Preliminary Final Wrap
Monday, 17th September 2012
By Chris Pike
EAST Fremantle has won all three preliminary finals at Steel Blue Oval to advance to the grand final in the colts, reserves and league following the senior team's 27-point victory over Swan Districts.
All the attention was on the league preliminary final, and after making a bright start East Fremantle led by as much as 42 points in the third quarter and then withstood a Swan Districts fight back to end up winning 13.23 (101) to 11.8 (74).
The 27-point victory qualifies East Fremantle for its first grand final since the 2000 loss to East Perth with the Sharks aiming for a first premiership since 1998 against Claremont next Sunday.
After the Sharks led by 42 points late in the third quarter, Swan Districts kicked five consecutive goals either side of three quarter-time, with Ryan Davis playing a starring role, to close to within 13 points.
However, the Sharks steadied with late goals to Rory and Brock O'Brien to end up 27-point winners to advance to the grand final while Swan Districts bows out in straight sets after finishing in second position. It was a vast improvement on the six-win season of 2011 though.
East Fremantle did not have a player who didn’t make a good contribution and it was the one with the least on the stats sheet, West Coast defender Mitch Brown, who perhaps had the biggest impact of all as he held Ash Hansen to just one goal.
The whole East Fremantle defence was outstanding, though, with Steven Dodd doing well on Tim Geappen and Brad Cooper, Andrew Stephen and Tom Howlett offering tremendous support.
In the middle, captain Mark McGough was inspirational with his work rate all day to finish with 29 possessions. Wingman Sean Henson also had 26 touches and eight entries inside-50, Bradd Dalziell 28 disposals, Rory O'Brien 24 and Koby Stevens 21.
Brad Dick kicked three goals as well with Sam Menegola and Brock O'Brien kicking two each. East Fremantle could have won by more with straighter kicking with Brock O'Brien the worst culprit finishing with 2.7 while Leith Teakle had three behinds and Dalziell two.
It was a tough day for Swan Districts but Davis was lively up forward all afternoon kicking four goals with Tim Geappen, Tom Roach and Dayle Garlett adding two apiece.
Fremantle's Lachie Neale worked hard to pick up 33 possessions with Marlon Motlop also gathering 25, Shaun Hildebrandt 22 and captain Josh Roberts 20.
In his 100th game, Justin Simpson was outstanding in defence and picked up 22 touches while also taking nine marks. Graham Jetta had 20 touches as well with Tallan Ames being as rock solid as usual.