Hopes end for Thunder
Why we lost the match: Coach
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.
Peel Thunder’s Lloyd Meek was airborne for this impressive mark.