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Classy forward's timely reminder for recruiters in WAFL GF thrashing

Six-goal star Ben Sokol was best-afield in Subiaco's huge WAFL Grand Final win over South Fremantle. Picture: Twitter / @WAFLOfficial - AFL,WAFL
Six-goal star Ben Sokol was best-afield in Subiaco's huge WAFL Grand Final win over South Fremantle. Picture: Twitter / @WAFLOfficial

CLASSY forward Ben Sokol sent recruiters a reminder of his talent as Subiaco crushed South Fremantle and claimed back-to-back WAFL premierships on Sunday.

Spearheading the Lions' attack, Sokol bagged six goals and claimed the Simpson Medal for best afield as Subi dismantled the Bulldogs 18.12 (120) to 3.6 (24) at Optus Stadium.  

The 96-point hammering was the second-biggest Grand Final margin in WAFL history.  

 

The oldest player invited to next month's state Combine at 23, Sokol shapes as one of the prime prospects from a fertile but heavily harvested WAFL breeding ground.

The 186cm half-forward claimed the Bernie Naylor Medal as the state league's leading goalkicker in 2019 and finished the year with 60 majors.  

He was everywhere against former club South Fremantle, buzzing around at ground level and posing a threat in the air. 

Sokol's casual one-handed grab and goal opposed to ex-West Coast defender Blayne Wilson to start the third term symbolised his side's dominance and got the ball rolling again after Subiaco took a 61-8 lead into half-time.  

After claiming the Sandover Medal on Monday night, the Lions' undersized 28-year-old ruck Lachlan Delahunty produced a sublime display, finishing with 27 disposals, 29 hitouts and two goals.  

SANDOVER THRILLER Undersized ruck pips prolific teammates

Inspirational skipper Kyal Horsley was also unstoppable in the engine room, laying 11 tackles to go with his 30 possessions and a major.

Subiaco had winners all over the park, but South's prime movers were quiet, particularly former Sandover medallist Haiden Schloithe, who gathered 11 touches and kicked one goal.

Ex-Dockers tough nut Nick Suban (20 disposals) and captain Dylan Main (20) battled hard without much support.

The Bulldogs were up for the contest early and led by a point after Shaun Bewick kicked the game's second goal.

But it was all one-way traffic from there, with Subiaco piling on 11 unanswered goals.

South is the only team to defeat Subi in the past two seasons – after a 22-point boilover in round six – but couldn't touch the Lions in a horribly one-sided clash.

No team has felt losing players to AFL clubs more than South recently, with Geelong's Brownlow Medal hopeful Tim Kelly, Marlion Pickett – who was best on ground in Richmond's VFL Grand Final win on Sunday – and St Kilda dynamo Matt Parker earning contracts.

The gap in class was evident against powerhouse Subiaco, which has appeared in the past six season-deciders and claimed four premierships.

The Lions' two Grand Final losses during that stint came against Peel Thunder teams stacked with Fremantle-listed players.

Earlier, Dockers Next Generation Academy prospects Leno Thomas (14 disposals) and Isaiah Butters (four goals) were influential as Claremont claimed an epic upset win over Peel in the Colts decider. 

 

Butters, who is Carlton young gun Sam Petrevski-Seton's cousin, had only booted five goals in four games this year before stepping up on the big stage. 

Fremantle also has matching rights on exciting NGA forward Liam Henry in November's NAB AFL Draft.

Henry missed the Colts Grand Final with a knee issue but looms as a first-round draftee after a stellar NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.  

Peel captain Jarvis Pina, who was on the Dockers and Sydney's radars for the mid-season rookie draft, was a cool head across half-back and finished with 11 touches and a goal.

The competition's leading goalkicker, Peel's 191cm tall Ben Middleton, also impressed with a game-high five majors in the heartbreaking 13.4 (82) to 11.11 (77) loss.

Claremont midfielder Jack Cooley (33 disposals) won the Mel Whinnen Medal as best afield.

SUBIACO 4.3 9.7 13.7 18.12 (120)
SOUTH FREMANTLE 1.1 1.2 2.5 3.6 (24)

GOALS
Subiaco: 
Sokol 6, Marsh 3, Delahunty 2, Kitchin, Joyce, Moore, Newton, Wheeler, Horsley, Edwards-Baldwin
South Fremantle: Bewick, Schloithe, Stewart 

BEST 
Subiaco: 
Sokol, Delahunty, Horsley, Marsh, Newton, Braut, Kitchin, Walters
South Fremantle: Main, Suban, Higgins 

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