Peel Thunder’s season over after loss to East Perth

Photo: Aaron Mulroney
Photo: Aaron Mulroney

PEEL Thunder’s season is over after a heartbreaking 84-point loss to East Perth.

In a must-win clash for both teams, the Thunder lost every quarter to the hungrier Royals who finished 16.18 (114) to Peel’s 4.6 (30).

Peel debutant Lachlan Riley said the team played cohesively despite the loss.

“They got a hold of us, East Perth were just the better side on the day,” he said.

“However our defence was good, they followed the ball all day, the midfield and forwards got in there pretty quickly too.”

Both teams were aggressive early with players constantly getting tackled, preventing either side from gaining momentum.

After quarter-time the Thunder began to fall behind on the scoreboard as they were forced to play a defensive and protective game of footy, resulting in a scoreless third quarter.

In the final term, East Perth kicked seven unanswered goals before Peel’s Danyle Pearce slotted his team’s fourth major for the day in his final game as a Fremantle-listed player.

Riley said the experience of senior players such as Pearce and stand-in captain Ben Howlett influenced the younger members.

“Pearce is an awesome player and attacks the same each game, it’s been really good to have him around and it’s also sad to see him go,” he said.

“Howlett is great around the club, especially for the younger boys, great on game day and I swear his stats are the same each week.”

Peel Thunder went into the clash without two-time premiership captain Gerald Ugle, who had not missed a game all season.

Coach Cam Shepherd was positive despite the loss, mentioning opportunities for a younger squad and how optimistic he is for season 2019.

“It was a disappointing result for us, it wasn’t to be today,” he said.

“When you’ve won a couple on the truck you become hunted by the opposition and that’s what we like… we’ve had some wonderful successes over the last two years but sometimes you have to go backwards.

“We will look forward with a bit of excitement, because we’ve been able to blood some young players this year.”