Thunder book tickets to the big dance with dominant display.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023 - 11:32 AM

Preliminary Final: Peel Thunder vs Subiaco


In front of a packed house at Lane Group Stadium Peel drew first blood through a Ben Middleton goal.

Jack Sears kicked Peel’s second in the opening five minutes to continue a hot start for the home team.

After a contested back-and-forth period, Sears continued his run of hot form booting his second.

The Thunderstorm kept on rolling as Traye Bennell added Peel's fourth of the afternoon.

Subiaco steadied the ship as they put back-to-back goals on the scoreboard reducing the margin to 14.

Joel Hamling showed his experience with two clutch defensive efforts denying Subiaco a third goal.

Josh Corbett then flexed his muscles taking a strong contested grab before slotting his first and Peel's fifth of the first term.

The high-octane opening term came to an end on a cliffhanger with an electrifying chain of handballs from the defensive 50 into the forward line, resulting in an anticlimactic behind extending Peel’s lead to 21 points going into the first break.

Hugh Davies started the quarter with a highlight hanger in the middle of the ground.

After five minutes of the second term, the Thunder had the ball locked in their forward half but were unable to get a reward on the scoreboard as Subiaco scrambled to defend.

Subiaco opened the scoring for the quarter as they wrestled back some of the momentum.

Nathan Wilson and Karl Worner combined to break the Subiaco lines, only for Worner to be denied by the woodwork.

Subiaco led all stat lines in the second term but was unable to capitalise as Peel’s defence stood strong against the breeze.

The Thunder took a 13-point lead into the main break despite a goalless term into the wind, setting the stage for an entertaining second half.

Will Brodie led with 13 disposals and five tackles at the half, while Jack Sears was the sole multiple-goal kicker with two.

It took the Thunder just 35 seconds to open the scoring in the second half as Brody Wemm kicked his first of the afternoon.

With one came two as Corbett slotted a second in quick fashion for Peel before Subiaco managed to get one back.

A downfield freekick from some undisciplined play gave Middleton all he needed to put Peel’s third through of the quarter.

Wilson’s pace off half-back was a highlight throughout the afternoon, providing continuous rebound efforts.

Hamling’s ability to read the play and leave his man to impact contests up the ground helped launch Peel’s attack in the term, kickstarting another handball chain ending in a Wemm set shot goal.

An impressive premiership quarter from Peel has the hosts well-positioned for a Grand final appearance next week going into the last term with a commanding 33-point lead.

The Thunder have had contributors across the ground with four multiple goalkickers and 13 players with disposals in the double digits through the opening three quarters.

Midway through the final term Tom Emmett extended the Thunder lead to 37, almost putting the game beyond Subiaco’s reach.

The Peel defence force has controlled the air all day with Hamling and Hugh Davies taking the wind out of Subiaco’s sails.

The will to chase and pressure the ball carrier was a telling sign of the Thunder’s eagerness to win in front of a lively home crowd.

Wemm broke the line and the speed of light to pierce the Subiaco defence to set up an electrifying Ben Middleton mark and goal, giving Peel a comfortable six goal lead late in the game.

The final siren sounded on Subiaco’s season with Peel emerging victorious by 34 points, giving them a ticket to the big dance at Optus Stadium next Sunday afternoon.

Ben Hancock talked about the game-winning Third quarter and the team’s ability to play 4 quarters after last week’s loss to East Fremantle.

“We probably only played a quarter, quarter and a half in that game last week really well, and we probably brought that out in the first half today.”

“We played really well and then we continued on through the second half so if we can bring that next week it’ll put us in a good position.”

“We knew if we could get a couple more goals on the board it’d be really tough for them because you know we pride ourselves on our finishing off games and we’ve proven we’re one of the best last quarter teams in the league.”

“We know that if we play 120 minutes of footy we’re really hard to beat.”

He touched on the importance of Joel Hamling and his mentorship.

“Joel’s really been teaching Hugh Davies and Jacob Blight really well down there and they’ve come on in leaps and bounds so to have them three down there for us has been huge.”

“We keep backing them in and they keep getting the job done.”

He talked about the ruck combination of Liam Reidy and Riley Smith’s impact on the game and Subiaco’s Zac Clarke.

“We set the challenge to them today and they got the job done and we set them the challenge a couple of weeks ago against them too.”

“He’s obviously a massive cog in their midfield and if we could nullify him it takes us a long way to getting the win.”

“They’re two really important big fellas for us and they just keep getting the job done.”

Karl Worner reflected on what made it such a special win.

“It’s just such a great win for us, such a great win for the Peel community, and the atmosphere here today was just unreal.

“It's something we really focused on a lot this week was trying to get that first 10 to 15 minutes where we probably haven’t been quite at our best the past couple of weeks.

“Today I thought our mids did a great job in the contest straight away and that’s sort of where the game starts.

Looking forward to the Grand final Worner is confident the team can run the game out.

“We just want to play four quarters of footy.

“Two weeks ago against Subiaco that second half got us over the top, but you know like today we just gotta play four quarters as East Freo are a quality side”

By Frederick Knickel and Lachlan Bryne

Peel Thunder: 5.3 5.5 9.10 11.11 (77)

Subiaco: 2.0 3.4 4.7 7.11 (53)


Peel Thunder: 3 B. Middleton, 2 J Corbett, B. Wemm, J. Sears. 1 T. Emmett, T Bennell

Subiaco: 2 R. Borchet, 1 L Kitchin, T Schofield, S Giro, W Hickmott, J Alone