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.
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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.
Chris Bishop professional commercial, landscape & travel photographer based in Perth, Western Australia.