WAFL 2022: East Fremantle produce stunning comeback to overcome Swan Districts

Ben SmithThe West Australian
Blaine Boekhorst helped lead East Fremantle to victory over Swan Districts.
Camera IconBlaine Boekhorst helped lead East Fremantle to victory over Swan Districts. Credit: Daniel Wilkins/The West Australian

A six-goal final quarter and a staunch second half defensive effort has secured East Fremantle a superb come-from-behind victory over Swan Districts at Steel Blue Oval.

Trailing by 26 at the main break, East Fremantle kicked eight goals to two in the second half, including a pair in the final two minutes, prevail 13.11 (89) to 12.8 (80).

A pair of final quarter goals to Ryan Lester-Smith, including the sealer and an impressive game-changing midfield performance helped the visitors come home with a wet sail as Swan Districts were steamrolled.

Kyle Baskerville was inspirational as the determined Sharks reeled in the Swans’ lead, racking up 39 disposals and 10 clearances, while Blaine Boekhorst also helped turn the tide in the final quarter.

The Swans has threatened to make it a one-sided affair early, as they kicked five goals in each quarter during the first half, with the lively Jesse Palmer kicking two in the opening term.

Aidan Clarke was a ball magnet in the first quarter as he collected 13 possessions, the most impressive of which was a superb low mark tight up on the boundary which culminated in him setting up Jesse Turner to kick a great goal from 50.

East Fremantle began the second quarter brightly as Boekhorst capitalised on a turnover to nab his third of the game before Tom Monaghan gave them the lead.

However, it was as good as the second quarter got for the Sharks, as Swan Districts overcame a scrappy start to the quarter to pile on five unanswered goals, with Jesse Turner and Brayden Noble both doubling up.

The free-scoring first half gave way to a much more cagey affair after the main break, as East Fremantle were able to constrict the Swans movement and inside 50s, holding them to just four behinds in the third quarter.

While they were unable to carve out clear-cut opportunities of their own up the other end, goals to Luke English and Brynn Teakle cut the deficit to 16 points at the last change.

When Palmer kicked his third at the start of the final, it looked like the result might be sealed, but instead, it triggered some Sharks midfield dominance as they started to dominate at the stoppages.

Baskerville and Cody Leggett were excellent as they consistently helped move the ball forward, as Boekhorst kicked a goal and set up Alex Montauban, before Lester-Smith put the Sharks in front for the first time since the second quarter.

Clarke responded with a goal up the other end to retake the lead for the Swans, but a 50-metre penalty with two minutes to play allowed Dillon O’Reilly to kick his third and give the Sharks a three-point advantage and Lester-Smith nailed his second of the quarter not long after to secure victory.

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