SWAN Districts moved two games clear in the top five of Peel Thunder with a hard earned eight-point win at David Grays Arena on Saturday.
It always shaped as a potentially season-defining game for both clubs in Mandurah on Saturday and now following the 10.7 (67) to 7.17 (59) victory, finals are now looking a reality for the first time with Adam Pickering as coach for Swan Districts.
The eight-point win improves Swans to a 5-3 record on the season and into third position on the ladder at least until South Fremantle has the chance to take that position back on WA Day against East Fremantle.
But it has put Swans clear in the top five with a two-game gap now back to a Peel team who sits on a 3-5 record in sixth position.
Swans had the better of the start to the game in Mandurah on Saturday with eight scoring shots to four in the first term, and that saw the visitors take a 14-point advantage into the quarter-time break.
Peel was able to turn it around in the second quarter at least in terms of dominating possession and scoring opportunities.
Swans managed just one goal from their lone score in the quarter while the Thunder had nine scoring shots but only two of those were goals with Swan Districts still leading by a point by half-time.
Peel was able to kick straighter in the third quarter with four majors to three from Swan Districts and that meant the Thunder went into three quarter-time leading by five points on home turf.
Swan Districts were rewarded for their accuracy in the final term as they kicked three goals and the Thunder managed five behinds while Swans went on to score the eight-point wins to make it consecutive victories.
Lachlan Riley and Warrick Wilson kicked two goals apiece for Swan Districts while Jesse Palmer only kicked the one goal but still worked hard for nine kicks and six marks.
Frank Anderson continued his tremendous form in the midfield for Swan Districts with another 24 possessions and 11 tackles.
Jesse Turner also had 24 disposals for the black-and-whites, Sam Fisher 23 touches and eight tackles, Brandon Erceg 17 touches and four marks, Aidan Clarke 16 possessions and five marks, and Josh Cipro 16 disposals, eight tackles and six inside-50 entries.
Meanwhile down back for Swans, Nelson Waite finished with another 22 possessions and seven marks and Chris Jones finished with 16 disposals and nine marks while Corey Gault delivered another 15 touches, 36 hit outs and five marks.
Lloyd Meek fought hard both in the ruck and up forward for Peel to finish with 13 possessions, 34 hit outs, four marks, four tackles and two goals. Stefan Giro also kicked two goals for the Thunder.
Jackson Merrett compiled 23 possessions, seven marks, five tackles and a goal for Peel while Michael Randall delivered 22 disposals, Brett Bewley 21, Luke Valente 21, Nathan O'Driscoll 20 and Traye Bennell 18.
Peel Thunder is back in action next Saturday against Claremont at Revo Fitness Stadium while Swan Districts has the Round 10 before playing West Perth at Steel Blue Oval on Saturday June 19.
OPTUS WAFL PREMIERSHIP SEASON – ROUND 9
PEEL THUNDER 1.3 3.10 7.12 7.17 (59)
SWAN DISTRICTS 3.5 4.5 7.7 10.7 (67)
PEEL THUNDER: Goals – Meek, Giro 2; Howlett, Merrett, Lawler.
Best – Merrett, Bewley, Meek, Randall, O'Driscoll, Hancock, T Bennell.
SWAN DISTRICTS: Goals – Riley, Wilson 2; Palmer, Fisher, Reidy, Edwards, Riggio, Beck.
Best – Anderson, Fisher, Waite, Turner, Erceg, Gault, Cipro, Jones.