Crit­i­cal short­falls cost Peel in fi­nal

Southern Telegraph - - Sport - John Townsend

A vir­tual Peel re­serves out­fit made a mock­ery of the club’s maiden fi­nals ap­pear­ance by hand­ing West Perth a 109-point vic­tory and a berth in the sec­ond semi­fi­nal on Sun­day.

Al­ready with­out 11 of the Fre- man­tle play­ers who had steered Peel to their first fi­nal in their 19th sea­son, the Thun­der took prag­ma­tism to another level by leav­ing out their two best play­ers in Bren­don Jones and Josh Bootsma.

And while a host of new­com­ers were shred­ded by West Perth’s im­pos­ing mid­field, Peel’s two most se­nior re­main­ing play­ers Leroy Jetta and Gerald Ugle were ware­housed in for­ward pock­ets.

It was go­ing to be Jones’ first fi­nal af­ter 218 league ap­pear­ances, but his ab­sence at least saved him the em­bar­rass­ment of be­ing in­volved in the fourth WAFL fi­nal to be de­cided by a cen­tury.

West Perth cruised to the fin­ish line, kick­ing 21 goals to two af­ter the first break, to pre­vail 22.13 (145) to 5.6 (36) and record their big­gest win in any fi­nal.

Peel debu­tant Kyle Shana­han learnt a les­son from run­ning with An­drew Strijk, the league’s best kicker, who un­leashed his thun­der­ing right boot with a 60m bomb that was one of eight unan­swered goals in the sec­ond term.

Dock­ers rook­ies Tom Van­deleur and Sean Hur­ley were busy, and debu­tants Jake Dowd­ing and Mitchell Wal­lace showed they had a fu­ture at league level.

But Peel were un­able to match West Perth’s depth of tal­ent and their deficits of 118 ef­fec­tive kicks, 185 dis­pos­als and 80 marks were in­di­ca­tors of their crit­i­cal short­falls.

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