Second Semi-Final – Subiaco v Peel Thunder Match ReportMonday, September 11, 2017 - 5:15 PM
PEEL Thunder ended Subiaco's remarkable 19-game winning streak and won its own sixth straight WAFL final downing the Lions by 24 points on Sunday in the second semi-final at Leederville Oval to move into the 2017 Grand Final.
Having never previously won a final in the club's history little over 12 months ago, Peel has won four in succession having gone all the way through last year's finals series beating East Perth, West Perth, South Fremantle and Subiaco on the way to the historic premiership.
Now the Thunder have beaten the top two teams of 2017 already this finals series with victories over South Fremantle and Subiaco to be the first team through to the 2017 Grand Final at Domain Stadium on Sunday September 24.
Peel qualified for the Grand Final with a commanding performance to lead from start to finish against a Subiaco team that had won 19 consecutive matches to be a dominant force during the home and away season.
But the Thunder proved too strong in Sunday's second semi-final winning 14.8 (92) to 10.8 (68).
Peel will now await in the Grand Final the winner of this Sunday's preliminary final between Subiaco and South Fremantle at Leederville Oval.
Peel got tremendous service out of much-maligned Fremantle key forward Matt Taberner. He was a dominant presence particularly in the first half and finished with four goals form 19 possessions and 16 marks.
Tom Sheridan, Ben Hancock, Sean Darcy and Cameron Sutcliffe all kicked two goals apiece for Peel to ensure it kicked a winning score even with Gerald Ugle and Leroy Jetta held to a combined 10 kicks and one goal by Subiaco's small defenders led by Hayden Kennedy.
The Thunder back-line was tremendous holding Subiaco to 10 goals and continually repelling attack after attack. That was led by Luke Ryan (25 touches, 16 marks) and Sam Collins (16 disposals, 10 marks).
Taylin Duman also had 22 possessions for Peel while Ryan Nyhuis had a fascinating battle with Subiaco's Liam Ryan.
Peel ruckmen Jonathon Griffin (12 disposals, six marks, seven tackles, 40 hit outs) and Darcy (10 disposals, six marks, 24 hit outs) dominated the air as expected to give first advantage to their on-ballers.
Danyle Pearce racked up 30 possessions and nine marks for the Thunder while Sutcliffe amassed 27 disposals, Rory O'Brien 25, Sheridan 18 and Brayden Lawler worked hard at half-forward for 18 to go with 10 tackles, six inside-50 entries and a goal.
Subiaco midfielder Leigh Kitchin continued to build his reputation as possibly the best player and midfielder in the competition, backing up his dominant and outstanding home and away season to again be his team's best performer in the second semi-final despite the disappointing result.
He finished with 30 possessions, nine tackles and two goals.
Wayde Twomey was important for the Lions off half-back with 23 possessions and eight marks while Adam Cockie racked up 22 disposals, returning captain Kyal Horsley 21 and the also returning midfielder Justin Joyce 19.
Lachlan Delahunty worked hard both in the ruck and from centre half-forward for 23 possessions, eight marks, nine hit outs and six inside-50 entries but he didn’t manage a goal and neither did fellow big men Adam Creeper and Clancy Wheeler with Brad Stevenson relegated to the reserves.
Liam Ryan did make the most of his opportunities kicking three goals from seven kicks while Ben Sokol and Kyle Halligan also kicked two goals apiece for Subiaco.
Subiaco got the first score of the game with a behind to Liam Ryan in the first passage of play from the opening bounce. It took another seven minutes for the next score and that was a goal for Peel to Matt Taberner with the Thunder never again conceding the lead.
Tom Sheridan, Ben Hancock and Brayden Lawler also kicked truly to give them the first four goals of the game before Subiaco got on the board thanks to Leigh Kitchin and then soon after Ben Sokol.
Taberner kicked his second of the opening term to give Peel five before Subiaco got its third just before the siren from Ryan to remain with 12 points at the first change.
Subiaco then closed the gap to one straight kick when Kitchin booted his second two minutes into the second quarter. But Peel again responded courtesy of Sheridan, Hancock, Cameron Sutcliffe and Taberner to see the reigning premiers in control by 30 points at the long break.
Peel's lead had grown to 37 points by the 10-minute mark of the third quarter but Subiaco got on a roll heading towards three quarter-time with three goals in the last seven minutes. Peel got a steadier in between from Leroy Jetta but the Lions were within striking distance trailing by 18 points.
Subiaco was then right back in the game early in the last quarter after a goal to Kyle Halligan to be just 12 points down before Peel ruckman Sean Darcy kicked a beauty from long-range and he let the vocal Subiaco fans who had been getting stuck into the Thunder players know about it.
Darcy also went on to kick the last goal of the game to see Peel come away with the 24-point win to end Subiaco's 19-game winning streak and book the Thunder into consecutive Grand Finals with the chance of back to back premierships.
SUBIACO 3.2 4.2 9.4 10.8 (68)
PEEL THUNDER 5.0 9.2 12.6 14.8 (92)
SUBIACO – Goals: Ryan 3; Sokol, Halligan, Kitchin 2; Cockie.
Best: Kitchin, Delahunty, Kennedy, Twomey, Sokol, Horsley, Cockie.
PEEL THUNDER – Goals: Taberner 4; Sheridan, Hancock, Darcy, Sutcliffe 2; Jetta, Lawler.
Best: Taberner, Sutcliffe, Pearce, Ryan, O'Brien, Sheridan, Lawler, Collins.