The West

Master McGough to face an anxious wait
Mark McGough is reported. Pic: Sharon Smith/WA News

UPDATE: East Fremantle captain Mark McGough is free to play in Sunday's WAFL Grand Final after a striking charge against him was withdrawn this morning.

The former Collingwood and St Kilda squad member was booked for striking after a third-quarter clash with Tony Notte in the Sharks' 27-point preliminary final win over Swan Districts yesterday.

McGough played a prominent role for the winners, while wingmen Brad Dalziell and Scott Henson were also lively in the 13.23 (101) to 11.8 (74) victory.

Sharks full-back Mitch Brown and Steven Dodd restricted the influence of potential match winners Ashley Hansen and Tim Geappen.

Brad Dick also maintained his strong form with three goals.

East Fremantle failed to make the most of their opportunities in the first quarter, but opened up a five-point lead at the first change after late goals to Dick and Richard Hadley. It was late, straight shooting from Dick and Hadley that pegged back a nine-point advantage to the home team after consecutive goals to Geappen, Ryan Davis and Tom Roach.

East Fremantle broke the game open in the second quarter, rattling on five goals to two.

Play was held up for eight minutes in the middle of the term after a bone-jarring collision between Swan Districts full-back Tallan Ames and Sharks forward Jack Perham.

Both players were helped from the ground, Perham refusing a stretcher but walking off with his neck in a brace. He took no further part in the game.

The Sharks moved 38 points clear inside the first 10 minutes of the third stanza after goals to Brock O'Brien and Dick, before exciting teenager Dayle Garlett hit back with a clever snap to keep Swans in the contest.

McGough gave the visitors a game-high 41-point lead with an accurate finish soon afterwards.

But the margin was cut to 31 points by the last break after consecutive goals to Swans half- forward Davis.

Davis added two more in the opening minutes of the final quarter to give Swans a glimmer of hope.

The 2010 premiership player and Garlett got away from defenders and helped bridge the gap to 13 points at the six-minute mark.

Shark Rory O'Brien, one of the main contenders for tonight's Sandover Medal, snapped accurately six minutes later to give his side some breathing space.

Fremantle squad member Lachie Neale was busy for Swan Districts with a game-high 32 possessions, while Marlon Motlop, Garlett and Wes Lammie battled hard.

Hadley suffered a lower-leg injury in the dying minutes and is in doubt for next week.

The Sharks won through to the grand final in all grades, taking out the reserves against Perth by five points and the colts against Claremont by two points.

The West Australian

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