Rare first-up win for 2017 premiers
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