Two of Western Australia's top draft talents battled for bragging rights and a spot in the WAFL preliminary final over the weekend, with Subiaco bringing an end to Claremont's campaign with a 39-point win at Leederville Oval.
The Lions would claim a memorable win with five-goal runs bookending their performance, having shot out to an early lead before holding the Tigers goalless in the final term.
One chapter in Subiaco's bounce-back win, having lost to Peel Thunder last week before setting up a rematch in the penultimate week of the WAFL season, was the exciting tussle between two of this year's top draft names in Subiaco's Koltyn Tholstrup and Claremont's Daniel Curtin.
Kolstrup, an energetic forward spark who would make his return to the Lions' senior side for their week one defeat to Peel, would be back to his scoring ways with an early goal in the proceedings, shaking off any lingering inaccuracies from the week prior when he booted 0.3.
While Subiaco was wasteful again in front of goal, booting 5.10 in the opening half, Tholstrup would capitalise on an early chance to boot his sole major for the evening.
The Newtown Condingup junior would end the afternoon with a dozen disposals, six marks and three inside 50s in what was his ninth senior league appearance to only help his draft stocks.
At the same end of Leederville, top-rated WA talent Dan Curtin played in his sixth WAFL game after breaking into the senior side in Round 17, holding his own in defence for the Tigers once again.
The versatile key-position talent, who's expected to land near the top of the draft board this November, added to a promising campaign against experienced bodies toward the conclusion of his draft season.
The MVP winner for WA at this year's National Championship, Curtin put up a mean of 16.5 disposals and 4.33 marks per game at the state league level as a key part of the Tigers' premiership pursuit.
While their seniors side are out of the mix, Claremont's Colts booked a grand final berth on Sunday with a five-goal win over minor premiers Perth, with Curtin a standout across his required five performances earlier this year to be eligible to face the winner of this week's preliminary final.
Tholstrup has a chance to further support his case as a first-round selection at this year's draft through Subiaco's preliminary final meeting with Peel at senior level, with the winner to book a spot in the grand final against East Fremantle.
The Sharks defeated the Thunder by five points at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday to secure their place in the season decider.
A player who can thrive on centre stage, Tholstrup is among the pack of WA teenagers pressing to fall second in line to Curtin on draft night, with several local prospects in the top 20 mix.
Swan Districts' Riley Hardeman, Peel's Mitch Edwards and East Fremantle's Koen Sanchez have each pieced together impressive 2023 campaigns, with both of Hardeman and Sanchez joining Curtin as members of the 2023 U18 All-Australian side along with Edwards' Thunder teammate Clay Hall.
Hardeman, a pacey half-back who is equally damaging in the air as he is at ground level, would average over 22.1 disposals for Swans' Colts this year while working in-tandem with Curtin on WA's last line throughout the champs.
Edwards, while linked to Fremantle through their Next Generation Accademy, is likely to be out of reach for the Dockers given his anticipated place in the draft order will fall below Pick 40.
Sanchez has been somewhat of a bolter in 2023 to be placed alongside Hardeman and Tholstrup as the names best supporting Curtin's reign as the No.1 WA talent.
The National Draft is set to take place over two nights on November 20-21.