East Fremantle Women’s league team has blitzed into the Grand Final with a stunning 27-point win over the minor premiers.
Unfortunately the Sharks were unable to make it a double, with the Reserves side going down by a mere point.
Both teams took on the Coastal Titans in their respective leagues; neither having defeated them the entire season.
The Sharks were dominant throughout the field; the backline’s pressure keeping the Titans to just one goal, the midfield working hard to bring the ball down and the forward capitalising on inside 50’s.
Co-Captain Jo Beechey highlighted the work of the team as a whole.
“All 24 girls were asked to do their part today, we needed 24 leaders out there and that’s what we had, it was amazing,” Beechey said.
“We knew we could do it, we’ve been playing good team footy, so the girls just had that belief and we were able to put 4 quarters together today.”
Aware of the Titian’s skill set, coach Steph Walding said it was important that the Sharks took the lead early.
“We started really slowly against South Fremantle last week, so we put the pressure on them right from the very start, we couldn’t afford to give the Titans a few goals head start,” Walding said.
Latoya Wallace was strong up forward, kicking the opening goal and following it up later with her second. A strong mark and a quick hand off from Wallace helped Mel Caulfield land a goal also.
Caulfield then returned the favour, laying a tackle in front of goals, allowing Cassie Davidson to run through and finish with a goal.
A nice passage of play helped the Sharks extend their lead before heading into the final quarter. Davidson snapped it across the goals to Samara David, who marked right on the siren and kicked the goal to take the margin out to 32 points.
The Titans entered the final quarter with a surge, but were unable to score early against the Sharks defence. The ball spent a large part of the final quarter in the opposition’s forward, with the Titans managing to score from a set shot in front of goal, their first and only major of the game.
But the Sharks continued to play the same level of footy as they had in earlier quarters.
O’Donnell ran into the Sharks open 50, kicking a strong ball that was touched right on the line, going through as only a behind.
The league side will face Swan Districts next week, who advanced straight into the grand final.
The Sharks last won a premiership in 2011, and will go into next week’s game confident with their playing ability.
“I think we’ll just stick to the same plan ahead of next week, it seems to have been working for the last two weeks of finals,” Beechey said.
“It won’t be easy, obviously, but we’ve beaten the Swans once this year and we know that if we can play that good footy we’re capable of then we should get over the top of them.”
The Reserves fought hard from behind in the third and goals from Tegan Davidson and Maisie Glen helped them to take a four-point lead into the final term.
The battle was fierce in the fourth, but a late 50m penalty allowed the Titans to slot a goal.
The Sharks desperation was real, working hard to get the ball forward, however only a behind was scored, with the final margin just one point the difference.
While it wasn’t the outcome the Sharks were hoping for, it was certainly a fantastic effort.
The Club also bid farwell to a legend of the competition, with Julie Nichols playing her last game of footy in the blue and white. Jules played her 100th game earlier in the season, and booted 35 goals for the year, plus another 3 in the semi final. A recognised leader, Jules captained the Reserves for the second half of the year, and led the Ressies all the way to the Prelimary Final. The Club congratulates Jules on a stellar career, and we hope this isnt also a retirement of “Jules’ Kicking School”.
The Grand Final will be played at Medibank Stadium on Sunday 28th August, bouncedown 2:30pm. We encourage all Sharks fans to wear Blue & White and get along to support the team!