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Thunder rumble into a Grand Final showdown with kings of the jungle

Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - 10:28 AM by Owen Davies

We’re in! A final quarter fightback against the reigning premiers has put our WAFLW League side into this years Optus WAFL Grand Final. In a seesawing affair largely dictated by the breeze going to the northern end of the ground, the Thunder answered every challenge and taking full advantage of their opportunities as indicated by the 9.1 (55) to 5.8 (38) final score, setting up a repeat of the 2nd Semi this Saturday against Subiaco.

As mentioned, the breeze once again played havoc and with the wind at their backs in the first term it was East Fremantle that had the early scoring opportunities. The Sharks could capitalise on their dominant field position for the quarter as they could only manage a 1.4 return. Even with the early wasted opportunities, East Fremantle still put themselves out to an early lead as the Thunder struggled to get the ball past the wing in the blustery conditions.

Co-Captain Krystal Carter drilled a set shot from a free kick early in the second term and all of a sudden the Thunder turned on their scoring power with Kate Bartlett once again proving to be a key foil for Full Forward Kira Phillips as she slotted home after a strong mark inside 50 to give the Thunder the lead. Just like that the flood gates opened, Bartlett setting up Bailey Molloy for another, before adding a second of her own with a long kick from the boundary that was misread by the pack of players on the line and went through uncontested and just like that the Thunder were out to a 13 point lead.

The reigning premiers weren’t finished with just yet, adding one late in the term to cut the margin back to 5 at the half, before making sure to make full use of the wind in the third, kicking 3 goals. The Thunder however did what they needed to do against the wind staying in contact with the Premiers as Kira Phillips snapped one through with one of the Thunders rare forays forward. Even with the wind in the last, the Thunder still had it all to do down 8 at the final change.

Kira Phillips the League leading goal kicker had been well held all day, came alive in the last, bringing the margin back to less than a kick in the first few minutes of the quarter before Courtney Rowley found her on a good hit up lead and put through a set shot to give the Thunder the lead. With the game in the balance, the Thunder’s confidence grew and no one epitomised this more than 15 year old Ella Roberts. Firstly, off a slick feed from Kate Bartlett to put through a shot on the run from about 40m and about a minute or two later, with time ticking down Roberts added another from a long way out on the boundary and was mobbed by team mates as they all had a sudden realisation that they were in to a Grand Final.

In what is forecasted to be another wet and wintery afternoon, the Thunder will hope they have learned some lessons in similar conditions a fortnight prior when they went down to Saturday’s opponents Subiaco in the 2nd Semi. 

Bouncedown for the WAFLW Grand Final is scheduled for 2.40PM at Provident Financial Oval (Arena Joondalup) entry will be $5 for Adults and Free for kids under 16. If you can’t make it up to Joondalup the game will be broadcast on the 7 network from 2.30pm






9.1 (55)





5.8 (38)


PEEL GOALS:  K. Phillips 3, E, Roberts 2, K. Bartlett 2, K. Carter, B. Molloy.

PEEL BEST: E. Roberts, C. Davidson, C. Rowley, K. Bartlett., K. Ditchburn


With the season on the line, the reigning Premiers were looking to find a way back into the Grand Final for a second straight season under the Peel Thunder banner. While the first quarter was a bit of a struggle, the girls found their stride in the ensuing quarters to end up running away with a 6.11 (47) to 0.7 (7) victory against Claremont and set up another Grand Final with South Fremantle. 

After a slow start with the ball bouncing from one end to the other, the girls managed to find a groove in the second, with Chloe Bilston popping up and kicking a couple to give the Thunder a 15-point advantage at the half.

Shauna Bicker continued her strong form over the previous few weeks and kicked one in the third before Sabrina Mccay-Tuckerman kicked another right before 3 quarter time to put the game nearly beyond reach of the Tigers.

The 2 goal a quarter trend didn’t change in the final term as Bicker kicked her second and Jaide Britton who was unfortunate to miss out on League selection after a strong game last week in the seniors kicked one as the Thunder ended up victorious by an even 40 points setting up another Grand Final against South Fremantle.

The girls will have to find something special to get past the Bulldogs who have had the Thunder’s measure so far in 2020, winning both games handily. A strong start will be imperitive as the Thunder have gone goal-less in their previous 2 opening quarters.

The Rogers Cup Grand Final will start a massive day at Provident Financial Oval, with Bouncedown scheduled for 9.45am. will be imperitive as the Thunder have gone It will be the first home final of the day at David Grays Arena on Sunday with bouncedown scheduled for 10:30am.






6.11 (47)





0.7 (7)

PEEL GOALS: Bilston, Bicker 2; Britton, Mccay-Tuckerman 1.