Thunder's season hangs by a thread after dropping nail biter to Claremont.

Monday, August 5, 2019 - 4:14 PM by Sarah Mozley

A dramatic finish at Rushton Park has put Peel Thunder’s finals hopes in jeopardy after a two-point loss to Claremont.

The Thunder looked dominant for most of the game against second placed Claremont, but their inaccuracy in front of goals proved costly, going down 11.17 (83) to 13.7 (85).

Peel midfielder Matthew Bogensperger said the win was theirs for the taking, but Claremont found momentum at the right time. 

 “I guess it was one of those games that could’ve gone either way and there were momentum swings throughout, and it just happened that they were in front when the siren went at the end,” he said. 

Peel came out firing in the first quarter against a slow-starting Claremont, taking a 15-point lead into quarter time.

Towards the end of the second term the Tigers started to warm up, booting three majors to Peel’s two for the quarter. 

Peel’s inaccuracy was highlighted during the third term, as they kicked 2.7, while Claremont was able to convert eight scoring opportunities to six goals, giving them a seven-point lead going into the final quarter. 

Bogensperger said it was a frustrating day in front of goals for the team.

“They seemed to be kicking everything and on the flipside we were missing a lot so we probably shot ourselves in the foot a little bit there and it was a massive contributor to the loss,” he said. 

The fourth quarter proved to be an arm wrestle between two determined sides, Brett Bewley kicking a long goal from outside 50 to level the scores with only a few minutes left to play.

It was Claremont however, that managed to lock the ball away in their forward 50 and force through a late score which ultimately proved to be the difference as time expired before Peel could counter.

Bogensperger said there are plenty of positives to take out of the loss, as they competed fiercely with one of the competitions best.

“Obviously they’re second on the ladder and a quality side and throughout the majority of the day we really competed well, besides a 10-15-minute period in the third quarter we probably had the better of them,” he said. 

 “That probably makes it all the more disappointing that we couldn’t get the four points but there’s lots of positives there, just disappointing we couldn’t get the result.”

Travis Colyer and Jackson Merrett both got plenty of the football both gathering 26 disposals, while Captain Ben Howlett was back to his industrious best gathering 21 disposals (17 contested) to go along with 10 clearances and 10 tackles.

They may have been erratic in front of goal, but the Thunder still managed to spread the load offensively with 8 individual goal kickers, Cam McCarthy, Hayden Ballantyne and Ryan Bennell the pick of the bunch each kicking 2 goals.

With Perth and West Perth still 2 games clear Peel must ‘win out’ to have any chance of playing in September, and it all starts when they take on South Fremantle next Saturday from 2:15pm at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.