MEMORY LANE - Prelim Final Memories

 
Subiaco has one more chance to make it through to the 2017 WAFL Grand Final as they look to win this Sunday’s Preliminary Final against South Fremantle.
 
The Preliminary Final has often been a good one for Subiaco with a number of memorable performances and victories. This is our trip back memory lane ahead of Sunday’s big clash.
 
1931 – Subiaco 7.14 d East Perth 7.13
Subiaco’s first time in a Preliminary Final was a memorable one as they held off a fast finishing East Perth to win by a solitary point. Subiaco dominated the first quarter kicking 3.8 to nil and held a handy 23 point lead at the last change. East Perth stormed home but left the run too late as Subiaco held on for a famous win. Geoff Smith was recorded as the only multiple goal kicker on the day finishing with two goals.
 
1973 – Subiaco 18.13 d East Perth 17.9
Subiaco was looking to end a 49 year premiership drought in 1973 and were forced to make the decider with a hard fought and highly entertaining Preliminary Final win over East Perth. Subiaco led at every change, once again having to hold off a fast finishing East Perth to book their spot in the 1973 Grand Final. Subiaco broke the game open with an eight goal second quarter and held tight through a tense second half. Austen Robertson, Ron Bayens, Keith Watt and Mick Malone all kicked three goals in the win.
 
1988 – Subiaco 19.10 d East Fremantle 17.19
Subiaco and East Fremantle played out some memorable finals in the late 80s; but from a Subiaco perspective, the 1988 Preliminary Final might have been the best of them. Subiaco made the perfect start with an eight goal to two first quarter before East Fremantle dominated the next two quarters. The Grand Final looked a long way away from Subiaco at three quarter time when they trailed by 26 points. In a stunning final quarter burst though, Subiaco stormed back in contention getting within a goal with less than a minute left. In a grandstand finish, Garry Kemp kicked a goal in the final minute to put Subiaco in front and they held on for a famous three point win. John Georgiades kicked six goals including a match winning three in the final quarter while a young Brett Heady kicked four goals in the match.
 
2007 – Subiaco 25.14 d South Fremantle 10.9
Ten years ago it was these same two opponents that contested the Preliminary Final, the Lions and the Bulldogs. Nerves were high for Subiaco given they had lost their past five Preliminary Finals in less than a decade. After a nervous start, Subiaco nudged ahead at half time but the game was very much in the balance. Following half time though Subiaco produced one of its all time great finals halves as they kicked 17 goals to three, highlighted by an irresistible 11 goal burst in the third quarter. Brad Smith continued his dominant season with six goals while Marty Smith chipped in with four goals. Shaun Hildebrant had 31 possessions and Anthony Beattie 28 possessions while a young Daniel Rich kicked three goals in his finals debut.
 
2011 – Subiaco 8.8 d West Perth 5.11
A Preliminary Final berth appeared wishful thinking after round 12 of 2011 as Subiaco were anchored to seventh spot with just three wins. In one of the clubs great in-season turnarounds, the Lions won nine of their last 10 games to qualify for finals. Despite winning the first semi final a week previous, not many gave Subiaco a shot against West Perth who were one of the two dominant teams of 2011. However on a wet and windy day up at Joondalup, Subiaco gritted out a memorable low scoring win. Four goals to one in the third quarter broke the game open as Subiaco clung to a last quarter lead. George Hampson kicked three goals while Jason Bristow was outstanding finishing with 25 possessions and 10 tackles. Kyal Horsley was another star of the day with 32 possessions.
 
2014 – Subiaco 10.13 d East Fremantle 7.26
Fair to say Subiaco did not win this match as much as East Fremantle lost it with woeful goal kicking. Subiaco’s defence was the saviour of this match as despite East Fremantle having 59 forward 50 entries, the Lions held the Sharks to just seven goals. Wayde Twomey produced one of the great finals performances with 36 possessions, six marks and four forward entries. Shane Yarran kicked four goals and Chris Phelan had 27 possessions as both were crucial in the win. This match would be a great omen for things to come as Subiaco produced one of its most cherished Grand Final victories when they beat East Perth a week later in the 2014 Grand Final.

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