By Maddy Friend

Round seven saw the tightening of the WAFL ladder. Previously unbeaten Subiaco lost by 43 points to Swan Districts, who have now won five matches in a row. The excellent start to the year has buoyed the Swans, who were universally written off at the beginning of the year after losing a plethora of their best players, including Dayle Garlett, Rory Lobb and Charlie Cameron to the AFL. The remaining Swans have been a tight-knit group this year, with many of their experienced players in fantastic form. The win puts the Swans in second spot on the ladder, only behind Subiaco on percentage.

On the flip side, Round seven continued a run of poor form by Claremont. After having won the last four minor premierships, played off in three grand finals, winning two and hosting a preliminary final, Claremont has fallen back to earth this season. Like Swans, Claremont lost many of its premierships stars due to retirement and leave, but unlike the Swans, the remaining talent has been unable to cover the loss of these players. Claremont’s 64-point loss to South Fremantle on the weekend takes its average losing margin to 71 points.

West Coast’s aligned team East Perth had a win over East Fremantle, but it was not all smooth sailing. After East Perth led by 50 points at three quarter time, East Fremantle made its charge in the final quarter, losing by ten points and keeping East Perth goalless in the final quarter. West Coast-aligned midfielders Patrick McGinnity, Sharrod Wellingham and Dom Sheed were impressive in the win, collecting 26, 25 and 21 disposals respectively. Forwards Josh Hill and Fraser McInnes both kicked three goals, doing their chances of a recall to the senior team no harm, especially in the wake of West Coast coach Adam Simpson’s declaration that his team has been too top heavy in recent weeks. Young ruckman Callum Sinclair also impressed with two goals to go with 17 disposals, eight marks and 23 hit outs.

Fremantle-aligned Peel Thunder were held to just one goal for the entire first half in its match against Perth on Saturday, but made a late charge to trail by only five points at three-quarter time. However, four final term goals by Perth saw them run out 29-point winners. Former Melbourne and West Coast midfielder Cale Morton was excellent for Perth, collecting 29 disposals, nine marks, six inside 50s and a goal.

Several Dockers staked their claim for senior recalls, in particular Garrick Ibbotson (23 disposals) and recruit Colin Sylvia (19). Kepler Bradley also continued his return from injury with an impressive 24-disposal performance. Ruckman Jonathon Griffin amassed 14 touches, seven marks, and a whopping 41 hitouts.

East Perth (11.9.75) defeated East Fremantle (9.11.65)

East Fremantle: 4 B.Peake, 2 R.Lester-smith, 1 M.Edwards, J.Mcnamara, B.O’brien
East Perth: 3 J.Hill, F.Mcinnes, 2 C.Sinclair, 1 C.Wulff, S.Payne, W.Magginness

East Fremantle: T.Howlett, B.O’brien, J.Schofield, B.Dalziell, A.Stephen
East Perth: B.Lee, S.Payne, F.Mcinnes, K.Anderson

Swan Districts (19.13.127) defeated Subiaco (13.6.84)

Subiaco: 3 S.Yarran, 2 M.Boland, R.Waters, 1 R.Blechynden, B.Mahoney, J.Joyce, C.Deluca, F.Stockley, K.Horsley
Swan Districts: 6 M.Jukes, 3 M.Rogers, 2 R.Cary, T.Geappen, R.Davis, 1 C.Blakely, B.Jetta, T.Notte, T.Casserly

Subiaco: F.Stockley, K.Horsley, L.Delahunty, B.Stevenson, C.Phelan
Swan Districts: M.Jukes, C.Blakely, A.Anderson, M.Rogers

South Fremantle (17.13.115) defeated Claremont (8.3.51)

South Fremantle: 4 B.Saunders, 2 H.Schloithe, J.Martinez, M.Carter, J.Pullman, C.White, 1 M.Pickett, A.Mcintosh, J.Sellar
Claremont: 3 J.Bradshaw, 2 R.Neates, 1 D.Cameron, T.Taylor, M.Seaby

South Fremantle: J.Martinez, A.Guglielmana, Z.Strom, S.Verrier, B.Verrier
Claremont: L.Blackwell, R.Neates, M.Goyder, A.Foster, M.Aitchison

Perth (10.17.77) defeated Peel Thunder (6.12.48)

Peel Thunder: 2 M.Brown, K.Thornton, 1 L.Wilkins, M.Taberner
Perth: 2 M.Moody, P.Bevan, 1 B.Stack, C.Manuel, C.Eyres, G.Ugle, C.Morton, M.Morton

Peel Thunder: D.Winton, J.Mathers, B.Jones, K.Bradley, B.Grey
Perth: P.Bevan, D.White, C.Morton, C.Manuel, H.Busher


By Dylan Matthews

Glenelg 8.5 (53) defeated by Norwood 10.10 (70)

Glenelg goals: Alleway 2, Gregson 2, Kirkby 2, Lonergan, Thorp
Norwood goals: Davis 2, Allan, Donohue, Evans, Murphy, Panos, Persinons, Phillips, Smart
Glenelg best: Lonergan, Hender, Joseph, Button, Earl
Norwood best: Baulderstone, Jefferies, Webber, Panos, Bampton, Murphy

Glenelg vs. Norwood (Friday 2nd May)

Norwood finally chalked up their second win of the season after defeating cellar dwellers Glenelg by 17 points. In a low scoring scrap, the Redlegs managed to lead all night in a freezing cold affair at Gliderol Oval. Norwood got off to a big lead early (25 points at quarter-time) and controlled the game. Big man Sam Baulderstone (60 hitouts) was instrumental around stoppages, palming it straight down the throats of gun midfielders Tim Webber, James Allan and Matthew Panos. Although it was a slog of a game, the Redlegs remained calm under pressure for the majority of the contest. Glenelg have slowly been improving and are beginning to work better as a team. Sam Lonergan was once-again instrumental with 24 touches.

North Adelaide 7.6 (48) defeated by Sturt 16.13 (109)

North Adelaide goals: Amato, Barns, Burton, Miles, Ryswyk, Shannon, Teasdale
Sturt goals: Coad 3, Crocker, 3, Hansen 3, Duldig 2, Greenslade 2, Calabrese, Gore, Kane
North Adelaide best: Shannon, Thiele, Hill, Tahana
Sturt best: Bartlett, Greenslade, Kirkwood, Watt, Crocker, Beard

North Adelaide vs. Sturt (Saturday 3rd May)

Sturt travelled to Prospect Oval hoping to get over the line in what should have been a tight contest. What was to follow was simply amazing as they went on to beat reigning grand-finalists North Adelaide by a whopping 61 points. The Double Blues provided fans with four quarters of immense pressure and attacking football. The Roosters were forced to field an inexperienced team due to injury and Sturt certainly exploited them by running them off their feet. Midfielders Tom Bartlett, Zane Kirkwood and John Greenslade dominated in the middle of the ground, winning crucial clearances & showcasing their excellent disposal efficiency. Jay Shannon (33 disposals) played a lone hand for North Adelaide in what was a dim day for the Roosters.

West Adelaide 15.8 (98) defeated Central District 4.10 (34)

West Adelaide goals: Still 5, Silverlock 3, Fisher 2, Newell 2, Caire, Stevens, Tuck
Central District goals: Barmby, Collier, Gillbee, Hoskin
West Adelaide best: Schmidt, Hartlett, Macreadie, Milne, Silverlock, Fielke,
Central District best: T. Schiller, Thomas, McIntyre, Williams, Nason

West Adelaide vs. Central District (Sunday 4th May)

West Adelaide finally got the their first win of the season after demolishing Central District by 64 points. Although the Bloods have been playing some good football, it hasn’t quite been enough against a host of quality teams. West Adelaide’s dominance was evident in the statistics, managing to gather 120 more disposals than the Bulldogs and taking 90 more marks. Captain Chris Schmidt returned after being a late withdrawal last week, and was instrumental for the Bloods with 35 disposals & 10 clearances. The entire West Adelaide midfield worked extremely well as a team, delivering well to the likes of Michael Still who finished with five goals. Experienced midfielder Scott Bricknell made his return from a hamstring injury, only to be cleaned up in a sickening collision that left him with a punctured lung. Centrals were disappointing all day, with a lack of defensive pressure and overall lack of ability to get their hands on the footy.

Adelaide 13.9 (87) defeated by Port Adelaide 20.12 (132)

Adelaide goals: Walker 4, Robinson 2, Spina 2, Atkins, Cameron, Lyons, Knight, Ellis-Yolmen
Port Adelaide goals: Haren 3, Harvey 3, Bruggemann 2, Butcher 2, Gray 2, Amon. Logan, Mitchell, Moore, Neade, O’Shea, Renouf, Summerton
Adelaide best: Martin, Lyons, Walker, Kelly, Ellis-Yolmen
Port Adelaide best: Mitchell, Summerton, Haren, Moore, Gray, Neade, Krakouer

Adelaide vs. Port Adelaide (Sunday 4th May)

Adelaide & Port Adelaide made the trip down to Clare to compete in the inaugural SANFL Showdown. 5300 fans came from everywhere to witness returning Crows star Taylor Walker strut his stuff. Although townspeople won’t be left disappointed with the display, the contest was quite one-sided as Port continued their strong form by running out 45-point winners. Kane Mitchell continued his strong form, gathering 31 disposals and slotting a goal in his BOG performance which has led to his upgrading from the rookie list this week. New Power rookies Karl Amon (23 touches) and Mitch Harvey (three goals) took a huge step forward in their development. All eyes were on big Tex in his second game back from a knee-reconstruction. He was brilliant, bagging four goals and plucking seven marks, and will definitely make his AFL return against Collingwood in two weeks. Port were also dominant in the inside 50 count (49:39). The Crows toiled hard in the 3rd quarter, getting themselves within 14 points after setting themselves up well defensively, but it wasn’t enough to get the job done. Crows youngsters Brodie Martin (34 disposals), Jarryd Lyons (32 disposals) and Cameron Ellis-Yolmen (23 disposals) continued their push for senior selection.

South Adelaide 11.9 (75) defeated by Eagles 13.7 (85)

South Adelaide goals: Eddy 5, Cross 2, Dale 1, Gulden, Liddle, McDonald
Eagles goals: Wundke 6, Ainger 2, McGregor 2, Jarrad, Lewis, Powell
South Adelaide best: Eddy, Thewlis, Gotch, Murphy, Liddle
Eagles best: Wundke, Hall, Lewis, Jarrad, Borholm, Goldsworthy

South Adelaide vs. Eagles (Sunday 4th May)

The Eagles and South Adelaide battled it out in what many had predicted would be the game of the round. The game certainly lived up to expectations, as the Eagles came from behind at half time to run out 10-point winners. Former Panthers spearheads Andrew Ainger & Michael Wundke returned to their old stomping ground to a hostile reception from both fans and players. The 4-0 Panthers got off to a brilliant start, kicking five of the first six goals to lead by 22 points at the main break. South Adelaide’s pressure was once again outstanding, with Xavier Gotch led the charge by laying six early tackles. Woodville came out firing after half time, kicking six goals to nil as they started to dominate around the ball. Michael Wundke booted six goals and was outstanding against his old club, kicking the final two goals of the game to get his side over the line. Brett Eddy bagged another five goals for the Panthers, taking his season tally to 27.

Players To Watch:

Jay Shannon (North): 33 disposals, five inside 50’s, ten clearances
Sam Baulderstone (Norwood): 18 disposals, 60 hitouts, three clearances
Kane Mitchell (Port): 31 disposals, seven marks, six clearances
Tim Bartlett (Sturt): 30 disposals, eight marks, five rebound 50’s
Brodie Martin (Adelaide): 34 disposals, seven marks, five inside 50’s
Luke Jarrad (Eagles): 22 disposals, six marks, 4 inside 50’s
Josh Thewlis (South): 27 disposals, 11 marks, three inside 50’s
Sam Lonergan (Glenelg): 24 disposals, seven tackles, 12 clearances
Chris Schmidt (West): 35 disposals, 11 marks, 10 clearances
Travis Schiller (Centrals): 26 disposals, five tackles, 12 clearances