Bulldogs make it 7 straight with 45-point derby victory

Monday, August 7, 2017 - 12:44 PM by Chris Pike
SOUTH Fremantle had to overcome a spirited East Fremantle at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday but came away with the 45-point win to make it seven on the trot this WAFL season.
Following South Fremantle's 145-point WA Day Foundation Derby hammering of East Fremantle, neither team expected anything close to the same coming into Saturday's contest in the last derby contest of 2017.
East Fremantle certainly was far more committed and looked capable of being vastly more competitive, which they were, but South Fremantle went on goal kicking sprees at the end of the opening three quarters to maintain a handy lead.
That ended up seeing South Fremantle come away with the solid 22.9 (141) to 15.6 (96) victory with the margin exactly 100 points fewer than back on WA Day at East Fremantle Oval.
East Fremantle's cause wasn’t helped with the loss of Josh Cuneo and George Hampson to hamstring injuries, but South Fremantle also lost centre half-back Blayne Wilson to a hamstring complaint of his own.
The victory was a seventh straight on the season for South Fremantle with the Bulldogs improving to a 14-4 record and guaranteed of finishing in second position, hosting a qualifying final and having a finals double chance.
By being more competitive and losing by just 45 points with Perth going down to Claremont at the same time by 99, East Fremantle again got off the bottom of the ladder courtesy of percentage.
Brock Higgins again shone in the ruck for South Fremantle delivering just about his second straight best on ground performance in his 99th WAFL appearance. He ended the day with 22 possessions, 52 hit outs, eight inside-50 entries, six tackles and four marks.
South Fremantle's midfielders benefited greatly from his good work with Shane Hockey racking up another 31 possessions, Tim Kelly 30 (seven tackles, six inside 50s, one goal) and Dylan Main 22 (seven tackles, one goal).
Steven Edwards continued his blistering form out of defence not only continuing to do well when required defensively but then compiling 24 possessions, five tackles and a brilliant running goal.
Steve Verrier ended up with 27 disposals for the Bulldogs, Ryan Cook 24, Jarrod Garlett 20, Blaine Johnson 19, Mason Shaw 18 (nine marks), Matthew Parker 17 and Tom Vandeleur 17.
Shaw also kicked four goals for South Fremantle, Ben Saunders three in his 100th WAFL appearance, Haiden Schloithe two, Cory Dell'Olio two, Johnson two, Cook two, Parker two and Vandeleur two. They were Vandeleur's first two goals for the Bulldogs since returning to the club to start 2016.
East Fremantle came out a spirited outfit and desperate to make up for what happened back on WA Day while also having the motivation of still being able to avoid the wooden spoon in 2017. On the back of that the Sharks kicked the first two goals of the contest thanks to Jonathon Marsh and Ambrose Ryan.
It took 10 minutes for South Fremantle to kick its first goal and it was last week's debutant Parker who continued from where he left off by taking a strong mark and kicking truly.
But East Fremantle responded with the next two goals through Matthew Watson and captain Jamie McNamara to give the Sharks an impressive start with four of the first five goals of the game.
South Fremantle was able to stem the tide, though, and with the last three goals of the first term in the final eight minutes thanks to Vandeleur, Shaw and then a second Parker and scores were all tied up at quarter-time.
The Bulldogs then continued that momentum to start the second term firstly when captain Cook was left alone at centre half-forward to kick truly from just inside-50. Schloithe then showed his forward-line nous to mark on the lead and go back to goal.
That saw South Fremantle lead by 12 points having kicked five goals in succession but East Fremantle wasn’t going to go away on this occasion. The Sharks kicked the next three goals through Jack Perham, Hampson and Tom Bennett to be back on top to the tune of seven points.
Again the Bulldogs responded late in the quarter with the last four goals in the space of five minutes with Dell'Olio, Shaw, Cook and Vandeleur all booting majors to give the home team a 19-point advantage at half-time.
South Fremantle then started the third quarter strongly to make it six goals on the trot after Schloithe and Johnson both kicked early majors. That saw the Bulldogs go from seven points down 21 minutes into the second term to leading by 31 points five minutes into the third.
East Fremantle big men Cameron Symonds and Watson did combine for their team's three goals in the third term, but South Fremantle pulled away again late with four goals in the final six minutes with Main, Dell'Olio, Johnson and Saunders all helping give the Bulldogs a 45-point buffer.
Both teams managed to kick five goals apiece in an attacking and free-flowing final quarter but in the end the final margin was the same as it was at three quarter-time with South Fremantle winning by 45 points.
South Fremantle's colts began the day impressively at Fremantle Community Bank Oval upsetting the ladder-leading East Fremantle with the 14.8 (92) to 11.8 (74) victory.
Lachlan Feeney, Jonathon Frampton and Kyle Hamersley all kicked three goals each or South Fremantle with Ryan Burrows booting two.
Feeney also gathered 21 disposals for the Bulldogs, Matthew Ward 19, Jarren Colpitts 18, Zane Sumich 18, Burrows 16 and Hamersley 16.
South Fremantle's ladder-leading reserves also had a strong 18.17 (125) to 8.4 (52) win over East Fremantle at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday.
Jarrod Parry, Daniel Burke, Andre Coutinho, Caleb Datson and Mitch Dzelebdzic all booted two goals apiece for South Fremantle.
Brendan Verrier racked up 41 possessions, Jake Florenca 33, Parry 29, Josh Collard 26, Kyle Russell 20, Datson 19, Brandon Donaldson 18 and Zac Strom 18.
Josh Branchi was impressive in his first full game back from a knee reconstruction with 21 disposals, 10 marks and 33 hit outs.
South Fremantle is guaranteed of finishing in second position and of hosting the qualifying final in the opening week of the finals. 
But with plenty of pressure on for spots in the Bulldogs team, there will be no taking it easy over the last two games starting on Saturday against a desperate Claremont at Claremont Oval.
SOUTH FREMANTLE 4.1 10.4 17.8 22.9 (141)
EAST FREMANTLE 4.1 7.3 10.5 15.6 (96)
SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Shaw 4; Saunders 3; Schloithe, Dell'Olio, Johnson, Vandeleur, Cook, Parker 2; Kelly, Edwards, Main.
Best: Higgins, Edwards, Hockey, Kelly, Verrier, Shaw, Cook.
EAST FREMANTLE – Goals: Watson 4; Perham 3; McNamara, Marsh, Hampson, Schofield, Symonds, Kalajzic, Bennett, Ryan.
Best: Marsh, Watson, Schofield, Stephen, Jupp, Perham.