Last time we met: South Fremantle

Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 10:56 AM


SUBIACO 14.13 (97) defeated SOUTH FREMANTLE 10.3 (63)

It was quite the arm-wrestle if you take out a 12-minute burst in the third quarter, but that's all Subiaco needed to set up a match-winning advantage and ultimately beat South Fremantle in Sunday's second semi-final.

The two teams locked horns with a Grand Final spot on the line at Leederville Oval and they were certainly no strangers to meeting in finals in recent years having played in the second semi-finals of 2016 and 2018, and preliminary final of 2017.

South Fremantle had also handed Subiaco its only loss since the 2017 Grand Final at Leederville Oval in Round 6 this year so all signs were pointing to a tremendous contest.

And that's what it was outside of that 12-minute burst in the third quarter. But in that period, Subiaco piled on six goals in a blistering display of what they are capable of.

That saw the Lions end up leading by as much as 52 points late in the contest before winning 14.13 (97) to 10.3 (63).

Subiaco now moves straight into a sixth straight Grand Final while South Fremantle plays Claremont in Sunday's preliminary final at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.

Subiaco made a good start with Max Walters kicking the first goal of the second semi-final and the Lions had the first two when Thomas Edwards-Baldwin also kicked truly. 

But South Fremantle steadied well in general play and then goals to Jacob Dragovich and Shaun Bewick, after some incredibly hard running, saw scores all tied up by quarter-time.

Harry Marsh turned out to be Subiaco's move forward in the absence of the suspended Ryan Borchet and he kicked the first goal of the third quarter but South Fremantle responded thanks to the left boot of Kade Stewart.

Edwards-Baldwin would add his second but the Bulldogs again answered through Mason Shaw and the Lions were up by just four points at the main break.

It was still just a five-point game by midway through the third quarter but then Subiaco made its move and by three quarter-time, had put the game out of reach of the Bulldogs following a stunning burst.

Having been well held all day by Noah Strom, Bernie Naylor Medallist Ben Sokol kicked two goals in two minutes for the Lions. 

Then Rhys Waters caught fire in remarkable fashion to kick four goals over the next nine minutes and suddenly Subiaco had kicked six goals in 12 minutes and a five-point lead had ballooned to 42 by three quarter-time.

Subiaco went up by 48 points to start the last term as well with a third goal to Edwards-Baldwin. South Fremantle got a couple back through Shaw and Chad Pearson but then Sokol kicked a third to steady the Lions.

South Fremantle ended up kicking four of the last six goals including the last three, but all that did was cut the final margin to 34 points with Subiaco winning 14.13 (97) to 10.3 (63).

Subiaco had to juggle around its forward-line a little with Ryan Borchet out suspended and while Ben Sokol had a fascinating battle with Noah Strom, the Bernie Naylor Medallist still kicked three goals from 12 touches and eight marks.

Rhys Waters kicked his four goals in the space of nine minutes in the third quarter while Thomas Edwards-Baldwin made the most of his opportunities kicking three goals too.

With Josh Deluca no longer there, Subiaco needed someone to step up in the midfield too and that man proved to be Ben Newton who was outstanding with 28 possessions, eight inside 50s, four tackles and a goal.

Max Walters continued his outstanding form too with 24 possessions, six tackles, six inside 50s and a goal while captain Leigh Kitchin finished with 23 disposals and 10 tackles, and Kyal Horsley 22 touches, 10 tackles and eight inside 50s.

Greg Clark also had 20 possessions while Justin Joyce was instrumental not only with his 17 disposals and six marks but with his smarts and hardness a standout.

Lachlan Delahunty had 18 possessions, 10 tackles and 28 hit outs in a fascinating ruck battle with Brock Higgins while down back Jordan Lockyer, Drew Rohde, Hayden Kennedy and Heal were particularly effective.