CLAREMONT moved clear on top of the ladder with a third straight thumping win on Saturday in WAFL Round 19 with East Perth, West Perth and Swan Districts all recording crucial victories as well with starring performances from experienced and young players alike.
All the action was on Saturday afternoon with Claremont beating East Fremantle 19.10 (124) to 4.8 (32) at Claremont Oval, West Perth smashed Peel 25.9 (159) to 8.11 (59) at Bendigo Bank Stadium, East Perth downed Perth 17.11 (113) to 10.16 (76) at Brownes Stadium and Swan Districts got the better of Subiaco winning 17.14 (116) to 13.5 (83) at Medibank Stadium.
The results leave Claremont (12-4) clear on top of the ladder from East Fremantle (11-5), Swan Districts (11-5) and East Perth (10-1-5). Outside the top-four is West Perth (8-1-7), Subiaco (6-10), Perth (5-11), South Fremantle (4-12) and Peel Thunder (4-12).
Click here for the summary of Round 19 of the WAFL
THE BIG WINNERS
Claremont has now had an amazing last five weeks coming out of a tough fortnight that saw the Tigers lose to Peel Thunder and East Perth.
Claremont looked on track to lose a third straight game as well to Subiaco in Round 14 when trailing by 40 points during the third quarter, but the Tigers went on to win that game and now have completely dominated their opponents since.
That has seen Claremont beat Swan Districts by 97 points, Port Melbourne by 50 in the Foxtel Cup, West Perth by 119 and East Fremantle by 92 on Saturday in another top-of-the-table clash.
That now sees them sit a game and percentage clear on top of the ladder with just four games remaining and with captain Andrew Browne and Paul Medhurst to return to the line-up in coming weeks.
For now, though, the Tigers' focus is on the Foxtel Cup grand final this Thursday night before trying to secure the WAFL minor premiership.
THE BIG LOSERS
Peel Thunder had every opportunity to score its first win at home on Saturday against an undermanned West Perth coming off a thumping, but the Mandurah-based side failed to fire a shot.
Peel has done well winning games on the road this season against Swan Districts, Claremont, South Fremantle and Subiaco, but has been poor at home and that continued on Saturday.
West Perth had been hammered by 119 points by Claremont last week and lost Dan Hunt, Dion Fleay, Matt Guadagnin and Michael Pettigrew to take on the Thunder as well.
Peel also had the confidence of having beaten Wet Perth the last two times at Bendigo Bank Stadium, but West Perth won in Mandurah for the first time since 2009 and did so in style by 100 points.
While there were some good signs for Peel with debutant ruckman Kyle Westwood, eighth-gamer Toby Gianatti, eighth-gamer Liam McKenna, fourth-gamer Liam Hansen and debutant Scott Ugle, who kicked a goal with his first kick, it wasn’t enough to save the Thunder from firming for the wooden spoon.
THE SHINING LIGHTS
West Perth dominated Peel from the outset on Saturday to finish with 15 more scoring shots,11 more disposals, 29 more marks, 27 more hit outs and 16 extra entries inside-50.
Captain Jason Salecic was outstanding with 22 possessions, nine marks, five inside 50s and a goal with Andrew Strijk picking up 27 disposals and kicking three goals. Josh Mellington kicked four goals as well and debutant Brayden Antonio three and Anthony Tsalikis.
Anton Saylor, Brent LeCras, Jay van Berlo and Shane Nelson all kicked two goals. Nelson also picked up a game-high 34 possessions, Aaron Black (pictured) had 31, Steven Browne 25, Mark Hutchings 25, LeCras 24 and Ray Bartholomew 22.
It was a tough day for Peel, but Brendan Hancock and Brad Holmes kicked three goals apiece. Pat Travers and captain Brendon Jones had 20 possessions with Drew Robinson picking up 17, Matt Orzel 15, Toby Gianatti 15 and Liam McKenna 15.
Fremantle's Peter Faulks was Peel's best, though, in an under siege back-line finishing with 30 possessions and 10 marks.
East Perth had a solid 37-point win over Perth at Brownes Stadium on Saturday with Josh Smith and Adam Prior kicking three goals apiece, and Mat Seal (pictured), Garry Moss, Jarrad Oakley-Nicholls and Michael Swan two.
Freddie Clutterbuck picked up 34 possessions, Aaron Sweet 33, Seal 25, Daniel Macaulay 23, Oakley-Nicholls 22, Brett Dobson 20 and Don Stirling 20.
East Perth's two big men Paul Johnson and Zac Clarke also dominated former Royals Llane Spaanderman and Rob de Jongh. Johnson had 25 possessions, five marks, 22 hit outs and a goal with Clarke having 24 disposals, 11 marks, 17 hit outs and a goal.
Leon Davis and Joel Leeson both kicked two goals each for Perth with captain Ross Young gathering 28 possessions, Matt Tedesco also had 24 disposals, Alistair Smith 23, Matthew Rogers 18 and Aaron Elari 17.
West Coast's Fraser McInnes presented well to take eight marks, but managed just five behinds.
Tom Lee continued his outstanding form with Claremont by kicking five goals in Saturday's 92-point win over East Fremantle. Jack Bradshaw also kicked three goals, Brad Nisbett three, Chad Jones two and Jeremy McGovern two.
Jake Murphy picked up a game-high 35 possessions with Tom Swift also picking up 28 disposals, Kane Mitchell 27, Luke Blackwell 25, Rory Walton 22, Lewis Stevenson 22, Jarryd Morton 20 (pictured) and Byron Schammer 20. Andrew Ruck racked up 36 hit outs.
East Fremantle managed just four goals that came from Mark McGough, Rob Young, Koby Stevens and Sean Henson. Rory O'Brien collected 31 possessions, Bradd Dalziell 27, Sam Menegola 24, McGough 23, Steven Dodd 22 and Andrew Stephen 19.
Swan Districts came back from a four-goal half-time deficit to beat Subiaco by 33 points at Medibank Stadium with Ash Hansen finishing with seven goals. He was off target in the first half with 1.4, but turned it around in the second and finished with 18 possessions from 14 marks.
Dayle Garlett (pictured) also kicked four goals from 19 disposals and Tim Geappen kicked two to go with 22 touches, 13 marks and seven entries inside-50. Murray Newman also booted two goals.
Shaun Hildebrandt picked up 30 possessions, Marlon Motlop 27, Josh Roberts 26, Tom Roach 25, Tony Notte 23 and Wayde Twomey 19. West Coast's Andrew Embley picked up 16 possessions as did Fremantle's Lachie Neale.
Docker Jack Anthony booted five goals for Subiaco with Callum Sinclair booting three. Aidan Parker had 25 possessions and 10 marks with George Hampson collecting 20 disposals, Brett Mahoney 18 and Antoni Grover 17.
PUSHING FOR A SPOT
Subiaco's reserves beat Swan Districts by 14 points with Brant Chambers kicking four goals and Nick Hay three. Simon Moore racked up 27 disposals, Matthew Cullen 23, Michael Genovese 21 and Joel Ashman 20.
Leigh Kohlmann kicked five goals for Swan Districts and Ray Daniels three to go with his 22 disposals. Adam Faulkner also gathered 22 possessions, Jacob Burnham 20, Aidan Smith 17 and Matthew Jukes 17.
Claremont beat East Fremantle by 14 points in the reserves on Saturday at Claremont Oval with Clay McLernon, Mitch Andrews and Keifer Yu kicking two goals apiece for the Tigers. Captain Andrew Browne had 28 possessions, Alroy Gilligan 28 and Thomas Taylor 21.
Adrian Ricciardello kicked three goals for East Fremantle with Callum Leslie gathering 21 disposals, Kurt Tropiano 18 and Aiden Tropiano 18.
East Perth's reserves beat Perth in a thriller by two points with David Marinovich kicking three goals and Rowan Brookes two. Boston Williamson had 25 possessions, Brookes 23, Ashley Boyes 23 and Stephen Mansfield 22.
Ben Fraser kicked three goals for Perth, Joel Houghton two and Matt Moody two. Michael Edwards gathered 24 disposals, Ben Noakes 23, Cameron Manuel 20 and Matthew Hunt 20.
West Perth beat Peel by 50 points in the reserves with Matthew Johnson kicking four goals and former Royal Jamie Del Borrello three. Jay Tindall had 25 possessions, Laine Rasmussen 23, Jack Thrum 20, Joel Latham 20 and James Batterham 20.
Jesse Hockings kicked two goals for Peel with Ryan Herring picking up 20 possessions, Aden Field 19 and Jordan Wythes 15.