PEEL coach Cam Shepherd was happy to see multiple goalkickers taking part in Saturday’s goal fest that saw the Thunder notch up its largest ever victory of 90 points, while also excelling in defence.
Having broken through for the club’s maiden premiership in 2016 and ending up with a seven-game winning run for the first time after wins in the opening two rounds of 2017, the Thunder made more history on Saturday at the expense of the Demons.
Peel’s previous four wins this season had only been by an average of 36.8 points, while Perth’s previous six losses had been by an average of 32.2 points.
With the Demons off a high from a thrilling win over Claremont, there was nothing to suggest what eventuated on Saturday.
“We had 10 goalkickers, so the load was spread across the board, which was really great,” he said. “I was really please we were able to keep Perth to five goals.”
Peel didn’t have a player in its 22 who didn’t make a good contribution and the only one not to reach double-figures in possessions was Leroy Jetta, who kicked three goals.
Shepherd welcomed back one of the club’s favourite sons, Hayden Ballantyne, who played his first game for Peel since 2009.
“Hayden provided some real spark and it was really good to have him play and I think he was excited by it,” he said.
“I am sure he would like to get back up to Fremantle pretty quickly.”
Ballantyne marked his return from injury by kicking two goals from 13 disposals.
Shepherd was also impressed with Corey Morris, keeping Perth star Clint Jones, who usually averages 33 possessions, to just 22, while also chipping in with two goals.
“That was a good performance and he is building his career, which is great,” he said.
He said youngsters Luke Ryan and Brennan Cox played well in the back half and Griffin Logue continued to impress.
“Leroy Jetta played well and Zac Dawson was really competitive up forward while Griffin and Sean Darcy were great in the ruck,” he said.
“It was a very even performance by our team.”
Rory O’Brien amassed another 28 possessions and nine marks for Peel, while Nick Suban had 26 disposals and Traye Bennell 21.
There are no WAFL games this weekend, with the WAFL taking on the VFL.
Shepherd is hoping that Jetta and Blair Bell both get a run for the State side.
The rest of the team will be training at the Dockers’ new complex at Cockburn, gearing up for tough clashes ahead against Subiaco and South Fremantle.
“They’re going to be challenging games but they will be good for us to see where we are at,” he said.