WAFL grand final 2018: West Perth to face unbeaten Subiaco after stunning turnaround against South Fremantle

Andrew Strijk celebrates one of his four majors against South Fremantle on Sunday. Picture: Matt Beilken
Andrew Strijk celebrates one of his four majors against South Fremantle on Sunday. Picture: Matt Beilken

West Perth staged a remarkable turnaround against South Fremantle at Fremantle Oval to progress to the WAFL grand final against Subiaco this weekend.

The 26-point victory comes just two weeks after a humiliating 98-point loss to South at the same ground in the Qualifying Final.

Outstanding performances by Andrew Strijk (4 goals), midfielders Luke Meadows, Aaron Black, Shane Nelson and key forward Tyler Keitel all stepped up to produce one of the most stunning form-reversals in the game.

West Perth now face the daunting challenge of tackling the unbeaten Subiaco in the Grand Final on Sunday at Optus Stadium.

South Fremantle face some soul-searching after being bundled out of the premiership race in three consecutive preliminary finals.

West Perth clearly hurt at the loss two weeks ago, but clearly learnt some important lessons on how to modify their performance to shut down the run of the Bulldogs.

The 15.7 (97) to 9.17 (71) victory came as a result of a greatly improved system into attack and desperate tackling pressure from the Falcons.

A four goal to one opening term and extreme pressure whenever the Bulldogs got near the ball set the tone for the Falcons and stunned the home side, giving the visitors a 19-point lead at quarter time.

West Perth’s Shane Nelson exemplified the Falcons’ pressure. Picture: Dan White

An impressive second quarter followed with another five goals whilst managing to keep the shell-shocked Bulldogs to another solitary goal for the term, extending the margin to 41 points at the main break.

South Fremantle came hard at West Perth after the break and managed to outscore them in the third term and reduce the margin to 29 points at the final change, but it was always going to be difficult from there.

The Bulldogs threw everything at West Perth in the final term, but inaccuracy hurt them as they missed many opportunities, scoring three goals and nine points for the term while West Perth managed four goals straight.

The Falcons win and progression to the grand final is all the more meritorious given the significant off-field pressures of the past few months which saw the club enter administration.

In the reserves, Subiaco ensured a clean sweep of appearances in all three grades with an emphatic seven-goal victory over Claremont, setting up a second semi-final replay next week against East Perth.

Outscoring Claremont in every quarter after a four-goal opening term, Subiaco dominated proceedings with their 11.14 (80) to 5.8 (38) win.

Raymond Daniels was the only multiple goal-scorer on the day for the victors.

Swan Districts colts have also progressed to the grand final to face Subiaco following a hard-fought 22-point victory over Peel Thunder, 10.12 (72) to 7.8 (50).

Swans led all day and eventually pulled away in an impressive third quarter, with a clinical and consistent performance all game.

All three grand finals can be heard live on the Footy Radio Facebook page from 9am Sunday.