PEEL Thunder were defeated by the South Fremantle Bulldogs at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday, leaving them seventh on the WAFL ladder.
The Thunder’s six-goal blitz in the final term wasn’t enough to secure a win, with the final score 16.11 (107) to 10.12 (72).
Peel defender Bradley McGowan said the Bulldogs were always going to be a challenge.
“They rebound really quickly and are in one way and out the other… they’re a real fast team to score,” he said.
The Thunder had a lacklustre first term and were not able to convert a goal, trailing by 27 points at quarter-time.
McGowan said a lack of momentum characterised their first term.
“We didn’t play four quarters of footy, we didn’t capitalise on goal kicking at the start,” he said.
“There was no big momentum or swing, we needed that.”
Peel matched the Bulldogs in general play during the second term but missed opportunities to hit the scoreboard through inaccuracy.
Captain Gerald Ugle’s first goal for the team wasn’t enough to keep the Thunder from falling behind 27 points going into the half.
McGowan said Ugle was crucial in the forward line.
“He’s very good up forward, he always is; he has great pressure and is a great leader too,” he said.
The third term saw the Bulldogs push away from the Thunder, with the home side scoring five goals, leading at three-quarter time by 44 points.
McGowan said Cam Shepherd’s words encouraged the team to fight back in the second half.
“Cam said we need to come out strong and we need to prove a point because the game is on the line and so is the season,” he said.
The fourth term saw Peel make a strong stand against the Bulldogs with six individual goal scorers to reduce the margin but it wasn’t enough to claim a victory against South Fremantle.
McGowan said Ben Howlett, who finished with 21 disposals and a goal, was a key player.
“He’s a great leader; he always gets around the young boys and teaches them the right thing to do,” he said.
Peel Thunder face fourth-placed Swan Districts at Bendigo Bank Stadium on Saturday, June 30 with bouncedown at 2.15pm.