South Fremantle were too tall and too strong in the contest for Peel as the reigning premiers clinched an 18-point win in front of more than 1800 fans at Pingelly Oval on Saturday. Highlighted by the return of hometown hero Tom Blechynden and Katanning star Haiden Schloithe to the Upper Great Southern, the Bulldogs had a successful outing in their country zone. Featuring 10 Fremantle-listed players, Peel threatened multiple times to overrun the Bulldogs. But the Bulldogs had the answers from midway in the first term to run out 14.11 (95) to 11.11 (77) winners. Sandover medallist Schloithe was best-on-ground with 33 disposals (14 contested), seven clearances and three goals. Schloithe had plenty of help, with Matt Parker (22 disposals and seven inside 50s) and Jacob Dragovich (21 disposals) starring in the midfield, while Steven Edwards (three goals) was creative up forward and Blake Schlensog (22 disposals) provided drive from defence. The game was played at a frenetic pace early, with both sides trading scores in a bruising encounter. Midway through the first term the Bulldogs got the game on their terms and controlled possession, as the reigning premiers showed their class. Peel’s lack of a dominant tall forward proved costly, with much of their good midfield work going to waste with no prime targets to convert their forward entries. Two goals within a minute to Schloithe and Edwards ended any hopes of a final-quarter comeback. South Fremantle were having no such problems at the other end of the ground, rotating their abundance of versatile bigs in attack, while Cody Ninyette (three goals) was causing all kinds of havoc for Peel’s defence at ground level. This saw the Bulldogs kick four unanswered goals as they broke away from the Thunder midway through the second term. Peel lifted just before half-time and found some reward through effort thanks to long-range goals from Sam Sturt (two goals) and Lloyd Meek (two goals and 31 hit-outs), as Connor Blakely, who had 12 of his 25 touches in the term, fought hard in the midfield. The Thunder tried to build on this momentum in the third term, with Joel Western (two goals) giving them a moment of inspiration with a goal which came after an 80m sprint and three bounces. But the Bulldogs’ leaders kept standing up, with Schloithe given too much room forward of centre, which he used to his advantage to kick two goals from 13 disposals for the term. For a third time in the game, Peel pulled themselves back into the contest, kicking the first three goals of the final term to get within 19 points of the Bulldogs. Scoreboard South Fremantle 4.5, 8.9, 12.10, 14.11 (95) Peel 2.4, 4.7, 6.8, 11.11 (77) Goals South Fremantle: C Ninyette 3 H Schloithe 3 S Edwards 3 M Shaw 2 J Miller 2 Z Strom. Peel: S Sturt 2 B Middleton 2 J Western 2 L Meek 2 B Lawler L Henry T Thorne. BestSouth Fremantle: H Schloithe J Dragovich B Schlensog M Parker S Edwards C Ninyette. Peel: L Meek C Blakely B Hancock T Thorne S Giro S Sturt. InjuriesSouth Fremantle: D Main (lower leg) replaced in the selected side by K Barker. Peel: L Cullen, J Sturrock replaced in the selected side by S Sturt, L Meek (AFL). UmpiresT McPhee, J Gibb, L Fahey-Gilmour Crowd 1842 at Pingelly Oval.