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WRAP: Round 13 v East Fremantle

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 - 1:59 PM by Chris Pike
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EAST Fremantle's season from hell saw some shine on Saturday on the back of a 14-goal to two domination in the second half to beat Perth by 58 points for the Sharks' breakthrough win of 2017.

East Fremantle's first win of 2017 was never going to come easily. Saturday didn’t appear it was going to be the day when Perth kicked six goals to two in the first quarter to lead by 24 points at quarter-time and to still be up by 23 at the half.

But the Sharks came out an inspired unit for the second half and produced some scintillating football. 

It can't be ignored how poor Perth was, but East Fremantle turned it on kicking 14.12 to 2.3 in the second half to go from 23 points down at half-time to end up winning in style 19.17 (131) to 11.7 (73).

The win snaps a 12-game losing run for East Fremantle and breaks its duck for 2017. It's the first win for the Sharks since Round 21 last year, which also happened to be against Perth.

It was East Fremantle's first home victory since Round 9 last year also against the Demons.

The win also improves East Fremantle to being just one game behind the second last placed Perth to heat up the battle to avoid the wooden spoon in 2017.

The exciting part of the win for East Fremantle was that it was set up by the next generation. Corey Holmes was outstanding in the midfield in his fifth game with 28 possessions, nine marks, six inside-50 entries and a goal.

Tenth-gamer Tom Marshall also delivered 24 disposals and nine tackles for the Sharks while seventh-gamer Tom Bennett had 23 disposals and four tackles.

Second-gamer Ben Harding was another to impress with 23 possessions while another second-gamer, Matthew Burton finished with 19 disposals, five tackles and two goals.

Nathan Fahey (Peel) and Jesse Mirco (South Fremantle) were recruited this season to try and provide key forward targets and they did that for East Fremantle on Saturday. Fahey finished with 20 possessions, five marks and three goals while Mirco had 17 touches, nine marks and three goals.

Jack Perham (21 possessions, five tackles, four marks) and Andrew Stephen (18 disposals, seven marks, seven tackles) worked hard also. Alex Howson kicked two goals as well.

Two players who perhaps should have been playing league football much earlier this season are Tim Bristow and Josh Cuneo. Both played well at either end of the ground with Bristow kicking three goals from 15 disposals while Cuneo had 22 possessions from down back along with 25 touches from Jayden Schofield.

Matthew Watson was the best ruckman on the ground with 16 touches and 52 hit outs as well.

There was much to like from Perth in the first half and little to write home about in the second with many of the individual performances reflective of that.

Captain Clint Jones still racked up another 31 possessions and seven tackles while Mitch Browne played the best game of his career with 30 disposals, eight tackles and five marks.

Michael Sinclair had another good performance down back with 24 touches and six marks while Sandover Medallist Aidan Tropiano had 20 touches and 10 tackles against his former side.

Jake Schleicher also played against his old team on debut for Perth having grown frustrated by being in the reserves at East Fremantle despite appearing to be the exact type of player the league side was missing. He had 14 touches, six tackles and two goals in his first game with the Demons.

Matt Thompson and Mitch Henderson kicked two goals apiece for Perth while Devin McFarlane gave some good drive with 17 possessions and six marks.

The two teams were low on confidence but high on winning desire heading into the clash and it was Perth who started well. The Demons kicked the opening two goals through Thompson and Clint Jones.

Then despite goals for East Fremantle to Fahey and Howson, Perth kicked five of the last six majors through Christian Eyres, Blake Johnson, Schleicher and Callum Papertalk, they were right on top with a 24-point quarter-time advantage.

Another four goals to three in the second term and the Demons remained on top leading by 23 points at the main break to appear on target for a third win of the season and to be three games clear of bottom place as a result.

But East Fremantle found something at half-time and came out an inspired united in the second half delivering its best half of football by far for 2017, while Perth put in by far its worst.

Perth didn’t have a single scoring shot until the 32-minute mark of the third quarter when Henderson kicked a goal.

In between that time in the previous 31 minutes, East Fremantle delivered some inspired football with goals to Ryan Lester-Smith, Mirco, Burton, Mirco again, Bristow, Fahey, Bristow once more and then Cameron Eardley at the 30-minute mark to hold a 31-point advantage after being 23 down at half-time.

The Sharks could have been further in front too had it not been for eight third quarter behinds. But that lead was enough and another six goals to one in the final term saw them not only win for the first time in 2017, but to do so emphatically to the tune of 58 points.

East Fremantle looks to back up this Saturday against Peel Thunder also at East Fremantle while Perth tries to stem the tide against South Fremantle at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Sunday.

EAST FREMANTLE        2.3    5.5    13.13    19.17    (131)
PERTH                6.3    9.4    10.5    11.7    (73)

EAST FREMANTLE – Goals: Fahey, Mirco, Bristow 3; Burton, Howson 2; Eardley, Stephen, Lester-Smith, Watson, McCarrey, Holmes.
Best: Holmes, Watson, Marshall, Fahey, Harding, Bennett, Schofield. 
PERTH – Goals: Schleicher, Henderson, Thompson 2; C Jones, Ninyette, Eyres, Johnson, Papertalk.
Best: Browne, C Jones, Sinclair, Schleicher, Tropiano, McFarlane.