Sharks sink teeth into Royals
Rob Young takes a mark for the Sharks. Pic: Michael Wilson/WA News

East Fremantle have won through to next Sunday’s preliminary final after beating East Perth by 37 points in the first semifinal.

Only wayward kicking prevented a more lop-sided margin, the Sharks running out 16.15 (111) to 11.8 (74) at East Fremantle Oval.

Midfielders Rory O’Brien, Mark McGough and Sam Menegola, tall utility player Rob Young and defenders Tom Howlett, Mitch Brown and Andrew Stephen were prominent for the winners.

Royals ruckman Paul Johnson battled bravely against Sharks opponents Jonathon Griffin and Young, while midfielders Garry Moss, Nick Kommer, Craig Wulf, Aaron Sweet and goalsneak Mat Seal tried hard to keep the Royals in the game.

East Perth got the jump on their more-fancied opponents, Kommer and Seal kicking the first two goals of the match.

The Sharks steadied to rattle on the next four, Brock O’Brien, Young, Leith Teakle and Jack Perham finding range to give the home side a 15-point lead the first change.

A heated exchange involving most players took place on the quarter time siren after an incident involving Royals wingman Freddie Clutterbuck and East Fremantle’s Brad Cooper.

The Sharks, kicking with a two to three-goal breeze, started the second term sluggishly.

East Perth’s Adam Prior booted the first goal and it took a towering mark and goal from tall utility player Rob Young to get the Sharks back into the contest.

The match developed into an arm wrestle from that point.

Inaccurate kicking from East Fremantle kept the Royals in the game, the visitors edging to within 13 points mid-way through the stanza.

The Sharks rallied late in the quarter, Young, captain McGough and Richard Hadley kicking goals to give their team a 33-point lead.

Seal snapped his second goal on the half-time siren to reduce the margin to 27 points at half time.

Seal’s teammate Jarrad Oakley-Nicholls booted the first goal of the third quarter but Teakle, Brad Dick and Adam Waight responded to give East Fremantle a commanding 39-point advantage at three-quarter time.

Perth withstood a spirited East Perth challenge to win the reserves first semifinal 10.11 (71) to 8.10 (58) with Claremont taking out second semifinal 15.14 (104) to 6.7 (43).

The Tigers started the day well, winning the colts first semifinal 13.12 (90) to 7.5 (47).

South Fremantle took a big step towards claiming consecutive colts premierships, winning the second semifinal 15.10 (100) to 11.12 (78).

The West Australian

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