ALIVE AND KICKING

Dock­ers fans don’t de­spair Here’s proof Freo footy’s…

Cockburn Gazette - - NEWS - With wafl.com.au

WHAT a week it’s been for foot­ball in Fre­man­tle.

The East Fre­man­tle Sharks women’s side are in­au­gu­ral WAFLW pre­miers, South Fre­man­tle earned the fi­nal chance to de­throne WAFL pow­er­house Su­bi­aco in 2019’s foot­ball fi­nale at Op­tus Sta­dium, and Fre­man­tle CBC‘s sur­prise win in the A-grade am­a­teurs gives them a real shot at suc­cess in Satur­day’s Perth Foot­ball League grand fi­nal.

EAST Fre­man­tle claimed the in­au­gu­ral WAFLW Premier­ship af­ter a hard-fought 33point vic­tory over Swan Dis­tricts at Min­eral Re­sources Park on Satur­day.

The club’s sec­ond­straight flag – com­ing af­ter their suc­cess in the fi­nal sea­son of the old WAWFL – was built off the back of a dom­i­nant three-goal sec­ond quar­ter, which gave the Sharks a 25-point lead at long break.

Roxy Roux kicked the first goal of the fi­nal quar­ter to all but seal the 8.3 (51) to 4.4 (28) vic­tory for the women in blue.

The his­toric win was built off the back of mid­field dom­i­nance through the likes of Evie Gooch, Ash­lee Atkins and Gabby O’Sul­li­van get­ting plenty of the ball.

O’Sul­li­van was awarded the Lou Knit­ter Medal for the best afield, while Gooch had the hon­our of hold­ing the cup aloft as cap­tain.

East Fre­man­tle pres­i­dent Dar­ren O’Don­nell said the Sharks had peaked at the busi­ness end of the sea­son, thanks to the re­turn of AFLW play­ers and State un­der-18 play­ers.

“We prob­a­bly had our strong­est team when we wanted it and we prob­a­bly played our best two games in the semi-fi­nal and the grand fi­nal,” he said.

Atkins’ goal on the quar­ter-time siren from a 50m free kick saw the mo­men­tum swing the way of the Sharks, be­fore a classy check­side from O’Sul­li­van in the sec­ond pushed East Fre­man­tle clear.

Stephanie Sparke added her sec­ond early in the third term, while Ash­ley Sharpe tried des­per­ately for the Swans out­fit with a goal of her own late in the quar­ter.

De­spite a late chal­lenge from the Swans, East Fre­man­tle held firm in the last to run out 33-point vic­tors.

Pic­ture: Tom Camp­bell

Pic­ture: Tom Camp­bell

Ash­lee Atkins led from the front with great sup­port from ruck­man Kim­ber­ley Bowey as East Fre­man­tle sewed up the WAFLW premier­ship.

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