Thun­der storm into WAFL grand fi­nal

Hills Gazette (Kalamunda) - - SPORT - Chris Pike

REIGN­ING pre­miers Peel Thun­der are the first team through to the WAFL grand fi­nal for 2017 af­ter beat­ing Su­bi­aco in the sec­ond semi-fi­nal with the Lions to meet South Fre­man­tle in the pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal.

It was semi-fi­nal day in the WAFL on Sun­day and the ac­tion started at Fre­man­tle Oval with the first semi be­tween South Fre­man­tle and Swan Dis­tricts.

The Bull­dogs needed to bounce back from last week’s loss to Peel while Swans were com­ing off the high of elim­i­nat­ing West Perth last week.

Swans came out and took it right up to South Fre­man­tle, lead­ing by nine points early in the sec­ond quar­ter af­ter a Ryan Crow­ley goal. But from there it was all the Bull­dogs, who kicked 17 of the last 20 goals of the game to win 20.16 (136) to 8.8 (56).

It was a tremen­dous per­for­mance by the Bull­dogs with Blaine John­son kick­ing four goals, Ben Saun­ders three and Tim Kelly three, while Shane Hockey racked up 34 pos­ses­sions, Haiden Schloithe 32, Ash­ton Hams 26 and Ryan Cook 26.

The 80-point vic­tory sees South Fre­man­tle ad­vance to the pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal next Sun­day.

It's sea­son over for Swan Dis­tricts with the re­mark­able 263game WAFL ca­reer of premier­ship player, fairest and best win­ner, life mem­ber and long-serv­ing cap­tain Tal­lan Ames end­ing with it.

It also brings an end to the coach­ing ten­ure of Greg Hard­ing while for­mer Su­bi­aco, Fre­man­tle and Essendon mid­fielder Ryan Crow­ley also played his fi­nal game at this level. He fin­ished on a high with 29 pos­ses­sions and three goals.

Then in the sec­ond semi-fi­nal at Leed­erville Oval, it was Su­bi­aco tak­ing on Peel Thun­der with a place in the 2017 grand fi­nal on the line.

De­spite the Lions hav­ing won 19 straight matches and hav­ing the bye last week, Peel took con­fi­dence out of a strong win against South Fre­man­tle and backed it up with an­other im­pres­sive dis­play.

Peel were in front all day and won 14.8 (92) to 10.8 (68) to ad­vance to con­sec­u­tive grand fi­nal ap­pear­ances and to have now won six straight fi­nals matches.

Matt Taberner kicked four goals for the Thun­der while Danyle Pearce com­piled 30 pos­ses­sions, Cameron Sut­cliffe 27 and Rory O'Brien 25.

Liam Ryan kicked three goals for Su­bi­aco with Leigh Kitchin rack­ing up an­other 30 dis­pos­als.

The Lions now have a sec­ond chance to move into a fourth straight grand fi­nal by host­ing South Fre­man­tle in next Sun­day's pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal at Leed­erville Oval.

In the colts semi-fi­nal ac­tion, East Perth beat Swan Dis­tricts 16.15 (111) to 2.11 (23) at Fre­man­tle Oval while East Fre­man­tle de­feated Clare­mont 12.7 (79) to 9.10 (64) at Leed­erville Oval in the sec­ond semi-fi­nal.

Those re­sults mean East Fre­man­tle are straight into the grand fi­nal, Clare­mont will play East Perth in the pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal next Sun­day at Leed­erville Oval and the sea­son is over for Swan Dis­tricts.

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