East Fremantle survived a huge scare to move a step closer to securing a finals berth with a 24-point win over Peel Thunder at East Fremantle Oval today.
Sharks forwards Brett Peake and Jack Perham kicked three goals each in the 14.14 (98) to 11.8 (74) triumph.
East Fremantle are now entrenched in the top four – four wins clear of fifth-placed West Perth, who have a game in hand with time running out.
The Sharks led Peel at every change, but never by more than a goal in a hard-fought contest.
The game hung in the balance when the margin was just six points at three-quarter time.
The teams went goal-for-goal during the opening 15 minutes of the final term before late majors to Bradd Dalziell and Brett Peake put the game beyond doubt.
Michael Wood’s goal deep into time-on of the last quarter provided scant consolation for a Peel side that that has shown signs of improvement in the second half of the season.
Prolific ball-winner Dalziell was one of East Fremantle’s best with 28 possessions, six tackles and two goals, while Mark McGough (29 possessions) and Sandover medalist Rory O’Brien (33) were also prominent in the midfield.
For Peel, Eddie Dann continued his rich vein of form with 31 possessions and two goals, and veteran midfielder Brendon Jones had 29 disposals.
Dockers youngsters Hayden Crozier (25 possessions, two goals) and Tom Sheridan (34 disposals, seven inside 50m entries) were influential for the Thunder.
Jack Hannath split his ruck duel with Sharks big man James Bristow, who was assisted by Rob Young.
Earlier in the day, East Fremantle won both the reserves (67 points) and the colts (six points) fixtures.
Tom Hooker put his hand up for a league recall with 27 possessions and two goals in the reserves.
|GOALS – EAST FREMANTLE: Peake, Perham 3; J Bristow, Dalziell 2; Eardley, Henson, Schofield, Young.|
PEEL: Crozier, Dann 2; Barndon, Duffy, Gumbleton, Jones, Moller, Thornton, Wood.