quite the thrilling battle on Saturday with Subiaco hunting its first win of 2022 and East Perth a third.
Coming off another premiership triumph in 2021, it's been a rough start to the new season for the Lions with losses to South Fremantle, Claremont and West Perth meaning they just couldn’t afford to slip to 0-4.
East Perth, meanwhile, had won their first two matches and then finished strongly after a slow start to East Fremantle last week in Northampton before a narrow defeat.
Saturday's game was then a thriller but in the end five second half goals for Subiaco to Ben Sokol and then the match-winning point in the dying stages from Max Walters saw Subiaco win by a point, 12.12 (84) to 12.11 (83).
Subiaco was still chasing its first win of the season and started strongly against their Leederville Oval co-tenants with the first two goals of the contest inside five minutes to Brandon Matera and Lewis Putt.
Matera then added a second to give the Lions the first three goals of the contest by the 13-minute mark of the first term and it wasn’t until shortly before quarter-time when East Perth got on the board courtesy of Christian Ameduri.
Sebit Kuek then gave the Royals a good start to the second quarter and then Nick Robertson put them in front when he kicked truly as well. Matera and Robertson then traded goals as well for their respective teams.
Kuek then added a second and the Royals were able to head into half-time leading by eight points.
Ben Sokol then got his huge second half underway with an early goal in the third quarter for Subiaco before Lachlan Vanirsen put the Lions back on top, and a third from Matera extended their advantage to 11 points.
Kuek got one back for East Perth before a second from Sokol extended Subiaco's lead again. However, East Perth kicked the last three goals of the third term through Tom Medhat, Angus Scott and Brad Fullgrabe to lead by six points at three quarter-time.
The big finish was then set up with another goal to Sokol to see Subiaco level scores back up and then his fourth had the Lions on top. Aaron Breman extended the lead to 11 points but the Royals weren’t done yet.
Eddie Simpson brought East Perth back within five points and then a third goal to Robertson saw the Royals within a point, but Sokol's fifth put the lead for the Lions back out to seven.
It was a still a heart stopping finish with Kuek bringing the Royals within a point and Medhat's behind tying scores up. In the end, it was a behind from Max Walters at the 31-minute mark that snatched the one-point win for Subiaco.
Ben Sokol kicked all five of his goals for the day in the second half for Subiaco in a terrific performance also including 21 possessions and 14 marks. Brandon Matera also kicked four goals for the Lions.
Stefan Giro was impressive again in the midfield for Subiaco racking up 32 possessions while captain Leigh Kitchin had another 21 disposals and Lachlan Delahunty 21 touches, seven marks and 17 hit outs.
Noah Ash also had 20 possessions for the Lions, Wil Hickmott 19, Max Walters 16 and Chad Harris 16.
Sebit Kuek returned for East Perth after missing the trip to Northampton last week through illness and stepped up to kick four goals while Nick Robertson also kicked three.
Hamish Brayshaw worked tirelessly again in the midfield for the Royals with 31 possessions, seven inside-50 entries and six tackles.
Stan Wright also picked up 25 touches for East Perth, Christian Ameduri 22, Angus Scott 22, Kye Willcocks 20, Nathan Eaton 20, Jackson Ramsay 19, Damon Greaves 19 and Jack Cooley 19.
PEEL THUNDER 13.9 (87) lost to PERTH 13.10 (88)
It was a thriller in Mandurah on Saturday afternoon with Perth coming away with the nail-biting one-point victory against Peel Thunder
The Thunder were back home at Lane Group Stadium looking for their third win of the season, but the Demons were determined to bounce back from the last past two losses at the hands of East Perth and Swan Districts.
In the end it was a thrilling finish with Perth holding on for the 13.10 (88) to 13.9 (87) victory against Peel.
Perth got off to a flying start away from home with a goal to Kieran Hug inside 30 seconds. Sam Stubbs then soon gave them the second goal of the contest before Peel got on the board at the seven-minute mark courtesy of Fremantle's Neil Erasmus.
Perth's strong start continued with another goal to Kristian Cary and goals just before quarter-time from Fraser McInnes and Stubbs saw the Demons put up six goals to four for the term to lead by 16 points.
The Demons then pulled away further to start the second quarter with a goal to Cary. Again a late goal heading into half-time from Ajang Ajang ensured Perth maintained a 28-point advantage by the half-time break.
Peel got off to a good start in the second half with the first two goals to Roy George, but Perth got a steadier from Stubbs to be back out to a 20-point advantage.
However, the Thunder were warming to the task and were back within nine points at three quarter-time courtesy of a couple of late goals from Ryan Bennell and Blair Bell.
Peel was then back within four points to start the fourth quarter when Sam Sturt kicked truly, but again it was Stubbs with the response for Perth. Cary then put Perth back up by 15 points but the Thunder weren’t done.
The home team managed to kick the last two goals of the contest through Sturt and Wade Derksen, but they fell one-point short of the Demons in the finish.
Sam Stubbs stepped up to kick four goals in the win for Perth from 22 possessions and six marks with Kristian Cary kicking three goals and Kieran Hug two.
Austin Davis played the best game of his 34-match WAFL career for Perth with 27 possessions while Brayden Ainsworth finished with 24 disposals, Fraser McInnes 22, Corey Byrne 20 and Chapman Jones 17.
Ajang Ajang battled hard in the ruck for 15 touches, four tackles, 15 hit outs and a goal.
Sam Sturt kicked three goals from four kicks for Peel with Blair Bell and Roy George adding two goals apiece.
Mitch Crowden racked up 27 possessions for the Thunder, Bodie Kitchingman 24, Connor Blakely 23, Karl Worner 21, Ethan Hughes 20, Neil Erasmus 18 and Ty Anderson 18.
WEST PERTH 9.9 (63) defeated SOUTH FREMANTLE 8.7 (55)
West Perth kicked the first five and last two goals of the game to end up beating South Fremantle by eight points at Joondalup's Pentanet Stadium on Saturday.
Both teams came into the game having won two of their opening three games of the season, but it was West Perth who started with the first five goals of the contest.
South Fremantle was gradually able to work their way into the contest and then took the lead early in the fourth quarter, but the Falcons responded with the last two goals to claim the eventual 9.9 (63) to 8.7 (55) victory.
West Perth got off to a perfect start going on a run of seven consecutive scoring shots on their home ground including goals to Tyler Keitel, Sam Rotham, Sasha Kernutt, Anton Hamp and then Kernutt again.
That saw the Falcons all of a sudden lead by 31 points before South Fremantle did get a goal back just before quarter-time thanks to Brandon Donaldson.
South Fremantle started the second quarter much better, though, with goals to Brendon Ah Chee and Mason Shaw to be back within 13 points, but West Perth responded with the next two from Mitch Dobson and Keegan Knott.
The Bulldogs did kick the last goal of the half, though, thanks to Jarrod Salmeri but the Falcons were still on top by 22 points at the major break.
South Fremantle was back within 15 points with a Tom Blechynden goal midway through the third quarter. Ah Chee then kicked a second with the Bulldogs holding West Perth scoreless in the quarter to be only seven points down by three quarter-time.
South Fremantle then hit the front to start the last quarter with Shaw kicking his second of the day and Caleb Datson his first.
Just as the Bulldogs had all the momentum, West Perth took back over and capitalised on a couple of South Fremantle mistakes to kick the last two goals of the game to Dobson and Rotham to secure the 9.9 (63) to 8.7 (55) victory.
Mitch Dobson showed again why he was such an astute signing by West Perth getting him from East Perth this season by kicking another two goals to go with 20 possessions and six marks.
Sam Rotham also kicked two goals for the Falcons from four kicks with Sasha Kernutt kicking two goals from seven kicks.
Luke Meadows amassed 27 possessions for West Perth, Shane Nelson 27, Aaron Black 22, Mitch Peirce 21 and Trent Manzone 20.
Brendon Ah Chee was tremendous in his second game for South Fremantle with 28 possessions and five marks with Mason Shaw also booting two goals from 18 disposals and eight marks.
Haiden Schloithe also finished with 28 disposals, five marks and five tackles for the Bulldogs, Tom Blechynden 28 touches and five inside 50s, Chad Pearson 25 possessions and 14 marks, and Toby McQuilkin 24 disposals and seven marks.
Steely Green gathered 21 possessions, Glenn Byron 17 and Hamish Free 15 to go with 46 hit outs in the ruck while Noah Strom was again superb down back holding Tyler Keitel to one goal and seven kicks.