REIGNING premiers, Peel Thunder were unceremoniously dumped from finals contention by AFL alignment rivals East Perth with a solid 84-point victory by the Royals at Bendigo Bank Stadium.
The 16.18 (114) to 4.6 (30) victory placed the Royals in the five at the right time of the season and they face Claremont at Claremont Oval on Sunday.
A number of West Coast squad members played important roles in the victory in a game that will not be remembered for its high standards.
Docker Danyle Pearce didn’t manage a farewell game for the Dockers but tried hard for his WAFL side and is likely to retire now, completing a successful AFL career of more than 250 games.
CLAREMONT waited until after the siren to confirm they will host an elimination final next weekend against East Perth with a five-point win over Swan Districts on the weekend.
Trailing the Swans most of the day, Tigers champion Jye Bolton managed a longdistance goal from a mark on the siren to clinch the victory.
The 13.13 (91) to 13.8 (86) win cemented fourth spot ahead of the Royals, who would have jumped Claremont to host the final at Leederville if the Tigers had lost, due to superior percentage.
The game also saw the end of the career of Swans defender Kirk Ugle, who was chaired off and shown great respect by the Swans faithful.
Swans came out of the blocks early with three first-quarter goals to one, and extended that lead by half-time to three goals.
Claremont came back at Swans in the third term to narrow the gap to just six points at the final change and were able to throw everything at the Swans in the final quarter to get home in the end.
Tom Lee stepped up in the second half with a dominant performance in attack and Swans debutant, 17-year-old Mitchell Bain, kicked one of the goals of the year with a blistering run and long goal in the final term to keep Swans in the contest.
Alex Manuel had a big day with five goals for the Tigers, while Brayden Noble kicked a career-best four goals, all in the first half for Swans.