Peel with a season defining win at Lathlain.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 3:28 PM by Keane Bourke

Peel Thunder bounced back from a four-match losing streak in miserable conditions on Saturday with a 42-point victory over Perth at Mineral Resources Park.

A Harley Bennell goal in the opening 15-seconds of the match set the tone for Peel who would go on to finish 11.18 (84) to Perth’s 6.6. (42).

Peel coach Cam Shepherd said he was impressed with the side’s ability to deal with the loss of Harley Bennell half-way through the first term, and Jason Carter near the end of the third, to injuries.

“I was really proud of the players because we were down to 20 men soon after half-time, and they fought really strongly against a pretty good opposition,” he said.

“In the back-half our ruck didn’t rotate and we left our forwards to just work a bit harder, [and] tried to rotate the mids and the wings and the half-forwards.

“The players showed great resilience, and it was a good win in the end.”

A strong showing all-round restricted Perth to only 2-points until late in the first quarter, when two quick goals from the Demons left Peel down 7 at the first change.

The Thunder maintained good control of the ball in the second quarter as Perth struggled in the wet, taking 9 shots on goal to Perth’s 1, finishing the first half with a 17-point lead.

The Thunder cemented the result in the third term with Perth unable to get their hands on the ball, leading to 3 unanswered goals, including one incredible boundary-line snap from Jackson Merrett.

Shepherd said 57 disposals between Bailey Banfield and Merrett were key to the end result.

“I think that’s probably nearly Jackson’s best game since coming over from Essendon,” he said.

“He combined really well with Bailey Banfield, [who] I think had 32 possessions in the middle, so they gave us great impetus going forward.”

A resurgence from Perth in the final quarter wasn’t enough to influence the scoreboard, with the Demons only managing 1 goal in answer to Peel’s 3, ending the game with a 42-point deficit.

Young-gun Lachie Schultz showed promise in the forward-line, managing 23 disposals and six tackles.

Ryan Nyhuis (21 kicks and five tackles) and Traye Bennell (17 disposals and seven marks) shone in defence, restricting the home team to only 12 scoring shots compared to the Thunder’s 29.

Eyeing off a spot in the top five, Shepherd said the team has remained confident despite the string of losses.

“I think every game is different,” he said.

“We never lost our belief or faith, it was just a matter of being able to secure the win.”

Peel now turn their attention to this Saturday’s home clash with Swan Districts at David Grays Arena, one that Shepherd said the team is now looking forward to after today’s win.

“The feeling in the room was really one of positivity,” he said.

“It gives us a bit of a buzz going forward.”