D-League win 2017 WAFL Reserves Premiership

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - 10:30 AM
The Subiaco D-League secured the 2017 WAFL Reserves Premiership, after they defeated South Fremantle by 19 points at Domain Stadium on Sunday.
It is the Lions’ 15th overall Reserves’ premiership, and their first since 2007.
Dylan Clarke took home the Merv McIntosh Medal, after he accumulated 23 possessions and booted five goals in a dazzling performance.
He was well supported by James Garcia (24 possessions and six tackles), Bailey Matera (20 possessions and a goal), and Greg Clark (19 possessions and 16 tackles).
Up forward Nick Menegola, and Braden Fimmano kicked two goals apiece, while Matera, Adam Creeper, Raymond Daniels and Brayden Ainsworth each kicked one.
Jarrod Parry kicked the first goal of the game for South Fremantle, but Dylan Clarke scored the instant response for the Lions. Matthew Parker and Jake Florenca kicked goals for the Dogs, but in the 20th minute, Clarke was able to dance his way past several South Fremantle defenders, before setting up Menegola who kicked his first. Moments later, Menegola kicked his second, and soon after Brayden Ainsworth and Clarke hit the scoreboard for Subiaco. After the siren, Mitch Dzelebdzic kicked his first goal of the game, which brought South Fremantle within nine points.
In the second quarter, Bailey Matera kicked the first goal of the quarter, and in the ninth minute, Braden Fimmano dribbled through a goal from an impossible angle. It took South Fremantle 13 minutes to hit the scoreboard and it came through Jesse Musika who slotted his first goal of the game, and soon after Jake Florenca snapped through his first goal. In the 25th minute, Fimmano steadied the ship when he drilled through his second goal, and in the dying stages of the quarter, Adam Creeper soccerred the ball out of congestion to put the Lions up by 17 points.
After the main break, McKenzie Lawrence set the tone early. He won a holding-the-ball decision, before handballing to Dylan Clarke who banged through his third goal. In the 12th minute, Clarke booted his fourth goal, but South Fremantle came hard. Brandon Donaldson, Daniel Cabassi, Parry and Florenca all scored goals to reduce the margin to just five points.
The final quarter proved to be a slog and both sides found it difficult to score, Thankfully for Subiaco, Clarke and Raymond Daniels were the only goalscorers of the quarter.
Rising star James Garcia was anointed captain for the Grand Final and the Sorrento-Duncraig junior did not disappoint. He accumulated 24 possessions, and recorded seven inside 50s and laid six tackles as he willed his team to victory.
Against South Fremantle in the Second Semi Final, the Lions lost the tackle count and it paid them dearly. However, in the Grand Final, they were hunting in packs and were ferocious in their tackles. Greg Clark led the way with 16 tackles, while young guns Brayden Ainsworth and Kyron Hayden followed suit with eight apiece.
Both Bailey Matera and Braden Fimmano came from South Fremantle, and both of them played a pivotal role in the victory. Stationed on the wing, Matera gathered 20 possessions and kicked a goal, while Fimmano, stationed in the forward half, gathered 13 possessions, recorded five inside 50s and kicked two goals.
Raymond Daniels snapped through a goal from a tight angle in the 28th minute of the final quarter. It pushed the margin out to 19 points and with little time remaining, it sealed victory for the Lions.
SUBIACO                            5.1        9.3        11.4       13.6        (84)
SOUTH FREMANTLE         4.4        6.4        10.5       10.5        (65)
Goals; 5 D. Clarke, 2 N. Menegola, B. Fimmano, 1 B. Ainsworth, R. Daniels, A. Creeper, B. Matera
Best; D. Clarke, J. Garcia, G. Clark, C. Bryan, A. Creeper
Merv McIntosh Medal Winner: Dylan Clarke (Subiaco)