SUBIACO made a statement on Saturday to move clear on top of the WAFL ladder while East Perth signalled its resurgence, Peel Thunder made it two straight and Perth scored a confidence-boosting win as part of Round 9.
All four Round 9 matches took place on Saturday afternoon with the top-of-the-table clash between Subiaco and South Fremantle at Leederville Oval the headline act.
It proved a dominant display from the Lions in captain Kyal Horsley's 150th game as they led by 63 points at one stage before going on to beat the Bulldogs 19.13 (127) to 14.4 (88) for a seventh straight win.
East Perth won its third consecutive game as well thrashing the winless East Fremantle 20.22 (142) to 7.13 (55) at East Fremantle Oval.
Peel Thunder made it two straight wins also defeating Swan Districts 12.12 (84) to 9.9 (63) at Bendigo Bank Stadium.
The thriller of the day took place at Fremantle Community Bank Oval with Perth kicking the game's last two goals to beat Claremont 13.9 (87) to 11.13 (79).
The round's results leave Subiaco (7-1) clear on top of the WAFL ahead of South Fremantle (6-2).
Swan Districts (5-3) remains third ahead of West Perth (5-2) and Peel Thunder (4-4).
Claremont (3-5) remains in sixth position ahead of East Perth (3-5), Perth (2-6) and East Fremantle (0-7).
wafl.com.au PLAYER OF THE ROUND – DEVIN MCFARLANE (Perth)
As a young, running rebound defender at Peel Thunder in his formative years in the WAFL he played some impressive football with his run and left-foot kicking a highlight back in his 54 games from 2011-13.
He took a break from the WAFL the past three years firstly in the VFL with the Bendigo Gold before joining Richmond's VFL team and then returning home last year to play at the Mandurah Mustangs.
Perth recruited him for 2017 and he is now a more mature and solidly built player than his Peel days, but equally effective as a player to set up play off half-back.
Has had a solid start to the 2017 season at the Demons and then took it to another level with a best on ground performance in Saturday's win over Claremont finishing with 29 possessions, nine marks and a goal on his raking left boot.
wafl.com.au TEAM OF THE ROUND (times named)
BACK: Kirk Ugle (2), Declan Jackson (2), Devin McFarlane (1)
HALF-BACK: Corey Adamson (1), Clayton Giblett (1), Aaron Heal (1)
CENTRE: Kyal Horsley (3), Tom Sheridan (1), Will Maginness (3)
HALF-FORWARD: Daniel Venables (1), Blair Bell (1), George Hampson (2)
FORWARD: Cody Ninyette (2), Sean Darcy (1), Liam Baker (1)
RUCK: Lachlan Delahunty (2), Mark Hutchings (1), Clint Jones (4)
INTERCHANGE: Mitch Andrews (3), Ryan Nyhuis (1), Tim Kelly (4), Shayne Hille (2)
BACK POCKET – KIRK UGLE (Swan Districts)
Continued his tremendous form and did so against the tide in the eventual 21-point loss for Swan Districts to Peel against Saturday. But he did all he could and locked away his place to represent the WAFL next Saturday against the VFL in Melbourne. Held Leroy Jetta to one goal and eight kicks while having 21 possessions and five marks himself.
FULL-BACK – DECLAN JACKSON (Subiaco)
The regular Subiaco full-back since the retirement of Darren Rumble has been used as a makeshift ruckman at times this season, but he was required in his usual position on Saturday in the top-of-the-table clash with South Fremantle. He was given the job on Mason Shaw and did well limiting him to two goals from six kicks and had a big part in limiting the high-scoring Bulldogs to just the 14 goals.
HALF-BACK FLANK – COREY ADAMSON (Subiaco)
Having joined Subiaco after time with West Coast, the ex-baseballer had an interrupted start to the season but is warming into his new club nicely now. Was given the job at half-back to run with the on-fire Haiden Schloithe from South Fremantle on Saturday did a terrific job in the 39-point win. It got heated at times and there was no love lost between the blonde pair, but he ended up with 26 possessions and four marks while limiting Schloithe to 22 touches and six marks.
CENTRE HALF-BACK – CLAYTON GIBLETT (Perth)
Perth recruited him from East Perth to be the anchor of its defence not only this year, but into the future and he has been doing a solid job at that task against the odds to start the season. Continued his good form in Saturday's win over Claremont not only holding Beau Maister goalless but doing well for 16 possessions himself.
HALF-BACK FLANK – AARON HEAL (Subiaco)
The state defender was initially given the job of running with lively South Fremantle forward Blaine Johnson and did a tremendous job in the first half keeping him quiet. Once Angus Litherland went off injured, he was shifted onto familiar foe Ben Saunders. Had another strong day as part of a defensive group that kept the dangerous Bulldogs in check.
WING – KYAL HORSLEY (Subiaco)
The inspirational captain had a day to remember in celebration of his 150th game for Subiaco that sees him earn life membership of the club. The triple premiership player, dual premiership captain and two-time fairest and best winner was outstanding with three goals to go with 30 possessions. He has played in six grand finals in eight WAFL seasons, and it's hard to see him not leading his team into a seventh in 2017.
CENTRE – TOM SHERIDAN (Peel Thunder)
The Fremantle midfielder put in a dominant display through the middle in Peel's 21-point win over Swan Districts on Saturday. He finished the afternoon with 34 possessions made up of 20 kicks and 14 handpasses to go with eight marks and six tackles.
WING – WILL MAGINNESS (East Perth)
Is continuing the best run of form in his career now that his body is allowing him to stay on the park. Injuries derailed his time listed at West Coast but East Perth showed faith in him and it continues to pay off both through the midfield and when he goes forward. He had another 32 possessions, seven inside-50 entries, six marks and a goal in Saturday's thumping win over East Fremantle.
HALF-FORWARD FLANK – DANIEL VENABLES (East Perth)
He was drafted at No. 13 last year by West Coast with high expectations and is now finding his feet at WAFL level with East Perth. Delivered an impressive performance in Saturday's 87-point victory over East Fremantle with four goals from 14 disposals, five inside 50s, four tackles and three marks.
CENTRE HALF-FORWARD – BLAIR BELL (Peel Thunder)
The premiership forward hadn’t quite been able to recapture his form of 2016 so far in 2017, but that all changed in Saturday's 21-point win over Swan Districts. He got back to being a strong presence who could win the ball and kick goals finishing the afternoon with 19 possessions, seven marks and two goals.
HALF-FORWARD FLANK – GEORGE HAMPSON (East Fremantle)
His team might still be winless and might have suffered its biggest loss of the season on Saturday, but it's not because he isn’t doing all he can. After missing the opening three games and then starting back as a deep forward, he is spending more time in the midfield to good effect. Racked up 40 possessions to go with six marks and five tackles.
FORWARD POCKET – CODY NINYETTE (Perth)
The dynamic small forward is one of a host of exciting youngsters that the Demons are giving plenty of opportunities to in 2017 and it's paying off. He has played every game this season and had kicked nine goals before Saturday's win over Claremont where he delivered 15 disposals, four tackles, five inside-50 entries and four crucial goals.
FULL-FORWARD – SEAN DARCY (Peel Thunder)
The first-year draftee made the biggest impact on a game than he has so far this in Saturday's win for Peel over Swan Districts. Did most of his damage forward kicking four goals having only kicked one goal in his opening seven games. His four goals went along with 12 possessions, five marks and 31 hit outs as he became a real physical presence.
FORWARD POCKET – LIAM BAKER (Subiaco)
Had an impressive colts career with West Perth and was looked at as a potential draftee, but that didn’t quite eventuate. He thought it might be in his best interests to get a start at a new club and the small midfielder arrived at Subiaco but it was always going to be tough to find a midfield spot. Instead he has come in as a small forward and done a tremendous job including four goals from 23 possessions, five marks and five tackles in Saturday's win over South Fremantle. He could easily have had six goals too had he not missed some relatively easy shots late.
RUCK – LACHLAN DELAHUNTY (Subiaco)
Played his second game back from injury and was trusted to lead the ruck up against South Fremantle's Brock Higgins to allow Declan Jackson to stay back and Clancy Wheeler to remain forward. It worked a treat as he finished with a dominant performance made up of 31 possessions, six marks, four tackles, 29 hit outs and seven inside-50 entries.
RUCK-ROVER – MARK HUTCHINGS (East Perth)
The Eagles midfielder did his chances of a recall into the AFL team no harm with a dominant performance in the East Perth midfield in the demolition of East Fremantle. The 2013 premiership player and Simpson Medallist finished with 31 possessions, 10 tackles and four inside-50 entries.
ROVER – CLINT JONES (Perth)
The Demons skipper continues to be a remarkably consistent performer who leads from the front in the middle. Racked up another 36 possessions to go with six marks and four tackles in Saturday's win over Claremont. He is averaging almost 33 disposals a game in 2017.
INTERCHANGE – MITCH ANDREWS (Claremont)
The dual premiership-winning 124-game ruckman is named to the Team of the Round for a third successive week after another strong showing in Claremont's narrow loss to Perth on Saturday. Finished with 21 possessions and 35 hit outs.
INTERCHANGE – RYAN NYHUIS (Peel Thunder)
The small defender played a crucial role in Peel Thunder's breakthrough premiership last year. After a slow start to 2017 having missed the opening month, his form is building impressively again. In Saturday's win over Peel, he not only restricted the lively Taryce Stewart to three kicks and no score but had 13 disposals and four marks himself.
INTERCHANGE – TIM KELLY (South Fremantle)
The on-fire South Fremantle midfielder is a lock to play in his second straight state game for the WAFL against the VFL next week in Melbourne. Despite his team's 39-point loss, put in a strong performance again against Subiaco with 28 possessions, seven inside 50s and two goals.
INTERCHANGE – SHAYNE HILLE (East Perth)
Continues to emerge as one of East Perth's most consistent players based at half-forward but who also does well working up the field. Named to the Team of the Round for a third time this season and played an important role in the big win over East Fremantle with 23 disposals and a goal.
There were plenty of players who delivered tremendous performances across Round 9 but couldn’t quite squeeze into the Team of the Round, including:
Subiaco's Leigh Kitchin, Max Walters, Ben Sokol and Liam Ryan.
South Fremantle's Shane Hockey.
East Fremantle's Cameron Eardley and Jonathon Marsh.
East Perth's Eric Mackenzie, Stan Wright, Luke Partington, Malcolm Karpany and Matthew Allen.
Claremont's Keifer Yu, Ryan Lim, Alex Manuel and Ryan Murphy.
Perth's Brad McPhail.
Peel Thunder's Rory O'Brien and Luke Ryan.
Swan Districts' Jamie Bennell, Adam Faulkner, Matt Riggio and Jesse Turner.