Thunder strike a second time
PEEL Thunder have gone back-toback after defeating Subiaco by 16 points to claim the final ever WAFL decider at Subiaco Oval on Sunday.
In a tight match where neither side led by more than 13 points until Griffin Logue’s goal on the final siren, the Thunder called on both class and desperation to claim their second successive premiership over the Lions, 11.6 (72) to 7.14 (56) in front of 18,180 fans.
Thunder defender Luke Ryan claimed the Simpson Medal, judged best on ground for his starring role down back. Ryan finished with 23 disposals and nine marks and was one of numerous contributors to the win.
Veteran Danyle Pearce finished with 25 disposals and eight inside 50s.
Traye Bennell recorded 20 disposals and Rory O’Brien 19.
Leroy Jetta and, Tommy Sheridan both finished with two goals, each scoring near identical snaps late in the match when extra quality was needed to keep Peel in front.
Tall forward Matt Taberner also booted two goals.
Subiaco forward Ben Sokol threatened to be the match winner with four goals. Captain Kyal Horsley worked tirelessly to finish with 32 disposals, seven tackles and seven inside 50s.
Outgoing Docker Zac Dawson was pushed forward early in the piece and had the AFL-laden Thunder off to a great start when he snapped the first goal of the game. He had a hand in the Thunder’s second too, handballing off to skipper Gerald Ugle who kicked straight to have the 2016 premiers off to a flyer.
The Lions kicked their first major through Sokol on 11 minutes when he was able to guide home a floating ball from 45m out.
Taberner hit back soon after, burying a long-range effort to restore his side’s two-goal lead.
The rain forecast prior to the weekend then hit hard to restrict much of the play to between the 50m arcs, with both sides struggling to take any sort of advantage in the slippery conditions.
Clancy Wheeler slotted his first goal late in term one to ensure the competition’s top side throughout the home and away season were within one kick at the first change.
Peel forward Leroy Jetta was first to hit the scoreboard in the second term, making use of what little space he had to snap neatly and give the Thunder a 10-point buffer. The teams then traded blows on the scoreboard, with utility Sheridan finding space to kick his first and Sokol delivering two more majors to keep Subiaco behind by three points at the long change.
Christopher Phelan, who had 12 disposals for Subiaco to halftime, converted a free kick from 45m out to give his side the lead for the first time in the match before Sokol slotted his fourth.
Peel celebrates back-to-back WAFL grand final wins.
Fremantle Docker and Peel Thunder midfielder Nick Suban gets a kick away.
Peel’s Luke Ryan won the Simpson Medal as best on ground.