Grand Final Bound
Sunday, 13 September 2015
Subiaco are heading to consecutive WAFL Grand Finals after dismantling West Perth 17.13 (115) to 8.4 (60) at Medibank Stadium.
The Lions started slowly and took a while to get into the pace of the game, but dominated the last three quarters to record a massive 55 point win.
A lot of hype surrounded this game due to the club’s recent history on and off the park but Subiaco made it count where it matters most. The two sides could face again in the Grand Final, but the Falcons will have to get past the East Perth Royals first.
Midfield machine Leigh Kitchin was dominant for the Lions with 29 touches and a goal, as well as Lachlan Delahunty (30 disposals) and Brett Robinson (28 disposals & goal).
Chris Phelan gathered 26 touches and captain Kyal Horsley had 17 disposals and five inside 50’s. Sandover contender Sam Menegola had 28 touches and two goals.
Clancy Wheeler was crucial in the top of the table clash and won the ruck battle with his ability to spread West Perth's Christopher Keunen. Wheeler had 23 touches, five marks, 24 hit-outs and three goals in the biggest game of the year.
Shane Yarran also kicked three including the game’s opener. Opposition sides are figuring out the best ways to defend the silky goal scorer but the Bernie Naylor Medallist continues to be dangerous.
Kyle Halligan was also a standout in front of goals. The Subiaco youngster led hard all day and kicked two important goals in the first and second quarters.
Subiaco get a week off to prepare for WAFL Grand Final 131 and eagerly await the result of Sundays Preliminary Final between East Perth and West Perth.
The game started with an electric intensity as one of the biggest crowds of the year built at Medibank Stadium. Shane Yarran got the first after finding room out the back but West Perth would respond strongly. The Falcons were better polished in the first and kicked three consecutive goals; Falcons forward Michael Lourey kicked two of them. Subiaco managed to stay in touch despite a sluggish start with big goals from Michael Wood, Clancy Wheeler and Kyle Halligan bringing the home side within five points at the first break.
Subi responded to the slow start in true 2015 fashion and were able to negate West Perth’s run and carry in the second. Clancy Wheeler looked in ominous form and kicked two goals in the first half. The Esperance utility worked in tandem with Lachlan Delahunty in the ruck and was effective despite losing the hit-out count. Leigh Kitchin converted a 50-metre penalty from Chris Kuenen then Brett Mahoney slammed a massive set shot home to send an ominous sign to the Falcons.
The Lions continued to dominate scoring shots and blew the game out in the third. West Perth lacked fight past the first quarter mark, and were effectively shutdown by Jarrad Schofields structural changes. Subi were daring with the ball and continued to move it quickly despite frenetic pressure and it worked for great reward. A Wayde Twomey goal on the three quarter siren gave Subi a five-goal lead heading into the last.
West Perth managed the first goal of the last but it wasn’t a sign of a comeback. 2014 Premiership forward Matt Boland converted his first and sunk any hope the Falcons faithful had. Subiaco book their spot in the 2015 WAFL Grand Final.
Brett Mahoney sinks a long bomb in the second quarter. Photo: Flashflood
West Perth have two of the leagues best on ballers in Aaron Black and Shane Nelson but Subi managed to negate their impact in the Semi Final. The Falcons moved the ball really well early and Nelson and Black were in the middle of everything. A higher focus on pressure and quick ball movement took the game out of the visitors’ hands. Nelson and Black finished with 25 disposals a piece despite starting fast.
Subiaco defender Scott Worthington may have a nervous wait over the week after he was reported for a hit on West Perth’s Aaron Black. Worthington has just returned from injury and will miss the Grand Final if it’s deemed suspension worthy.
Young key defender Declan Jackson made way for Craig Hoskins minutes before bounce-down. Jarrad Schofield opted to run with another midfield type against the speedy Falcons.
QBE MAN OF THE MATCH:
The QBE Man of the Match goes to Clancy Wheeler for his massive finals outing. Gail Eden wins a signed Subi guernsey for correctly guessing the best in the Semi!
THE GAME WAS WON WHEN:
Wayde Twomey kicked a goal on the three quarter siren after a big mark ten metres out. The journeymans major took any remaining wind out of the Falcons.
GRAND FINAL BOOKING FORM
Check out the details for the WAFL Grand Final on Sunday, September 27. Subiaco will either face West Perth or East Perth at Domain Stadium.
SUBIACO 4.2 7.9 12.12 17.13 (115)
WEST PERTH 5.1 6.3 7.3 9.6 (60)
Goals; 3 S.Yarran, C.Wheeler, 2 K.Halligan, S.Menegola, 1 M.Boland, B.Mahoney, M.Wood, L.Kitchin, C.Deluca, W.Twomey, B.Robinson
Best; C.Wheeler, L. Kitchin, S. Yarran & W. Twomey.
Subiaco’s reserves will face the winner of Swan Districts and West Perth after falling to South Fremantle by 57 points in the Semi Final at Medibank Stadium.
The Lions twos get another chance against the Swans-Falcons to earn a spot in the 2015 Grand Final.
South Fremantle has been the team to beat in the reserves competition this year and fielded a squad heavily bolstered by their league side’s absence in the finals. John Sgherza was dominant with six goals against the Lions and Ben Sokol kicked three.
Simon Moore was Subiaco’s best performer in the midfield with 28 touches and Joel Ashman had 16 touches and 5 tackles.
There were no multiple goal-kickers for Subiaco against a well versed Bulldogs defence. The reserves will now face either Swan Districts or West Perth at HBF Arena next Sunday.
SUBIACO 0.2 3.7 5.8 7.12 (54)
SOUTH FREMANTLE 6.5 9.5 13.12 14.17 (101)
Goals; 1 M.Walters, J.Woodley, R.Daniels, J.Bestry, R.Waters, J.Ashman, J.Garcia
Best; S.Moore, J.Latham, M.Bogensperger, J.Bestry, J.Hughes