East Fremantle celebrated the 100-game milestone of co-captain Andrew Stephen with an exciting nine-point win against Perth at Lathlain Park today.
The Sharks trailed by four points at three-quarter time and nine after Demons forward Mitch Morton kicked his fifth goal of the match in the first minute of the final term.
But the visitors booted the last three goals to snatch a 13.12 (90) to 12.9 (81) victory in a game of fluctuating fortunes to stay in touch with the top four.
Stephen played 50 games in the colts and 50 in the reserves before making his league debut in 2008.
The 25-year-old did well in defence, combining with effectively with Steven Dodd, Brock O’Brien and Tom Howlett.
Stephen, Dodd, O’Brien and Howlett could all line up for WA in next Saturday’s match against the NEAFL in Sydney after being named in the Black Swans squad two weeks ago.
Dodd improved his chances of playing next weekend with a tight-checking effort against another WA squad member, Perth captain Paul Bevan.
Morton bounced back to his best form, kicking three goals in the first quarter for the Demons.
Perth kicked the first four goals of the match, the Sharks responding with the next three to reduce the margin to four points at the first change.
The home team raced to a 24-point lead after booting the first three goals of the second term.
East Fremantle hit back with goals to Brett Peake, Jamie McNamara, Rory O’Brien and James Bristow giving the visitors the lead for the first time in the dying minutes of the first half.
Three of the last four goals of the third quarter gave Demons fans some hope before their hopes were dashed in the final stanza.
East Fremantle won both minor grades, taking out the reserves by 54 points and the colts by six points.
League regulars Aidan Tropiano, Aaron Edwards and Richard Bourne did well for the Sharks reserves along with Jake Schliecher.
Tropiano had 32 possessions, four marks, five tackles and three inside 50s to stake his claim for a recall to the senior side.
Bourne kicked four goals while Edwards had 26 possessions, seven marks and booted two goals to signal a return to league ranks isn’t far away.
|GOALS – EAST FREMANTLE: Peake 4; Dalziell, Young 2; McGough, McNamara, R O’Brien, T Bristow, J Bristow. PERTH: M Morton 5; Leeson 2; Busher, Eyres, Brookes, Power, Keast.|
BEST – EAST FREMANTLE: Dalziell, R O’Brien, Dodd, Peake, Stephen, T Bristow. PERTH: C Morton, M Morton, Ugle, White, Leeson, Sinclair.