East Fremantle spoilt Darren Rumble’s 200 game celebrations and entrenched themselves in the top four with a grinding win over Subiaco today.
The nine-point win, 11.5 (71) to 8.14 (62), was East Fremantle’s fifth consecutive victory and leaves them three matches ahead of West Perth who have a game in hand.
Played in tough conditions at the boggy Medibank Stadium, Subiaco controlled the midfield battle for much of the match and recorded 60 inside 50s to the visitors’ 36.
But Subiaco were not able to find a way to score with spearhead Matt Boland blanketed by Matthew Jupp for all but a three-goal burst in the third term and George Hampson kept to just eight touches by Sam Read.
Brett Peake proved the difference for the Sharks with four majors, including the sealer just before time-on in the last term.
There was little surprise that East Fremantle’s two mudlarks – Mark McGough and Rory O’Brien – relished the heavy track to gather more than 30 possessions apiece.
O’Brien wore Ryan Wade’s tight tag all afternoon but finished with 33 touches while McGough’s muscle and experience was crucial in the grueling last term when he had 11 of his 35 disposals.
The Lions finally bared their teeth in the third term when Rhys Waters’ second major gave the home team a brief lead in the torrential rain before Bradd Dalziell’s neat snap on the siren gave East Fremantle a four-point buffer.
Subiaco peppered the goals in the opening two terms but were unable to gain any great traction in the boggy conditions with four set shots within 40m all proving wayward.
The game was played primarily in Subiaco’s forward line but that gave East Fremantle room to move and they rebounded the length of the ground several times to score important goals.
Both teams lost key players in the first half with Jarrad Kayler-Thomson out of action for Subiaco with a dislocated shoulder while Sharks defender Brock O’Brien tore a hamstring after a vibrant start to the match.
Shane Yarran was a late withdrawal for the Lions with James Garcia taking his place.
Garcia proved a handy replacement for the livewire forward with a goal in the first half and a strong presence in attack.
|GOALS – EAST FREMANTLE: Peake 4; McNamara, Perham, Eardley, Schofield, Lester-Smith, Dalziell, Young. SUBIACO: Boland 3; Waters 2; DeLuca, Hampson, Garcia.|
BEST – EAST FREMANTLE: McGough, R O’Brien, Peake, Read, Jupp, Schofield. SUBIACO: Bristow, Horsley, Phelan, Hildebrandt, McDougall.