Subiaco had to survive being reduced to 17 fit men and a last quarter Peel surge, but hung on bravely to record a 17-point win at Bendigo Bank Stadium today.
With Josh Deluca (hamstring), Hayden Kennedy (shoulder) and Abe Davey (knee) all out of the game and Kyal Horsley rested after cramping, Peel kicked seven of the last nine goals of the match.
They always looked likely to run short of time but there were anxious moments for the Subiaco brains trust as they surged.
Jason Bristow topped 31 possessions with two goals for the Lions while Chris Phelan, Lachlan Delahunty, George Hampson and Matt Boland all hit the scoreboard.
For Peel, Liam McKenna started brightly before fading from the game, Mat Brown, Anthony Morabito (24 touches and two goals) and Tom Sheridan, who had 23 touches in three quarters, all played roles, as did young forward Michael Apeness who had 17 possessions and took nine marks including seven in contests.
Subiaco had had their share of the play in an even opening term but found it hard to breach a Peel defence well led by Alex Silvagni.
They also struggled to cope with the influence around the ground of dropped Dockers big man Jack Hannath, whose 11 first quarter touches made him one of the dominant players on the ground.
The Lions had midfield possessions to show for a strong showing around the ball, and plenty of entries inside attacking fifty as well, but they were two points behind on the scoreboard at quarter time.
The game swung off of the Lions second quarter accuracy in the second term and, it must be said, that the Thunder were as crooked with the ball in their hands as the Lions were straight.
Subiaco banged on five goals in the term to go to the half time break without having missed. Peel added 1.4 for the term. Fremantle youngster Apeness was one of his team's best but also one of their worst offenders, mixing a couple of towering marks with missed shots on goal.
It meant Subiaco went to the main break nursing a three goal lead which had been earned mainly off the back of prolific midfielders Bristow (19 touches), Horsley (17 touches) and Phelan (15 touches) while Boland had bobbed up in attack with two goals.
Peel's inability to score took its toll on them in the third term as Subiaco's runners took control of the game.
Bristow kicked his second goal and Hampson added two, including a "special" from the boundary line on the dead run as Subiaco bolted clear. The Lions kicked five goals for the term, although they also squandered some chances. Peel laboured over two goals at their end and the game was all but settled as a contest by the last change.
Peel had picked a top heavy squad which included Fremantle ruck trio Hannath, Jon Griffin and Craig Moller along with Apeness.
The home team's run gradually dried to a trickle in the third term, although McKenna continued to gather touches and Sheridan, who had been brought into the game at quarter time, had gathered 19 in
about two quarters of football.
If the game wasn't finished at three quarter time it was early in the last when the Lions kicked the first two goals of the final term and led by 46 points.
They ran out of players after that, but the home team always looked likely to run out of time.
|GOALS - SUBIACO: Hampson, Boland 3; Bristow, Delahunty, Deluca, Waters 2; Horsley, Stockley. PEEL: Lawrence 4, Brown, Apeness, Morabito 2; Gillam, Grey, Dann.|
BEST - SUBIACO: Bristow, Phelan, Delahunty, Boland, Hampson, Horsley. PEEL: Lawrence, Apeness, Morabito, Jones, Sheridan, Hannath.