PEEL Thunder have suffered a shattering eight-point loss in the lead up to finals against the Perth Demons at Lathlain Park.
Despite holding a 16-point lead at three-quarter time, the Demons fought back in the final term to win 10.15.(75) to the Thunder’s 10.7.(67).
Debutant James Sturrock said his team were unable to hold off Perth in the final term.
“In the last quarter, they dominated us in the midfield,” he said.
“I think that’s what went wrong for us.”
The Thunder started positively in Blair Bell and Traye Bennell’s 50th game, kicking four goals to the Demons two.
However, during quarter time coach Cam Shepherd warned his side to avoid over handling and over handballing.
Accumulating 11 disposals, Sturrock said his first league game was challenging.
“It was definitely a step up from colts level […] a lot quicker game” he said.
“I thought I was clean with my hands but I need to work on my defence.”
The final term saw the Demons fight back, kicking four goals and earning themselves fourth spot on the WAFL league ladder.
Fremantle midfielder Brady Grey made positive contributions during the game in his return from injury, kicking two majors and collecting 11 disposals.
Sturrock attributed the team’s early success to Grey’s strength in the midfield.
“He is a key player in our team and is really strong in the midfield.”
Fremantle veterans Danyle Pearce (34 disposals) and Michael Johnson (17 disposals) also played well in their team’s loss.
“I think Pearce was our best player by far, he really was a big part of the drive coming from the midfield,” Sturrock said.
“He [Johnson] was rebounding outside the fifty really well and was really strong in defence along the backline.”
Peel Thunder are set to take on South Fremantle at Bendigo Bank Stadium this Saturday, July 21, in the annual Gary Holland Cup.