Tuesday, September 1, 2020 - 8:26 PM by Chris Pike

IT has been a challenging inaugural WAFL Women's season for South Fremantle but the Bulldogs delivered their best performance in the final round on Sunday to push minor premiers Subiaco all the way.

It was at times a rude awakening to the world of the WAFL Women's competition for South Fremantle on short notice of them entering for the 2020 season, but the signs have been growing over the opening six rounds.

The Bulldogs were virtually getting better each week and they then saved their most encouraging performance for last on Sunday against a Subiaco team that has finished clear on top of the WAFLW ladder for the second straight season.

It was a top against bottom affair with neither team able to move in the final game of the home and away WAFL Women's season, but Subiaco were made to work hard as South Fremantle produced their best performance of 2020.

Subiaco was guaranteed of finishing with the minor premiership for the second straight WAFLW season no matter the result of Sunday's game at Leederville Oval while South Fremantle were also anchored to bottom spot no matter the result.

That didn’t stop both teams from producing an entertaining affair with Subiaco forced to work for the win ahead of the finals while South Fremantle will take great heart from their most competitive showing of their inaugural WAFLW season.

South Fremantle's goals came courtesy of Sarah Wright, Chae-Lee Salbie, Jaymi Karapetkov, Lauren Vecchio and Zoe Huggett.

Tahlia McRoberts, Vecchio, Kiara Templeman, Mia Strom and Tahlia Holtze were among the other players to impress for the Bulldogs.

The signs were ominous by quarter-time that it wouldn’t be a promising end to the season that South Fremantle was after.

Subiaco dominated the opening quarter with the only nine scoring shots to kick four goals and to take a 29-point advantage into the quarter-time huddle.

To South Fremantle's credit they were able to stay after the scoreless opening term and go on to outscore Subiaco in the second with two goals to one and to close the gap to 24 points by half-time.

The encouraging signs continued for South Fremantle after half-time as well with the Bulldogs kicking two goals to just one from the Lions in the third quarter, and then they kicked the only goal of the last quarter as well.

While Subiaco still won 6.11 (47) to 5.3 (33) to finish the season in top spot with a 6-1 record, South Fremantle will now be able to head into the off-season and prepare for 2021 with confidence knowing they have finished off with their best performance from their first season in the WAFLW competition.

Playing-coach Amy Lavell had a good afternoon for Subiaco with three goals to be the only multiple goal kicker in the game. Tiah Haynes, Aimee Schmidt and Maggie MacLachlan all kicked a goal each for the Lions.

Tarnica Golisano, Holly Hyder, Abbey Dowrick, Lauren Jeffers and Lindal Rohde were all strong players for Subiaco as well. 

It was a league WAFLW debut for Jeffers who has also had a distinguished basketball career including winning an SBL championship at the Perry Lakes Hawks in 2017 and spending time in the WNBL with the West Coast Waves.

Meanwhile, South Fremantle's reserves team took on Claremont at Revo Fitness Stadium also on Sunday and that wasn’t a day to remember with the Tigers winning 15.27 (117) to 0.0 (0).

It was a better outcome for South Fremantle's Youth Girls team on Saturday night, though, with the Bulldogs beating East Perth 12.9 (81) to 3.4 (22) in the Rogers Cup game at Leederville Oval.

While South Fremantle WAFLW and Reserves teams won't play finals now, the Youth Girls team will and they will play Peel Thunder now in the second semi-final on Sunday at Leederville Oval from 10.30am.

The Bulldogs did well to finish with a 6-1 record in the Rogers Cup to finish in second position and now earn a double chance in the finals. A win on Sunday and they are straight into the Grand Final or a loss and they will play in the preliminary final against either Claremont or East Fremantle.


SOUTH FREMANTLE        0.0    2.1    4.2    5.3    (33)
SUBIACO            4.5    5.7    6.10    6.11    (47)

SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Wright, Salbie, Karapetkov, Vecchio, Huggett.
Best: McRoberts, Vecchio, Templeman, Strom, Holtze.
SUBIACO– Goals: Lavell 3; Haynes, Schmidt, MacLachlan.
Best: Golisano, Hyder, Dowrick, Jeffers, Rohde.