Superb kicking for goal and a winning midfield unit comprising a group of unsung players helped Subiaco retain top place on the ladder after a hard-fought 34-point win over Perth.
The Lions led from early in the first term at Lathlain Park but were never able to shake off the combative Demons who remain in a group of teams on three wins competing for the final place in the top four.
Subiaco’s splendid kicking was the critical difference between the team as they won 16.12 to 10.6 (66).
Their first nine marks inside forward 50 were converted into goals and it took until Wayde Twomey’s kick on the three-quarter time siren for the Lions to record their first blemish.
The main instigator was livewire Shane Yarran who kicked three 50m bombs in the first term and then provided assists for three more in the second.
Yarran finished with four goals as finals-bound Subiaco kicked 16 goals for the sixth time in seven matches this season.
Dene White was again Perth’s best player as he gathered 26 possessions in the middle and wore down State squad member Chris Phelan with his hard running and poised clearance work.
But Phelan still got his hands on the ball 18 times, half of which came from clearances.
Perth tagger Brad Keast started on Phelan but soon moved to Justin Joyce who is one of several unheralded Lions whose improvement this season has underwritten their rise up the ladder.
Joyce had 24 disposals and laid six tackles to help his team pump the ball inside their forward 50 59 times.
Perth played their best football when Sydney premiership players Paul Bevan and Mitch Morton both switched from deep in attack to on-ball roles.
Perth immediately kicked four majors during time-on in the second term with Morton having a hand in all of them.
Both teams suffered from the loss of important players before the game with Subiaco wingman Shaun Hildebrandt pulling out with an ankle injury and hamstring soreness hampering Perth’s Jarryd Morton.
The loss of Jarryd Morton allowed former State forward Brennan Stack to come back into the team and he was busy in a new role at half-back before going forward.,
|GOALS – SUBIACO: Yarran 4; Boland 3; C Deluca 2; Horsley, Kayler-Thomson, Twomey, Hampson, Phelan, Moore, J Deluca. PERTH: Leeson, Bevan, Busher, Collard, Stack 2; C Morton.|
BEST – SUBIACO: Yarran, Stockley, Joyce, Elliott, Mahoney, Twomey, J Deluca.