At last the WA Footy loving public had their beloved State League get underway for the new decade after seven months since Grand Final Day 2019, and by golly did the WAFL return with a bang in Round 1.
Despite the shortened season, shortened quarters, it gave WAFL fans signs of how unique 2020 was going to be.
PEEL THUNDER 9-6-60 def by. PERTH 10-10-70
The three new arrivals for the Demons in Grey, McInnes & Masten saw Perth start out as favourites for the match and all of them turned back time in what was an amazing match at Rushton Park.
All 3 had a impact on the game while Peel Thunder were plucky and young, despite conceding hit-outs by playing undersized ruck-men and often relied on Howlett, and Randall who gathered 24 and 20 disposals respectively.
McInnes & McDonald bought the Demons forward line to life with 3 goals each while Chris Masten had 30 touches in a fine return to football.
Perth kicked off 2020 in a winning way in at attempt to end their 22 year drought of finals football.
SUBIACO 11-9-75 def by. CLAREMONT 15-5-95
Who would have thought we see Subiaco getting beaten in Round 1.
No one? Exactly.
But the Tigers and in particular Declan Hardisty’s 4 goal Cameo after being shifted from defence may have been the difference for Claremont.
The Lions did not lead at any point during the game but Martin & Matera were among the goalkickers, while Kyal Horsley was surprisingly off form, being held to only 13 Touches in the 20 point loss.
Bolton & Mitchell again kept their reliability for the Tigers midfield intact with another 20+ Touches respectively for the Tigers who are looking like powerhouses in 2020.
SWAN DISTRICTS 6-5-41 def by. WEST PERTH 8-4-52
Steel Blue Oval
Even without Luke Meadows & Connor West, the Falcons still had a midfield that served them well against the Swans.
Shane Nelson & Trent Manzone stared with 27 and 28 Touches respectively, but after kicking 2 behinds & conceding 5 goals to the Swans, it was looking bleak.
Corey Gault was huge in the centre with 46 hitouts and 16 touches to boot, ably supporting his midfielders and up forward Tony Notte was the main supply of Goals, but ran out of support in the last term as West Perth’s resolve was on top, coming home with an 11 Point victory in front of a shocked Steel Blue Oval crowd.
STH FREMANTLE 18-8-116 Def EAST FREMANTLE 3-3-21
The growth in the Bulldogs young talent was evident in the Fremantle Derby as they demolished the Sharks by 95 points to send a clear message that they and Claremont would be the powerhouses to watch out for.
Caleb Datson was huge in only his 11th game with 4 goals from 10 kicks, and was supported by Jake Florenca who gathered 26 touches.
The Sharks couldn’t put in any grit against this side even after a bright start but were over run from Quarter Time and didnt challenge.
A bright spot for the visitors though was an impressive solo effort from Cody Leggett who amassed 22 touches and took 7 marks.
East Fremantle VS Peel Thunder @ East Fremantle Oval
West Perth VS South Fremantle @ Arena Joondalup
Claremont VS Swan Districts @ Claremont Oval
Perth VS East Perth @ Lathlain Park