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Big Docker fires Peel into another WAFL GF

Matt Taberner booted four goals in Peel Thunder's WAFL finals win - AFL,Fremantle Dockers,Matt Taberner
Matt Taberner booted four goals in Peel Thunder's WAFL finals win

FREMANTLE forward Matt Taberner has continued his push for a contract extension by leading Peel Thunder to back-to-back WAFL Grand Final appearances. 

The athletic tall dominated early against Subiaco at Leederville Oval on Sunday, and finished with four goals and 16 marks in the Thunder's hard-earned 24-point triumph in the second semi-final.

Rebounding defender Luke Ryan, full-back Sam Collins and veteran Danyle Pearce were also outstanding as Peel, fielding 15 Dockers, snapped the Lions' 19-game winning streak. 

The Thunder will now have the chance to defend last year's maiden WAFL premiership in the last Australian football match at Domain Stadium on September 24.

Around the state leagues: Who staked their finals claim?

Taberner, who is out of contract this year, has lifted his output considerably in the second half of the season to potentially save his Dockers career. 

He forced his way back into Freo's line-up for the final three rounds after a dominant month at WAFL level and impressed with his clean hands and work rate. 

The 24-year-old ex-rookie grabbed seven marks and slotted two goals in a commanding opening quarter to help set up Peel's win on Sunday.

His only blemish was a hospital kick which hung in the air and set up Josh Deluca, who was crunched from behind. 

Ryan's intercepting across half-back was another highlight in a strong return from groin soreness.

He ended with 16 marks and 25 disposals, while Collins (10 marks) was rock-solid again and Pearce racked up 30 touches.

Ryan Nyhuis did his best to keep a tight leash on Lions star Liam Ryan, but the WAFL's leading goalkicker made the most of his limited opportunities.

The mercurial Ryan booted 3.1 from just seven touches, underlining his goalkicking threat for any AFL recruiters in attendance. 

Peel's height worried Subiaco and veteran ruckman Jonathon Griffin (40 hit-outs) and young gun Sean Darcy (24) gave their midfielders first use throughout the contest. 

Darcy booted a booming 55m set shot and added another goal into time-on in the final term to thwart Subiaco's gallant fightback.

While Darcy's career is taking off, Griffin's future remains unclear, with the 31-year-old yet to sign beyond this season.

Tommy Sheridan (18 disposals, two goals) and Nick Suban (15 disposals) are among others out of contract, with Fremantle yet to announce any delistings.

Dockers veteran Zac Dawson has played his last AFL game and could be in doubt for the Grand Final after collecting Liam Baker with a high bump. 

Baker had to be taken from the ground on a stretcher and the incident is certain to be scrutinised by the Match Review Panel.

If Dawson cops a suspension the Thunder could have a readymade replacement in Brennan Cox, who has missed both finals with a groin issue. 

Exciting draft prospect Aaron Naughton is another possible inclusion. The rangy defender was omitted for the semi-final after averaging six marks in his seven League games.