WAFL Finals Week One Wrap, Thunder and Tigers go through
Leederville Oval was the centre of the WAFL universe in the first week of the finals, with both the qualifying final and the elimination final taking place at last year’s grand final venue.
On Saturday, Peel Thunder came out on top of Subiaco in a dramatic qualifying final, winning by 10 points.
A strong first half saw the Lions jump out to a 28-point lead at the main break, but the visitors booted six unanswered goals in a brilliant third-term fightback to head into the final interval leading by 10 points.
Three finishes from Bernie Naylor Medal runner-up Ben Sokol saw the hosts hit the front again, but Jack Sears’ fourth major quickly gave his side the advantage back before Tom Emmett got out the back to boot the sealer.
Sears (10 disposals, four goals), Blair Bell (24 disposals, one goal) and Will Brodie (28 disposals) led the way for the Thunder, while Zac Clarke (12 disposals, 47 hit-outs, one goal), Stefan Giro (26 disposals) and Liam Hickmott (25 disposals) battled hard in defeat.
Claremont ended East Perth’s season with a 12-point victory in the elimination final on Sunday.
21-year-old forward Tom Graham - playing his first league game for the year - booted the Royals’ first two goals as they jumped out to an early 18-point lead, but the visitors responded to get the game back to level pegging at half-time.
The hosts were left to rue some missed opportunities in a tense finish, with the big-game experience of the Tigers shining through as they got the job done.
State ruckman Ollie Eastland (40 hit-outs, 21 disposals) produced a big effort for the winners to give Jye Bolton (22 disposals) and Ben Elliott (17 disposals, one goal) good looks from the middle, while co-captains Christain Ameduri (24 disposals, five tackles) and Hamish Brayshaw (23 disposals) led from the front for East Perth.
Subiaco 10.14 (74) def by Peel Thunder 12.12 (84) at Leederville Oval
East Perth 9.6 (60) def by Claremont 11.6 (72) at Leederville Oval
IMAGE: WA FOOTBALL