Shark attack proved too strong despite late Peel surge

Wednesday, September 13, 2023 - 1:41 PM

Match Report: Semi Final Peel Thunder vs East Fremantle by Regan Spear and Lachlan Bryne.

Peel Thunder trailed at all breaks in the low-scoring affair, despite leading scoring shots    20-15.


East Fremantle booted the first major of the afternoon in perfect footy conditions.


Shortly after, Liam Reidy slotted Peel’s first from the forward 50 stoppage.


Two long bombs from East Fremantle got out of the back and rolled through in quick succession, giving the Sharks the lead back in the opening term.


Brodie Wemm showed off his pace and put the jets on to skid through Peel’s second, despite East Fremantle being in control of the play for the majority of the term.


Last weeks hero Jack Sears pulled the trigger to cut the lead down to three points at quarter time.


Key defenders Joel Hamling and Jacob Blight weathered the storm in defence for the Thunder as East Fremantle led inside 50s 17-7.


Peel started the second term strong but couldn’t make the most of their opportunities going forward.


A costly 50m penalty handed East Fremantle the first of the second term.


Corey Wagner showed class and dash off half-back in a highly contested second quarter.


East Fremantle made the most of the lacking pressure keeping Peel scoreless and kicking 2 of their own.


East Fremantle’s lead stretched out to 13 at the main break.


The Sharks started the second half fast, kicking the opening two goals within the first five minutes.


Both teams used overlap handballs to open up the ground but were unable to make the most of their chances.


A great hit up kick from Tom Emmett found Josh Corbett on the lead, who kicked his first and gave Peel their first major since the first quarter.


East Fremantle fought back after a slight momentum change from Peel. The Sharks extended their lead to 21 points heading into the final term.


Another fast start to a quarter for East Fremantle gave the hosts repeat inside 50s and the first goal of the last term.


Hamling got thrown forward and made an immediate impact kicking a goal to keep Peel alive in the last.


Brady Grey launched through Peel’s second of the term switching the momentum completely towards the Thunder.


Ben Middleton popped up and slotted one from the pocket in a late surge from Peel to cut the margin to single digits.


Back-to-back shots from Smith and Brodie hit the post late in the fourth which saw Peel fall short at the final siren.


Liam Reidy talked about the preparation for close match scenarios post-game.


“Training Thursday and Tuesday nights, we go through the scenario, I thought we handled the late game and scenarios really well last week, but just didn’t capitalise on our opportunities this week.”


“We’ll go back to training and work on those again and hopefully the next couple weeks we’ll get them right.”


The ruckman reflected on where East Fremantle got on top.


“It all starts in the contest; the contest is our game. Winning territory out of that and winning it forward.”


“I thought our first phase defence wasn’t right, just coming forward, we were playing a bit slow in that area. I think that’s definitely the focus for next week, coming hard at the ball and getting the context right.”


Reidy spoke highly of defenders Joel Hamling and Jacob Blight post-match.


“They're huge, they save our team that much every single week, whether it be contested marks or shutting out a key forward, those two boys are the key to our team.”


Reidy spoke on the importance of opening up the ground to create opportunities.


“That’s our game, bounce off half-back and creating opportunities for the forwards and for the mids to get to work.”


Reidy reflected on the ruck duo performance of himself and Riley Smith.


“I think we struggled in the aspect that their mids and ruck got to work on the ground level, although we did get first hands on it, myself and Riley can work on the second phase and the ground level stuff as well.”


Reidy looks forward to a four-quarter performance in the final weeks.


“We dominated that last quarter, and we really didn’t bring it the first three quarters, it's pretty scary if we make all four quarters connect and if we do that next week and the following weeks, it’ll put us in good said, looking forward to it.”


Coach Geoff Valentine gave his thoughts on the game post-match.


“We didn’t use the ball well enough for large parts, I think we kicked at 50% for the day. The connection through attacking mid and inside forward 50 just wasn’t there.”


“Probably not desperate enough early on, we saw when we had the chance to win we were going at every contest and that probably wasn’t the same over the course of the day.”


Valentine reflected on the preparation for late-win games.


“You have certain strategies and certain things like that to win the game or finish the game, we had some issues earlier on in games at the start of the year, we probably have to be in a better position at halftime to capitalise on that.”


Valentine spoke on the positional changes to help swing momentum late.


“Hamling was able to get forward and get a goal we just thought he might be able to draw a contest and do something a little bit different.”


“Anderson going onto the ball, just to give a bit of pace around there and breakaway, we were in a situation where we have got to win.”


“They were a couple of moves that we thought would give us a little bit and they seemed to work.”


Valentine reflected on what needed to change to get over the line.


“Around the contest, contested ball, I thought our tackle pressure was pretty ordinary.”


“We did speak about using the footy better, I think we had 16 uncontested marks up to halftime, that’s just not enough on these grounds and in these conditions.”


Valentine praised Joel Hamling and his efforts post-match.


“He’s been a warrior for us, he’s such a calming influence. His ability to win his own ball down back was really pivotable.”


“For him to go forward and give us a goal there late, gave us a little bit of hope.”


He also spoke on the impact of ruck duo Liam Reidy and Riley Smith.


“They’re both having strong impacts, Hugh Dixon started the game really well as a forward, and Rueben McGuire gives them a different look with that athleticism, I thought our boys competed really well.”


Valentine looked for improvements for next week.


“Four quarters is what we’ve got to get better at, maybe the first quarter was okay kicking into the breeze with three goals apiece but the second quarter when we are kicking with the breeze we don’t score a goal and give up two, it’s a three-quarter performance. “


“We get the eight-day break so we’ve got to make sure we use that to full advantage. Tuesday the boys will get a lighter recovery session and a main session on Thursday, the emphasis being on the basics and the fundamentals.”


“Business as usual on Saturday, hopefully, we bring our best next week at home.”


Peel will face off against Subiaco at home this Sunday.

Peel v Subiaco | Preliminary Final | 2.10 PM | Sunday 17th



East Fremantle: 2 H.Dixon, 2 J. Schoenfeld, C.Eardley, C.Leggett, J.McDonald, A.Montauban, F.Turner.

Peel Thunder: J.Corbett, B.Gray, J.Hamling, B.Middleton, L.Reidy, J.Sears, B.Wemm

East Fremantle: 3.3 5.4 8.5 9.6

Peel Thunder: 3.1 3.3 4.8 7.13

Photo's by James Latto & Zylah Day