PEEL THUNDER 14.4 (88) defeated WEST PERTH 12.13 (85)
It took Peel less than two minutes to kick the first goal thanks to Brennan Cox with the Thunder adding another through Sam Switkowski before West Perth got on the board courtesy of Corey Chalmers.
But goals for the Thunder to Corey Morris and Scott Jones had the home team on top by 19 points at quarter-time.
West Perth did stay in touch thanks to a couple of Andrew Strijk goals early in the second term and despite a Michael Lourey goal just before half-time, the Thunder were in control with a 14-point advantage at the main break.
Peel’s lead looked to then be a match-winning one thanks to a four-goal to nil third quarter.
When Essendon recruit Jackson Merrett kicked truly to start the fourth term, Peel was up by 43 points and by as much as 44 before West Perth made a stunning surge.
It started with a goal to Rudy Riddoch at the eight-minute mark before Strijk added another two minutes later and Liam Tedesco another with 12 minutes gone.
Peel steadied with a goal to former captain Gerald Ugle to still lead by 30 points but West Perth had a sniff. Mitch Peirce, Strijk, Riddoch and Shane Nelson all kicked goals in the frantic last 10 minutes but Peel held on by three points.
Gerald Ugle started the season in fine form for Peel, despite no longer being captain, kicking four goals while Brennan Cox chimed in with a couple of majors.
Mitch Crowden put his hand up for a Fremantle call-up, amassing 32 possessions.