Hopes end for Thun­der

Why we lost the match: Coach

Mandurah Coastal Times - - SPORT - Christo­pher Tan

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.

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.

“It was a dis­ap­point­ing re­sult for us; it wasn’t to be to­day,” coach Cam Shep­herd said. PEEL Thun­der coach Cam Shep­herd said in­ex­pe­ri­ence was the big­gest factor in his side’s sea­son-end­ing 84-point loss to East Perth at Bendigo Bank Sta­dium.

A win would have re­sulted in Peel seal­ing a spot in the fi­nals, but they were over­run from start to fin­ish by a dom­i­nant Roy­als out­fit.

Shep­herd said the heavy loss had been a valu­able les­son for his young side and East Perth’s ex­pe­ri­enced AFL-listed play­ers showed their class.

“We came in with hope of win­ning and get­ting into the fi­nals and con­tin­u­ing our sea­son, but it wasn’t to be. East Perth were far bet­ter than us,” he said.

“They just had win­ners all over the field.”

Danyle Pearce turned down a farewell game for Fre­man­tle in a bid to help Peel reach the fi­nals and fin­ished with 29 dis­pos­als and a goal. His coach was quick to praise him for his per­for­mances and com­mit­ment all sea­son long.

“He was prob­a­bly our best player again; he had a stel­lar sea­son and I re­ally com­mend him on his at­ti­tude and ef­fort,” he said.

Pic­ture: Vanessa Sch­mitt

Peel Thun­der’s Lloyd Meek was air­borne for this im­pres­sive mark.

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