The ANZAC day derby between port rivals East Fremantle and South Fremantle is on of the key fixtures in the WAFL calendar. The two teams are at opposite ends of the ladder with Fremantle hoping to go one game better than last years grand final loss while the Bulldogs are under seige and yet to register their first win of the 2013 WAFL Season six games into the season in what is their worst start in over 40 years.
Wearing special guernseys to commemorate Australia's armed forces the Sharks seemed to control the game after a tight first quarter which saw the home team lead by three points at the first break. James Bayliss and Mark McGough led from the front for the Sharks with 31 & 28 possessions respectively, while Sean Henson kicked 4 majors in a solid performance. For the South Fremantle Bulldogs Mitch Banner and Ryan Cook seemed to have the ball on a string with 34 and 29 possessions while the evergreen and former East Freo Shark Kris Miller totalled 26 possessions in his milestone match.
The second half saw the visitors over run the less experienced Bulldogs running out 12.11 (83) to 7.12 (54) 39 point winners.
Well it's here at last...The WAFL season has started, every club with a sense of optimism and purpose determined to stay at the right end of the ladder. A 2 game first week (If someone could explain that to me i'd be grateful) saw Subiaco show they're keen win one more game than last year with the 2011 Grand Finalists beating West Perth Falcons and the Perth Demons taking it right up to Claremont Tigers until three quarter time.
The final quarter at Brownes stadium saw the Tigers over run the Demons with the classy midfield dominating the stoppages and running away to win: 101 - 59. But the signs were very positive for the Demons who showed great pressure and composure in stifling heat. It was also the first game with the Demons new major sponsor "Provident" who have joined the football club.
Ross Young was typically dominant for the Perth Demons with a 29 possession display while for the Claremont Tigers Kane Mitchell was outstanding with 28 touches and 3 tackles.
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Saturday the 17th July saw the league leaders (West Perth Falcons) visit the port city to take on finals bound South Fremantle Bulldogs in a game that would prove to be the match of the round.
West Perth jumped straight out of the blocks with a fast start and held a 40 point lead at half time. The comfortable lead would be short lived after the main break with the Bulldogs storming back into contention with the midfield engine of Kris Miller, Toby Bairstow, Ashton Hams providing much of the grunt work while Callum Wilson was sensational with 8 of his 9 goals in the second half.
In the end the steady hands and AFL experience of a heavily topped up Falcons team proved too much as they held out for a 135 - 118 victory. Andrew Strijk led a balanced scoring attack with four goals.
West Perth return to the comfortable surrounds of Arena Joondalup for an important home fixture vs the much improved Perth Demons while South Fremantle get a chance to regroup ahead of the final stretch of the season with a bye.
You can view the full photography gallery here
Another Monday, Foundation day public holiday another classic Fremantle WAFL Derby. After taking the honours on their home ground, the South Fremantle Bulldogs came in wanting to make it two in a row over their arch rivals.
Meanwhile the East Fremantle Sharks, winners of 5 straight games including upset wins over the undefeated West Perth Falcons were confident of continuing their strong vein of form.
The game ended up being a classic arm wrestle with the visitors over running the Sharks in the last quarter to win: 88 - 71. Theo Adams was dominant throughout the game to finish with 32 touches while Ryan Cook worked tirelessly for his 30 touches.
For the East Fremantle Sharks, Rory O'Brien and Koby Stevens were impressive in the middle with 32 and 31 touches respectively. In the end the Sharks needed more help on the scoreboard with Brock O'Brien kicking 7 of the Sharks 11 goals.
Next week sees the Sharks given a solid opportunity to rebound with another home match against the much improved Perth Demons while the Bulldogs also have a home fixture over the struggling Swan Districts.
You can view the full gallery of the Foundation Day Derby here.
Last weekend saw the East Fremantle Sharks overcome a 5 goal deficit at quarter time to eventually overrun the East Perth Royals in the final quarter.
Sports photography offers a wide gamut of photographic opportunites if look at the game from a different angle. Normally sports photographers are concerned with whats going on between the start and the end whistle on the pitch, court of field of play. Its true that this offer great opportunities to capture athletes at the peak of physical activity, tackling, shooting, running in what ever the sport may be. However if you confine youself to this your missing out on some great opportunities in other facets of the game.
One of my favourite places for excellent sports portrait photography is in the team huddles between quarters. It's here where a lot of emotion can be picked up on the faces of players and in particular coaches. In the photos above i have included a picture of both the East Perth Royals coach Tony Micale and the East Fremantle Sharks Coach Steve Malaxos. The photograph of the East Perth Royals huddle is taken by putting a fish eye lens on the top of my monopod and raising over the huddle on the timer setting. I particularly like this shot with Tony looking towards the playing group and his players circled around him.
The photo if Steve Malaxos was taken with him addressing his troops at three quarter time just before the fightback to overrun the Royals in the last quarter. In this shot Steve was adjusting the matchups on the whiteboard. The intensity in his eyes makes for a strong "action" portrait.
Finally I also like to photograph the crowd if i get the opportunity in a match. The shot of this passionate sharks fan is one of my favourites and i love his expression jumping out of his chair after another goal.
Well the result didn't go the Sharks way with Claremont Tigers too classy in the end. The East Fremantle Sharks were in the game at 3/4 time only being a couple of goals down, but Claremont ran away with the game in the last quarter winning by 36 points.
Photography was difficult today as the light was constantly changing between over overcast, little bits of rain and bright sunshine. Check out the gallery online now: http://www.chrisbishopphotography.com.au/wafl---round-16---sharks-vs-tigers.html
Saturday afternoon was raining goals at East Fremantle oval as the Sharks thrashed the Peel Thunder by 132 points in their largest ever victory against the Mandurah based team. Steven Dodd was brilliant both forward and back for the Sharks who raced away from the Thunder who were competitive until quarter time.
From a photography standpoint Saturday was the first game that has been overcast all season. A sports photographers job is always easier when you don't have the harsh shadows from the sun to contend with. It also means you can position yourself wherever you want to on the oval which enables better angles.
Chris Bishop professional commercial, landscape & travel photographer based in Perth, Western Australia.