Har­ley revs up Peel mid­field

Pinjarra Murray Times - - SPORT -

HAR­LEY Ben­nell could be set for an ex­tended mid­field role for Peel Thun­der in the com­ing weeks, ac­cord­ing to coach Cam Shep­herd.

The Fre­man­tle Dock­ers livewire played two-and-a-half quar­ters in Peel’s four-goal loss to lowly East Fre­man­tle as he con­tin­ued his come­back from a nag­ging calf in­jury.

The sec­ond pick in the 2010 Na­tional Draft had 16 dis­pos­als, three tack­les, two in­side-50s and a goal in his re­stricted play­ing time.

Shep­herd said Ben­nell could spend more time in the mid­field as he con­tin­ued to build fit­ness, but the de­ci­sion was up to Fre­man­tle coach Ross Lyon.

“He gave us a bit of spark, so hope­fully he’ll pull up well and we’ll have a dis­cus­sion with Ross and see what to do go­ing for­ward,” he said.

Ben­nell was one of few pos­i­tives for Peel, who slumped to their fifth loss in seven games in win­try con­di­tions, and Shep­herd said the Sharks adapted to the weather bet­ter than his side.

“It wasn’t rain­ing a lot but it was cer­tainly windy; the game was played on one side of the ground,” he said. “There was a bit of ill-dis­ci­pline from our play­ers and a cou­ple of East Fre­man­tle play­ers willed them­selves on the game, in par­tic­u­lar Ge­orge Hamp­son and Jonathon Marsh.”

De­spite strong mid­field per­for­mances from Ben Howlett (35 dis­pos­als), Ste­fan Giro (34 dis­pos­als and seven tack­les) and ster­ling de­fence from Taylin Du­man (14 marks) and Ethan Hughes (10 marks), Shep­herd ad­mit­ted he was dis­ap­pointed with his side’s goal­kick­ing.

Peel scored just 4.13 and were 1.9 at half-time.

“The back­line held up well, but I’m dis­ap­pointed with the for­ward line,” he said.

Pic­ture: Len­non Matthews-Row­ell

Har­ley Ben­nell flies for a mark dur­ing Peel’s 24-point loss to East Fre­man­tle.

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