WE are guaranteed of a new premiership winner in the WAFL Women's competition with Peel Thunder winning Sunday's preliminary final to book in a Grand Final slot against Subiaco.
Peel completed its remarkable growth in the 2020 Optus WAFL Women's Premiership Season going from finishing last in 2019 to end up in second position in 2020, and now to qualify for the Grand Final.
Subiaco had already locked in a Grand Final spot with a six-point second semi-final victory against Peel last Sunday leaving the Thunder to host reigning premiers East Fremantle this Sunday at Mandurah's David Grays Arena.
The signs weren’t great for the home team early into the breeze in the first term but Peel kicked eight of their nine goals of the game going to the scoring end to defeat East Fremantle 9.1 (55) to 5.8 (38).
It qualifies Peel for this Saturday's WAFLW Grand Final against Subiaco at Joondalup's Provident Financial Oval where a new premiership team will be crowned following the elimination of East Fremantle.
Meanwhile in the WAFLW Reserves competition, it was a thrilling preliminary final at David Grays Arena on Sunday with Claremont prevailing 7.7 (49) to 7.3 (45). The Tigers will now play East Fremantle in Saturday's Grand Final at Joondalup.
And in the Youth Girls Rogers Cup, Peel Thunder set the tone for their day at David Grays Arena with a 6.11 (47) to 0.7 (7) victory against Claremont to book in a Grand Final place against South Fremantle.
OPTUS WAFLW PREMIERSHIP SEASON – PRELIMINARY FINAL
PEEL THUNDER 9.1 (55) defeated EAST FREMANTLE 5.8 (38)
Peel Thunder and East Fremantle locked horns on Sunday afternoon in Mandurah for the rights to take on Subiaco in the WAFLW Grand Final for 2020, and all signs pointed to little separating the two sides.
There might have been plenty separating them back in 2019 for the inaugural WAFLW season with East Fremantle going on to win the inaugural premiership while the Thunder also shared in some unwanted history by claiming the first ever wooden spoon.
But things have changed dramatically at least for Peel during the 2020 WAFLW Premiership Season.
Peel went on to win four of seven matches during the season to claim second position on the ladder and to earn the finals double chance, which they cashed in on after a narrow six-point defeat at the hands of Subiaco in the second semi-final at Leederville Oval.
Coming off last year's premiership, it wasn’t until a final round victory against Swan Districts that East Fremantle secured their finals place for 2020.
The Sharks then ended up in third spot to earn the right to host Swans in the first semi-final at East Fremantle's New Choice Homes Park, and go on to win that game by a goal as well.
So that set the stage for Sunday's preliminary final at David Grays Arena with the Thunder and Sharks having met once during the season with Peel winning that game over East Fremantle by 13 points with it also taking place in Mandurah.
East Fremantle kicked with the advantage of the breeze in the opening quarter and had five scoring shots to nil from Peel, but only managed one goal as a result and took a 10-point lead into quarter-time.
The Thunder then took greater toll of kicking to the scoring end in the second quarter. From four scores, Peel managed four goals and while East Fremantle still managed four scoring shots, they only added 1.3 and the Thunder went into half-time with the narrow five-point advantage.
If East Fremantle was to make its move to try to keep its hopes alive of winning back-to-back premierships, it had to come in the third quarter and the Sharks did well to kick three goals and hold the Peel to just one from one scoring attempt.
That saw East Fremantle hold an eight-point lead heading into the fourth quarter but with the wind providing difficult conditions, Peel's accuracy was proving the difference.
That was again the case in the fourth quarter as the Thunder made the most of the breeze behind them to kick four more goals and to hold East Fremantle scoreless to win 9.1 (55) to 5.8 (38).
That means Peel advance to this Saturday's WAFLW Grand Final against Subiaco at Joondalup's Provident Financial Oval while the back-to-back hopes for East Fremantle are over.
Kira Phillips proved the star in attack for Peel kicking three goals with Kate Bartlett and Ella Roberts kicking two goals each as well. Krystal Carter and Bailey Molloy were the Thunder's other goal scorers.
Peel's other best players included Kate Ditchburn, Cassie Davidson and Courtney Rowley.
Gabby O'Sullivan was a livewire for East Fremantle kicking two goals with the Sharks' other goals coming from Roisin Walsh, Sara Lewis and Jessie McDonald.
East Fremantle's best also included Sharon Wong, Kate Inglis-Hodge and Kimberley Bowey.