Subiaco Lions the pride of WA after WAFL grand final win

Subiaco celebrates its 2018 WAFL grand final win over West Perth
Subiaco coach Jarrad Schofield
Subiaco celebrates its 2018 WAFL grand final win over West Perth Subiaco coach Jarrad Schofield

THE 2018 WAFL season concluded with absolute proof that Subiaco are currently the most dominant club in the competition.

Not only did their League team become the first side in more than 70 years to go through a season undefeated, the depth of the club was on display with wins in the Reserves and Colts grades, a feat never before achieved in the WAFL.

On a magnificent day at Optus Stadium, proceedings got under way early. In fact when the Reserves took to the ground, there was literally no one in the stadium, as the gates had not yet opened.

East Perth were favourites after defeating Subiaco in the second semi-final and got off to the best start, with four first-quarter goals.

The one-goal deficit at quarter-time was turned into a one-goal lead at the main break, as Subiaco scored three for the quarter with their clean play.

An arm wrestle in the third term, with only three goals for the quarter in total, saw East Perth back in front by just five points at the final change.

The final quarter saw Subiaco put their stamp on the game, with a dominant display, kicking five goals to the Royals’ two to win 11.11 (77) to East Perth 9.5 (59).

The Colts took to the big stage and produced the game of the day.

Subiaco and Swan Districts showed the building crowd what the future looks like with a great display of hard, contested football. Only three points separated the teams at quarter-time, with Subiaco just in front.

The second quarter again saw a quality tussle between the sides as they relished their opportunity on the big stage. The quarter produced five goals in total and extended the Lions’ lead to nine points at the main break.

Subiaco had drawn away but a late goal by Swans again drew the quarter with two goals apiece to set the final term up for a great finish.

Swans hit first with two goals in the first five minutes to draw away but the game was far from over. Subiaco took the lead again with the next two goals and a frantic period was under way to take the game.

Swans kicked another goal with only two minutes remaining to draw within two points but ran out of time to overcome the Lions.

It was a terrific game, with Subiaco victors 9.10 (64) to 9.8 (62). Subiaco’s Tristan Hobley was named man of the match by the legendary Mel Whinnen.

Triple J band the Rubens were on stage for some pre-match entertainment, similar to the AFL Grand Final format.

Then the League game was under way. An absolute arm wrestle for the first 17 minutes saw both teams miss opportunities and remain goalless.

Subiaco kicked their first and the floodgates opened, with the Lions slamming on four goals to none in the latter part of the first term.

The second quarter was a clinical display by the best side in the competition this year, with ruckman Zac Clarke dominating hit- outs and the much vaunted Subiaco midfield running riot, as they kicked another five for the quarter while West Perth finally managed to score with just two goals.

The teams returned to the field with Subiaco a daunting 49 points up and it only got worse for the Falcons.

A seven-goal quarter put the result beyond doubt as it became a virtual training drill for the Lions, as they turned for home a massive 76 points in front and questions were being raised about the 1975 record victory margin of 104 points held by West Perth.

Whilst that didn’t eventuate, the 25,000-plus crowd lost interest and started a Mexican wave on the way to the 19.13 (127) to 7.4 (46) history-making Subiaco procession.

Kyal Horsley was one of five or six Lions that could have won the Simpson Medal for best on ground, but was a deserving winner with his class and leadership.

Halligan and Sokol kicked five each in a game that reinforced that Subiaco were a cut above the rest of the competition in 2018.

West Perth were gallant in overcoming much adversity off the field to reach the Grand Final but were simply never in the hunt on the day.

Footy Radio looks forward to bringing you more coverage in your Community Newspaper in 2019.