Bulldogs comeback not quite enough against Thunder

Monday, June 12, 2017 - 12:48 PM by Chris Pike

SOUTH Fremantle did manage to draw level with Peel Thunder after being 46 points down at half-time at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday, but ended up going down to the reigning premiers by a goal.

South Fremantle was coming off a 145-point hammering of East Fremantle in Monday's WA Day Foundation Derby while Peel was looking to bounce back from a nail-biting loss to Subiaco.

The Thunder had a two-day longer break and came flying out of the gates.

By half-time, Peel opened a 46-point lead and looked set to cruise to its sixth win of the season, but South Fremantle came storming home led by Cory Dell'Olio and drew level with Mason Shaw's second goal at the 22 and-a-half minute mark.

But Peel's talls had the last say on the game with Griffin Logue taking a strong mark at half-back, ruckman Sean Darcy raking in a big pack mark at half-forward and then Luke Strnadica standing tall deep in attack.

He went back to slot the goal and Peel recorded the 13.5 (83) to 11.11 (77) victory.

The win improves Peel to a 6-5 record on the season in fourth position while South Fremantle has now lost three of its last four games to only be holding onto second spot by percentage at 7-4.

Cory Dell'Olio was terrific up forward for South Fremantle kicking four goals from nine kicks and six marks as he rediscovers his best form after being forced to sit out all of 2016.

Ben Saunders also booted another three goals for the Bulldogs including taking one of the very best marks you are ever likely to see in the third quarter over the top of his defender for the day, Griffin Logue.

Mason Shaw also kicked South Fremantle's first and last goals of the game.

Haiden Schloithe delivered another strong performance in the midfield for the Bulldogs with 31 possessions and eight marks with Tim Kelly also gathering 23 disposals, Ryan Cook 22 and Dylan Main 21.

Many of South Fremantle's best contributors on the day came down back with Jason Maskos racking up 27 possessions and taking 15 marks, both career-highs.

Steve Verrier also finished with 24 possessions and eight marks for South Fremantle while Adam McIntosh had 23 touches, 10 marks and eight tackles, Steven Edwards 20 disposals and Chris Luff 19 to go with 14 marks.

South Fremantle might have made the flying start with a record first quarter in the WA Day Foundation Derby, but it was the opposite case on Saturday with Peel getting off to the impressive opening to the contest.

Brayden Lawler opened the goal scoring after four minutes and when Josh Deluca and Ben Hancock joined in on the action, the Thunder had three on the board after just nine minutes.

It took almost 10 minutes but the next goal went Peel's way courtesy of Deluca again before South Fremantle finally got its first major of the day after 23 minutes thanks to Shaw.

But the Thunder got their fifth of the first term through Matt Taberner just before the siren to take a 24-point advantage into the first break.

Peel again started quickly in the second quarter and had three more goals on the board by the 12-minute mark after Gerald Ugle, Nick Suban and Lawler all kicked truly.

That took the Thunder's lead out to 41 points before South Fremantle got one back courtesy of Saunders. But Peel had all the momentum and ended the half with goals to Hancock and Michael Tassone to hold a commanding game-high 46-point advantage at half-time.

South Fremantle needed to respond from the two-goal first half and did so within just 30 seconds thanks to Saunders. Peel did answer soon after with Taberner's second of the day, but the Bulldogs were working right back into the contest.

Two goals to Dell'Olio had the Bulldogs back within 30 points before a moment to remember for all at the game took place at the 21-minute mark. Saunders took a mark that simply had to be seen to be believed as he stood on the shoulders of Logue, leaped off to take the grab.

Most importantly he went back and slotted the goal and the Bulldogs were just 23 points down at the last change, half of what they had been a quarter earlier.

Blaine Johnson got loose briefly to run into an open goal seven minutes into the final term to make the margin just 17 points before the Thunder took it back out to 23 with a goal to Ethan Hughes.

But the Bulldogs had gained the momentum and went on a stirring run with four goals in just over six minutes courtesy of two quickly to Dell'Olio and another to Jacob Dragovich and Shaw with scores all tied up at the 23-minute mark.

It appeared South Fremantle would go on with it with the momentum on their side, but Peel was able to steady. With the Thunder's talls standing tall, Strnadica booted the winning goal just past the 27-minute mark and they held on for the six-point win.

South Fremantle's colts began the action on Saturday at Fremantle Community Bank Oval defeating Peel Thunder 11.7 (73) to 10.8 (68).

Lachlan Feeney kicked two goals for South Fremantle as did Luke Moore to go with 18 possessions.

Glenn Byron gathered 20 disposals for the Bulldogs, Bruno Faulkner 18, Michael Redman 18, Matthew Ward 18, Luke Moore 18, Eddy Pezet and Toby McQuilkin 18.

Jacob Warne had a good performance in the ruck with 16 touches, 28 hit outs and a goal.

South Fremantle's reserves consolidated top spot further with a thumping 25.14 (164) to 7.2 (44) win over Peel Thunder at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday.

Mitch Dzelebdzic kicked five goals from 19 possessions and nine marks for South Fremantle with Zac De San Miguel also booting three majors.

Shaun Bewick sent a real message finishing the game with 41 possessions, 15 marks and five goals.

Brendan Verrier also racked up 36 disposals, Matthew Gundry 28, Jarrod Parry 27, Chad Pearson 24, Tom Vandeleur 22, Matthew Parker 21, Kyle Russell 19, Daniel Cabassi 18, Andre Coutinho 18 and Daniel Burke 18.

Matthew Grubelich was impressive in the ruck with 18 touches, six marks, 30 hit outs and a goal.

South Fremantle will look to return to the winner's list and must win to remain in second position up against West Perth at HBF Arena on Saturday.

SOUTH FREMANTLE        1.2    2.5    6.10    11.11    (77)
PEEL THUNDER            5.2    10.3    11.3    13.5    (83)

SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Dell'Olio 4; Saunders 3; Shaw 2; Dragovich, Johnson.
Best: Schloithe, Luff, Edwards, Dell'Olio, Maskos, McIntosh, S Verrier. 
PEEL THUNDER – Goals: Lawler, Hancock, Taberner, Deluca 2; Ugle, Suban, Hughes, Strnadica, Tassone.
Best: Deluca, O'Brien, Hancock, Duman, Bennell, Hughes, Suban.