In the first Fremantle derby of 2018, South Fremantle defeated arch-rivals East Fremantle by 38 points at East Fremantle Oval on Sunday morning.
In wet and muddy conditions, the Sharks could not make the most of their forward 50 entries, booting four goals and 12 behinds as opposed to the Bulldogs who kicked 11 goals and eight behinds.
The result sees South Fremantle climb to fifth spot on the ladder, ahead of their showdown with the sixth-placed Claremont next weekend. On the other hand, the reigning premiers will be desperate to secure victory number two against Swan Districts.
Tom Weston scored the opening goal of the game for the Bulldogs, when he swooped on a loose ball inside 50 and snapped it through from a tough angle. A dubious 50m penalty saw Luke Moore nail South Fremantle’s second goal. East Fremantle had their chances in the first quarter but could only register three behinds. Against the run of play, Weston floated a kick forward, which ultimately ended up on the chest of Malachi Walley. The Fremantle City Dockers junior went back and slotted South’s third goal of the quarter. In the dying seconds of the quarter, Weston snapped through his second goal to give the Bulldogs a 23-point advantage.
Following some stirring words by the East Fremantle coaching staff, the Sharks came out firing. In the 4th minute, Dillon O’Reilly danced his way around Enrique Aiken-Featherstone and chiselled a pass to Trey Ruscoe. The Booragoon junior duly converted for East Fremantle’s first goal of the game. Eric Botha responded for the visitors when he bombed it from beyond 50m out – particularly impressive considering the awful conditions. After swooping onto a loose ball Zach Wilkinson banged it through to reduce the margin to just 15 points.
South Fremantle started the second half very strongly when Botha kicked a goal within the first minute. In the eighth minute Milan Murdock snapped the ball out of a pack to bring the Sharks back within 14 points, however, Weston scored the instant reply when he roved a pack expertly and snapped through his fourth goal. In the last two minutes, O’Reilly soccered through his first goal after a South Fremantle defender dropped a mark in the goal square. And the margin was just 10 points!
However, the final quarter was all red and white. In the eighth minute, Moore starred when he crashed a pack, roved his own ball, shrugged off a defender and then found Kyle Hamersley inside 50. The Wagin product then finished off what was some mesmerising play. Four minutes later, Weston took a solid diving mark and kicked his fourth goal of the game. Michael Redman and Lachlan Feeney both kicked goals to help the Dogs run out convincing victors.
Below were the notable players in the game.
TOM JOYCE/EAST FREMANTLE/MIDFIELD/180cm/68kg
The AFL Academy member showed why he is such a highly rated prospect with a brilliant wet weather game. He accumulated 21 possessions, laid eight tackles and recorded five inside 50s to try and inspire his team-mates. His ferocious attack on the man and the ball is remarkable considering his size.
MILAN MURDOCK/EAST FREMANTLE/MIDFIELD/170cm/68kg
The East Fremantle Power junior was arguably the Sharks’ best player with 21 possessions, a game-high 14 tackles, three inside 50s and a brilliant goal when he snapped the ball out of a pack in the third quarter. Despite being a smaller midfielder, Murdock never shirks a contest.
COREY ROBINSON/EAST FREMANTLE/MIDFIELD/179cm/70kg
The Aquinas College student was again solid for the Sharks through the middle of the ground. He collected a game-high 24 possessions (20 kicks, four handballs), recorded six inside 50s and produced five strong tackles to try and will his team to victory.
JEREMY SHARP/EAST FREMANTLE/WING/187cm/73kg
The 2017 WA U16s’ State Academy member was incredibly silky considering the awful conditions. He composed his way to 22 possessions, five inside 50s and two marks in another stunning performance. Still only 16-years-old, Sharp’s draft stocks for 2019 are soaring.
KYLE HAMERSLEY/SOUTH FREMANTLE/MIDFIELD/185cm/81kg
The Wagin product was again exceptional for South Fremantle. He racked up 21 possessions, took two marks, laid two tackles, recorded two inside 50s and booted a goal in a dazzling display. Hamersley is very quickly making a name for himself as one of the best midfield prospects in this draft.
LUKE MOORE/SOUTH FREMANTLE/HALF-FORWARD/180cm/84kg
Arguably the best player on the ground, Moore showcased why he such a highly damaging half-forward flanker. His link-up play, aggression at the contest and silky skills make a match-up nightmare. Against the Sharks he collected a team-high 23 possessions, grabbed a game-high nine marks, laid six tackles, recorded five inside 50s and booted a goal.
JACK MUSIKA/SOUTH FREMANTLE/MIDFIELD/176cm/69kg
The 17-year-old was again solid for the Bulldogs with 18 possessions, four tackles and two marks against East Fremantle. His willingness to absorb contact and make a decision under pressure is elite for someone of his stature and age.
REGAN SPOONER/SOUTH FREMANTLE/UTILITY/191cm/85kg
He only gathered eight possessions but they were all quality, and they were complemented not obly by his ability to tap the ball out of packs to an open team-mate, but also by his victory-inspiring tally of five tackles.
TOM WESTON/SOUTH FREMANTLE/FORWARD/187cm/78kg
The East Fremantle junior was electrifying in the forward 50 for South Fremantle. He booted a career-high four goals from nine possessions. He also grabbed four marks and laid three tackles in a sizzling performance.