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Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 12:55 PM
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After back to back road trips the Thunder were back at home last weekend, hosting the Subiaco Lions, keen to continue their recent good form. Previously the teams had met twice with the Lions winning both, holding off a fast finishing Thunder in Round 4 by 2 points and then pulling away in the last to win by 34 points in Round 11.

Peel welcomed back Matt Piggott, Chris Wrigley and Corey Morris while Brad McGowan was returning to football after a long lay off through illness.

The game started exactly as you’d expect from 2 teams that are both very strong around the contest. Peel had a slight edge in the stoppages but Subiaco’s resolute defence stifled ball movement and forced the Thunder down the line. Some poor one on one defending and unnecessary free kicks meant the Lions took an 8 point advantage into quarter time.

The Thunder game out the bolder in the 2nd quarter, moving the ball quicker and finally capitalising on the good work around the contest. Nick Merritt, playing a little deeper than usual, looked particularly dangerous and kicked 3 goals for the half. Luke Strnadica was giving the mids some good looks but also pushed hard forward. It was a strong 2nd quarter for the Peel side and they headed into half time 22 point clear.

The 3rd quarter started where the first half left off, but Peel failed to hit the scoreboard and were left to rue some missed chances as Subiaco gained control around the ball and started putting scores on the board. A great team goal to Jake Dowding looked to have halted the momentum before some sloppy work down the line and then defensively allowed Ray Daniels to goal on the 3/4 time siren to give Subiaco a 1 point lead heading into the last.

Subiaco rolled into the last with 2 quick goals to extend their lead to 13 points. But as has been the case over the last half of the season, Peel launched a comeback and after Brett Milward soccered a goal from the square the margin was reduced to 1 point with 6 minutes to play. Both teams pushed hard to find the killer blow, but with legs tiring, mistakes were made and scoring opportunities went begging. Subiaco finally iced the game after some gut running from winger, Dylan Clarke, allowed an easy mark and set shot goal from about 35m. It was a disappointing end to a promising performance by the Thunder, going down by 9 points.

Better players on the day included Luke Strnadica, who had a strong battle in the ruck with Tim Sutherland, Michael Humble, who continued to find the ball and was quite creative by foot, James Kirby, who continues to build on some really solid football over the past month, James McMahon, who was courageous and aggressive with his attack on the ball defensively. Our key forwards in Nick Merritt and Brett Milward both kicked 3 each, but weren’t totally at their best over the day while skipper, Merv Bennell chipped in with 2 and was lively across half forward.

It’s been a positive 5 weeks of football since our last bye but we head to Bassendean keen to learn from our mistakes and sustain the style of football that has shown to be most competitive. 

***Round 19 Post Match awards will be held at Crown Perth - Groove Bar and Lounge @ 5.30pm following League game @ Steel Blue Oval***