Round 3 Match Report – Peel Thunder v PerthTuesday, April 17, 2018 - 10:36 AM - by Chris Pike
PERTH pulled off the upset of the WAFL season to date as the wooden spooners from three of the last four years beat the back-to-back reigning premiers Peel Thunder by six points at Bendigo Bank Stadium on Sunday.
Perth came into the contest in Mandurah having lost nine straight matches to Peel not to mention that the Demons were stuck with a third wooden spoon in the last four years in 2017 while the Thunder went on to win back-to-back premierships.
The Demons had also lost their opening two games of 2018 to Swan Districts and East Fremantle, but they made the trip south on a mission and for three quarters dominated the contest against the Thunder.
Perth went on to lead by 44 points early in the last term and then despite Peel kicking the game's last five goals, the Demons held on to win 12.13 (85) to 11.13 (79).
Spencer White showed exactly why Perth has been patient with him through his injury battles the past two years with quality tall forwards so difficult to come by. The former St Kilda big man had a big day kicking five goals for the Demons from 14 possessions and six marks.
Richard Bourne and Marshall Jones also kicked two goals each for the Demons.
It was a strong performance by Perth's key, experienced on-ballers led by captain Clint Jones who finished with 35 possessions and eight marks.
Michael Sinclair also delivered 32 possessions and nine marks, Cody Leggett 30 touches, 10 tackles and six marks, Corey Yeo 23 disposals and eight inside-50 entries and Matthew Taylor 21 possessions and five tackles.
Corey Byrne battled hard for 19 touches and seven tackles with Ben Giobbi adding 18 disposals and six tackles, Brant Colledge 18 possessions, and Laine Wilkins 17.
Christian Eyres fought hard in the ruck with 27 hit outs, 10 disposals and five tackles up against Lloyd Meek, Luke Strnadica and Scott Jones.
Ben Howlett was outstanding for Peel with the 2009 fairest and best winner delivering his best performance since returning from his 124-game Essendon career with 33 possessions, 10 tackles and five inside-50 entries.
Taylin Duman also gathered 28 disposals and 10 marks for Peel with Ben Hancock finishing with 24 disposals and six tackles, Ethan Hughes 24 touches and eight marks, Danyle Pearce 23 possessions, Ryan Nyhuis 23 touches and Brennan Cox 20 along with nine marks.
Haydn Matthews also had 18 possessions and five tackles for the Thunder.
Leroy Jetta was a livewire up forward for Peel and loomed as a potential match winner with his eight shots on goal from 10 kicks. He only managed to convert that into three goals though.
Blair Bell kicked two goals also for the Thunder with 17 possessions, four marks and four inside-50 entries.
Peel started the contest with the opening three behinds before Perth kicked the first goal courtesy of Spencer White at the eight-minute mark.
The Demons then got another thanks to Corey Yeo and they still led by seven points by quarter-time despite a Peel major to Blair Bell.
It was then three goals apiece in the second quarter with Perth going into half-time still leading by seven points.
By 14 minutes into the third quarter and Perth had stretched that advantage to 32 points thanks to goals to White, Marshall Jones, Callum Collard and Richard Bourne.
Peel did get a couple back through Bell and Tom North but Perth had all the answers with goals to White and Kristian Cary to head into three quarter-time leading by 38.
That became 44 points early in the last with another goal to White.
But Peel was never going to lie down without giving a comeback a try and the Thunder did kick the last five goals of the final quarter but still fell six points short against the Demons.
Perth's reserves also came away with a 15.5 (95) to 10.13 (73) victory against Peel on Sunday at Bendigo Bank Stadium.
Blake Johnson kicked five goals from seven kicks for Perth with Lennon Martin booting four majors from eight kicks and Michael Bennell three majors from six kicks.
Kurtis Chester gathered 23 possessions for the Demons, Mitchell Browne 18, Anton Scotney 17, Kasey Nicholas 17 and Callum Marshall 17.
Nick Merritt kicked four goals for Peel and Brett Milward two.
Chris Wrigley picked up 24 possessions for the Thunder, Keegan Power 24 and Alex Cohen 17 to go with seven inside 50s, five marks, four tackles and a goal.
Peel Thunder has the bye in Round 4 following the consecutive losses before taking on East Perth in Round 5 at Leederville Oval.
Perth will attempt to string consecutive wins together up against East Perth at Lathlain Park on Saturday.
PEEL THUNDER 1.4 4.7 6.9 11.13 (79)
PERTH 2.5 5.8 12.11 12.13 (85)
PEEL THUNDER – Goals: Jetta 3; Bell 2; Lawler, Meek, Kersten, North, Switkowski, Strnadica.
Best: Howlett, Duman, Hughes, Nyhuis, Bell, Hancock, Cox.
PERTH – Goals: White 5; Bourne, M Jones 2; Yeo, Cary, Collard.
Best: Leggett, Sinclair, C Jones, White, Yeo, Byrne, M Jones.