Grand fi­nal heart­break for Lions

Southern Gazette (Belmont) - - SPORT - Bryce Luff

IT was heart­break for Su­bi­aco af­ter they fell in the pre­mier­ship de­cider to Peel for a sec­ond suc­ces­sive year, go­ing down to the Thun­der by 16 points in the last WAFL match at Su­bi­aco Oval on Sun­day.

In a tight con­test where nei­ther side led by more than 13 points un­til Grif­fin Logue’s goal on the fi­nal siren, the Lions were out­classed 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.

Vet­eran Danyle Pearce fin­ished with 25 dis­pos­als and eight in­side 50s. Traye Ben­nell had 20 dis­pos­als and Rory O’Brien 19.

Leroy Jetta, Tommy Sheri­dan and Matt Taberner kicked two goals each.

Su­bi­aco for­ward Ben Sokol threat­ened to be the match win­ner with his four-goal per­for­mance. 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 45 me­tres 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 50 me­tre arcs, with both sides strug­gling in the slip­pery con­di­tions.

Peel for­ward Leroy Jetta was first to hit the score­board in the sec­ond term to 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 was able to slot his fourth. It took un­til the 23rd minute but Peel fi­nally got on the board through Josh Deluca.

The Thun­der then had their sec­ond barely a minute later when Taberner got on the end of a pass from Pearce.

Taberner con­verted his sec­ond for the match and sud­denly it was a one-point ball game.

Taylin Du­man drew first blood in the last quar­ter when he toed through his first of the match.

Wheeler put Su­bi­aco back in front when he slot­ted from 35m out.

But Jetta won a hold­ing the ball free kick and fin­ished with a com­posed check­side to give the Thun­der a slen­der four-point lead. Sheri­dan de­liv­ered a sim­i­lar fin­ish from the same pocket af­ter Hay­den Kennedy was pinged for punch­ing the ball out of bounds de­lib­er­ately.

Logue put the ic­ing on the cake, kick­ing a goal on the siren to de­liver Peel’s sec­ond pre­mier­ship.

Su­bi­aco se­cured its 17th re­serves pre­mier­ship af­ter a 19point win over South Fre­man­tle ear­lier in the af­ter­noon.

The Lions kept the mi­nor pre­miers score­less in the fi­nal term and put through two goals of their own to win 13.6 (84) to 10.5 (65).

Dy­lan Clarke kicked five goals, gath­ered 23 pos­ses­sions, put the ball in­side 50 five times and laid five tack­les to claim the Merv McIn­tosh medal as the best player. Braden Fim­mano and Nick Mene­gola kicked two goals each.

In the colts, East Fre­man­tle scored a crush­ing grand fi­nal win over Clare­mont. The mi­nor pre­miers saw off their clos­est ri­vals by 54 points, 12.5 (77) to 2.11 (23).

Sharks tal­ent Chris Scott se­cured the Mel Whin­nen Medal for best on ground.

Pic­tures: Kelly Pil­grim-Byrne

Above: Su­bi­aco’s Ben Sokol leads in the chase for the ball. Be­low from left: A de­jected Su­bi­aco af­ter the loss; Peel cel­e­brate its vic­tory; Danyle Pearce added a touch of class.

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