WAFLW Preliminary Final Preview

Friday, September 6, 2019 - 3:47 PM by Chris Pike

SWAN Districts is on fire at the right time of the year in the inaugural WAFL Women's season and now one more win in Saturday's preliminary final against Subiaco and they are through to the Grand Final.

Swans are now in their best form of the season having won four straight matches including a thumping win at home over Claremont in last Sunday's first semi-final against Claremont.

That moves Swan Districts into this Saturday's preliminary final against Subiaco and a win for the black-and-whites will see them through to the Grand Final and feeling good about their chances of winning the first ever WAFLW premiership.

One team is already through to the inaugural WAFL Women's Grand Final for 2019 and now their opponents will be decided on Saturday afternoon at Leederville with Subiaco taking on Swan Districts.

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The Optus WAFLW Finals Series got underway last Sunday and in the second semi-final, East Fremantle defeated Subiaco at Leederville Oval in the second semi-final to see the Sharks move straight into the Grand Final.

The first semi-final then took place at Steel Blue Oval and it was Swan Districts who delivered a dominant performance to beat Claremont and keep their season alive while eliminating the Tigers.

What those results on Sunday did was set up this Saturday's WAFLW preliminary final to be played at Leederville Oval between Subiaco and Swan Districts.

The winner will advance to the WAFLW Grand Final next Saturday against East Fremantle at Lathlain's Mineral Resources Park while the loser's season will come to an end so it's all on the line.

Subiaco and Swan Districts met one another three times during the home and away season. That saw Subiaco win by 29 points at Steel Blue Oval in Round 1 before Swans got a win back in Round 9 by 14 points also at the Bassendean venue.

It was then a one-point heart stopper last time they met in Round 11 at Leederville Oval. Subiaco won 6.6 (42) to 6.5 (41) but if that is a sign of what's to come in Saturday's preliminary final, then we are in for a treat.

Even though Subiaco finished the season in top spot with a 9-3 record and a massive percentage, and Swan Districts were third at 7-5, it does appear an even contest heading into Saturday's preliminary final.

While Subiaco did end the season as minor premiers, including last week's loss to East Fremantle and the Lions have won just two of their past four matches so they haven’t been in as dominant form as they were in the first half of the first ever WAFLW season.

Meanwhile at Swan Districts, they enter the preliminary final on a four-match winning streak since that Round 11 loss by one-point to Subiaco.

They have been dominant performances by Swans too with a 52-point win against Claremont, six-point win over East Fremantle, 66-point win against Peel Thunder and then last week a 41-point triumph over Claremont in the first semi-final.

Not only are the teams evenly matched but they are both full of exciting talent which further sets the stage for what should be a contest well worth checking out.

The Subiaco team includes plenty of high-quality players led Hayley Miller but then including young goalkicker Tarnee Tester and new West Coast Eagles signing Danika Pisconeri. 

There's also new Fremantle signing Lindal Rohde and when you throw in the likes of Lara Filocamo, Courtney Stubbs, Beatrice Devlyn, Claire Ortlepp, Rachel Ortlepp and a host of other quality players, and it's easy to see why they finished on top of the ladder. 

As for Swan Districts, they aren’t shy on star power either led by Fremantle star Ebony Antonio as captain and then gun forward Gemma Houghton in attack. 

Throw in speedster Ashley Sharp, emerging ruck Mim Strom, new West Coast Eagles signing Emily McGuire and a core made up of Kellie Gibson, Mikayla Bowen, Mikayla and Brianna Hyde, Imahra Cameron, Shanae Davison, Stephanie Caine, Lauren Osborne and Angelique Stannett, and it's easy to see why Swans are entering the preliminary final in such impressive form.

Swan Districts coach Kara Donnellan can't wait for the challenge up against Subiaco with the Grand Final the prize at the end of Saturday afternoon.

"With the AFLW girls on limited games and players on state 18s commitments as well, we haven’t met each other at full strength," Donnellan said.

"The last time we played them we both had a few outs, so it will be a really tough challenge this week. That’s why you play footy, to play good quality sides which will happen this weekend."

The stage is now set for Saturday afternoon at Leederville Oval as East Fremantle awaits to find out if it's Subiaco or Swan Districts, they will play in the first ever WAFLW Grand Final.

OPTUS WAFLW FINAL SERIES

PRELIMINARY FINAL
SWAN DISTRICTS v SUBIACO – LEEDERVILLE OVAL, SATURDAY 2.00PM