PEEL Thunder have dominated from start to finish to record a 79-point victory over AFL-affiliate rivals the West Coast Eagles at David Grays Arena on Sunday afternoon in the lead up to the Western Derby at Optus Stadium.
A trio of Thunder players finished with 33 disposals, skipper Ben Howlett, Ben Hancock and Docker Stefan Giro who put his hand up for a call up with Fremantle with his standout performance also having seven marks, four tackles, three inside 50s and a goal.
Dual premiership winning forward Blair Bell was huge in attack kicking six goals as well for the Thunder while dumped Docker Josh Treacy kicked five and Sam Sturt four.
Leading the stats sheet for West Coast were skipper Hamish Brayshaw with 29 disposals and Xavier O’Neill with 28 who was back in the side after being omitted from West Coast’s AFL team.
Peel burst out of the blocks early kicking the opening two goals in two minutes through Bailey Banfield and Sam Sturt and it was an entertaining quarter from then on with Peel leading West Cost six goals to three at the first break.
After being close to best on ground in the first quarter with two goals from six disposals, Banfield went down with an apparent leg injury in the opening minute of the second term and was seen on crutches at the end of the game.
The opening half of the second term was an arm wrestle with the Thunder booting three goals on the trot, but the Eagles responded quickly with two goals in a minute from Jarrod Cameron.
However, it was all the Thunder from the rest of the term thanks to Blair Bell dominating the West Coast defence kicking four goals for the quarter and five for the half, giving Peel a 44-point lead at half-time.
A tight third quarter saw West Coast looking much improved from their first half led by skipper Hamish Brayshaw with 13 disposals for the quarter and Bailey Williams.
His work rate around the ground both in the ruck and helping out defence gave his team some hope before two last minute goals from the Thunder put the lead out to 47 points at the final break.
The flood gates opened in the final quarter for the Thunder kicking seven goals to two and finishing with their highest ever score since entering the WAFL, dominating West Coast by 78 points with a score of 24.11 (156) to 12.5 (77).
OPTUS WAFL PREMIERSHIP SEASON – ROUND 5
PEEL THUNDER 6.2 13.4 17.9 24.12 (156)
WEST COAST EAGLES 3.1 6.2 10.4 12.5 (77)
PEEL THUNDER: Goals – Bell 6; Treacy 5; Sturt 4; Thorne, Banfield 2; Lawler, Western, Valente, Giro, Henry.
Best – Thorne, Bell, Hancock, Meek, Treacy, Howlett, Giro, Merrett, Western.
WEST COAST EAGLES: Goals – Cameron 3; Jamieson, Ah Chee 2; Edwards, Humble, Deegan, Robilliard, Hansen.
Best – O'Neill, Brayshaw, Jamieson, Robilliard, Deegan, Cameron.