Big step up for young Stur­rock

Colt feels the pace

Pinjarra Murray Times - - SPORT - Jade Brad­ford

PEEL Thun­der have suf­fered a shat­ter­ing eight­point loss in the lead-up to fi­nals against the Perth Demons at Lath­lain Park.

De­spite hold­ing a 16point lead at three-quar­ter time, the Demons fought back in the fi­nal term to win 10.15 (75) to the Thun­der’s 10.7 (67).

Debu­tant James Stur­rock said his team were un­able to hold off Perth in the fi­nal term.

“In the last quar­ter, they dom­i­nated us in the mid­field,” he said.

“I think that’s what went wrong for us.”

The Thun­der started pos­i­tively in Blair Bell and Traye Ben­nell’s 50th game, kick­ing four goals to the Demons’ two.

How­ever, dur­ing quar­ter-time, coach Cam Shep­herd warned his side to avoid over-han­dling and over-hand­balling.

Ac­cu­mu­lat­ing 11 dis­pos­als, Stur­rock said his first league game was chal­leng­ing.

“It was def­i­nitely a step up from colts level […] a lot quicker game” he said.

“I thought I was clean with my hands but I need to work on my de­fence.”

The fi­nal term saw the Demons fight back, kick­ing four goals and earn­ing them­selves fourth spot on the WAFL league lad­der.

Fre­man­tle mid­fielder Brady Grey made pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tions dur­ing the game in his re­turn from in­jury, kick­ing two ma­jors and col­lect­ing 11 dis­pos­als.

Stur­rock at­tributed the team’s early suc­cess to Grey’s strength in the mid­field.

“He is a key player in our team and is re­ally strong in the mid­field.”

Fre­man­tle veter­ans Danyle Pearce (34 dis­pos­als) and Michael John­son (17 dis­pos­als) also played well in their team’s loss.

“I think Pearce was our best player by far, he re­ally was a big part of the drive com­ing from the mid­field,” Stur­rock said.

“He [John­son] was re­bound­ing out­side the 50 re­ally well and was re­ally strong in de­fence along the back­line.”

Peel Thun­der are set to take on South Fre­man­tle at Bendigo Bank Sta­dium this Satur­day, July 21, in the an­nual Gary Hol­land Cup.

Pictures: Christo­pher Tan Pho­tog­ra­phy

Thun­der and Demons bat­tle it out on the field.

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