REIGNING premiers Peel Thunder are the first team through to the WAFL grand final for 2017 after beating Subiaco in the second semi-final with the Lions to meet South Fremantle in the preliminary final.
It was semi-final day in the WAFL on Sunday and the action started at Fremantle Oval with the first semi between South Fremantle and Swan Districts.
The Bulldogs needed to bounce back from last week’s loss to Peel while Swans were coming off the high of eliminating West Perth last week.
Swans came out and took it right up to South Fremantle, leading by nine points early in the second quarter after a Ryan Crowley goal. But from there it was all the Bulldogs, who kicked 17 of the last 20 goals of the game to win 20.16 (136) to 8.8 (56).
It was a tremendous performance by the Bulldogs with Blaine Johnson kicking four goals, Ben Saunders three and Tim Kelly three, while Shane Hockey racked up 34 possessions, Haiden Schloithe 32, Ashton Hams 26 and Ryan Cook 26.
The 80-point victory sees South Fremantle advance to the preliminary final next Sunday.
It’s season over for Swan Districts with the remarkable 263-game WAFL career of premiership player, fairest and best winner, life member and long-serving captain Tallan Ames ending with it.
It also brings an end to the coaching tenure of Greg Harding while former Subiaco, Fremantle and Essendon midfielder Ryan Crowley also played his final game at this level. He finished on a high with 29 possessions and three goals.
Then in the second semi-final at Leederville Oval, it was Subiaco taking on Peel Thunder with a place in the 2017 grand final on the line.
Despite the Lions having won 19 straight matches and having the bye last week, Peel took confidence out of a strong win against South Fremantle and backed it up with another impressive display.
Peel were in front all day and won 14.8 (92) to 10.8 (68) to advance to consecutive grand final appearances and to have now won six straight finals matches.
Matt Taberner kicked four goals for the Thunder while Danyle Pearce compiled 30 possessions, Cameron Sutcliffe 27 and Rory O’Brien 25.
Liam Ryan kicked three goals for Subiaco with Leigh Kitchin racking up another 30 disposals.
The Lions now have a second chance to move into a fourth straight grand final by hosting South Fremantle in next Sunday’s preliminary final at Leederville Oval.
In the colts semi-final action, East Perth beat Swan Districts 16.15 (111) to 2.11 (23) at Fremantle Oval while East Fremantle defeated Claremont 12.7 (79) to 9.10 (64) at Leederville Oval in the second semi-final.
Those results mean East Fremantle are straight into the grand final, Claremont will play East Perth in the preliminary final next Sunday at Leederville Oval and the season is over for Swan Districts.