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Round 2 Match Report – Swan Districts v Peel ThunderMonday, April 9, 2018 - 11:56 AM - by Chris Pike

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SWAN Districts kicked the last two goals on Saturday at Steel Blue Oval to break a late deadlock and beat the WAFL premiers of the past two years Peel Thunder by 14 points.
 
It was a seesawing contest all afternoon at Steel Blue Oval with both Swan Districts and Peel coming off impressive Round 1 victories.
 
Scores were all tied up entering time-on of the final quarter following a Darcy Tucker goal for the Thunder. 
 
But Peel was down on manpower on the bench with a string of injuries and Swan Districts found something late with goals to Brayden Noble and debutant William Reidy to come away with the 15.12 (102) to 13.10 (88) victory.
 
The win backs up the Round 1 win for Swan Districts over Perth by 45 points while Peel slips to 1-1 on the new season after beating East Fremantle at home on Good Friday.

Swans made a strong start to 2018 with that win over the Demons but a significant reason for that was the dominant showing by boom recruit Rhys Palmer. He produced 31 possessions, 19 clearances and three goals in a best on ground display. 

He had overcome an injured ankle to play but it didn’t pull up for him to take on Peel seven days later. With co-captain David Ellard also still missing, it means the black-and-whites had to dig deep against the premiers of the past two years.

Swans had plenty of players stand tall too with Jarrad Blight stepping into the midfield to deliver 24 possessions, eight marks, six tackles, six inside-50 entries and two goals.

Adam Faulkner had another 23 touches and five marks for Swan Districts with Matt Riggio contributing 21 touches, six marks and four tackles.

The combination of Nathan Blakely and Corey Gault sharing ruck and key forward duties worked well again too. Blakely ended up with 15 possessions, five tackles and 21 hit outs, and Gault 10 disposals, 11 hit outs and three goals.

Up forward, 19-year-old debut William Reidy had a debut to remember kicking four goals from five kicks including the game's sealer near the 30-minute mark of the last quarter.

Brayden Noble also kicked two goals for Swans with Matthew Rogers continuing his strong start to the 2018 season with 20 disposals, five marks and a goal.

Tobe Watson also continued his emergence as one of the best young defenders in the WAFL ending the afternoon with 20 possessions and 11 marks. 

Alex Howard also had 20 touches and eight marks down back with Brayden Hackett impressive at ground level with 19 disposals, five marks and five tackles.

On the back of winning a second straight premiership and then beating East Fremantle in Round 1, there was no shortage of belief at Peel Thunder it could run out strongly against Swan Districts at Steel Blue Oval. 

But in the end, injuries to Michael Tassone, Michael Apeness, Sean Darcy and a couple more sore bodies late in the contest meant they just had no gas left in the tank.

Leroy Jetta spent the opening round in the reserves for Peel but came in to take on Swan Districts in Round 2 and he kicked two goals as did Darcy Tucker and Blair Bell. Tucker also compiled 34 possessions and six marks, and Bell 22 disposals, seven marks, four tackles and seven inside 50s.

Peel had plenty of other big ball winners led by 256-game AFL veteran Danyle Pearce who ended the afternoon at Bassendean with 40 possessions, eight marks and four tackles.

Ben Howlett also amassed 24 disposals and 12 marks for Peel and Ethan Hughes 22 touches and nine marks while Tom North finished with 19 possessions, Brayden Lawler 18 and ruckman Lloyd Meek 18 to go with 23 hit outs, five tackles, four marks and a goal.

Peel Thunder's reserves started strongly at Steel Blue Oval on Saturday with five goals to one in the first quarter and kept that going to end up beating Swan Districts 14.9 (93) to 7.12 (54).

Brad McGowan kicked four goals for the Thunder, Joel O'Driscoll four and Alex Cohen two.

Brad Walsh amassed 35 possessions for Peel, Corey Morris 24, Chris Wrigley 23, Michael Humble 23, Keegan Power 22, Josh Mathers 21 and James Kirby 20.

Luke Strnadica had another strong performance in the ruck with 22 disposals, 12 marks, 27 hit outs and a goal.

Levi Ridley was superb for Swan Districts with 30 possessions, six marks, six inside 50s, three tackles and two goals for Swan Districts' reserves.

Lockie Huntley also picked up 26 disposals for the black-and-whites, Albert Dean 23, Taryce Stewart 18 and Jacob Ness 16.

Having now beaten the reigning premiers of the past two seasons, Swan Districts will look to remain undefeated in 2018 up against the Grand Finalists of the last four years Subiaco on Saturday at Leederville Oval.
 
Peel Thunder will look to rebound strongly back at home against Perth on Sunday at Bendigo Bank Stadium.
 
SWAN DISTRICTS 4.1 7.5 9.8 15.12 (102)
PEEL THUNDER 2.4 6.5 10.9 13.10 (88)
 
SWAN DISTRICTS – Goals: Reidy 4; Gault 3; Blight, Noble 2; Rogers, Banfield, Maguire, Wilson.
Best: Blight, Watson, Blakely, Reidy, Faulkner, Hackett, Rogers, Gault.
PEEL THUNDER – Goals: Jetta, Tucker, Bell 2; Ugle, Lawler, Grey, Hughes, North, Meek, Cox.
Best: Pearce, Tucker, Bell, Meek, Howlett, North, Hughes.