Rare first-up win for 2017 pre­miers

Weekend Courier - - Wafl -

PROUDLY PART­NERED WITH MAN­DURAH COASTAL TIMES THE 2018 Peel Thun­der WAFL pre­mier­ship de­fence has started in fine fash­ion with a com­pre­hen­sive come-from-be­hind vic­tory over East Fre­man­tle in Man­durah on Good Fri­day.

Af­ter trail­ing for most of the match, a five­goal last quar­ter and a ques­tion­able goal um­pire call en­abled the reign­ing pre­miers to tri­umph by 15 points in their open­ing round game, 11.12 (78) to 9.9 (63).

Buoyed by a best-on-ground per­for­mance by Dock­ers dis­card Danyle Pearce with 32 pos­ses­sions and 28 pos­ses­sions and a goal from Darcy Tucker, the Thun­der were able to get them­selves off the can­vas to come from 11 points down at three-quar­ter time to regis­ter just their fourth first-round win in their 21year his­tory.

Cap­tain Ger­ald Ugle pro­vided a tar­get in at­tack to boot three goals, while Bray­den Lawler, Sam Switkowski and Brady Grey bagged two each.

It was bit­ter­sweet for the Sharks, who couldn’t de­liver the knock-out blow af­ter hav­ing the best of the Thun­der for a ma­jor­ity of the match. Jay­den Schofield gath­ered a game-high 33 touches to go with seven marks, with for­wards Sam Fletcher, Alex Tow­son and Jack Per­ham com­bin­ing for seven ma­jors, but in the end that wasn’t enough to take the four points at stake.

Best for Thun­der were Pearce, Grey, Tucker and Bren­nan Cox. For the Sharks, Schofield, Ge­orge Hamp­son and Cam Eard­ley were ser­vice­able.

It was a great day for the Peel Foot­ball Club as the re­serves and colts were also able to notch first-up wins.

The re­serves recorded a re­sound­ing 19.10 (124) to 11.7 (73) vic­tory on the back of five goals from livewire Alex Co­hen and four to the mer­cu­rial Leroy Jetta. For­mer Ea­gles player Jamie McNa­mara and Am­brose Ryan booted two apiece for the Sharks. The colts game saw the Thun­der knock off the 2017 pre­miers 11.12 (78) to the Sharks 8.5 (53).

Next Satur­day sees the Man­durah side travel to Steel Blue Oval to take on Swan Dis­tricts. An­thony Guer­riero

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