Thunder shock Demons in a classic

Monday, August 26, 2019 - 11:18 AM by Calvin Sims

Peel Thunder have capped of their season with a win following a nail-biting three-point victory over Perth on Saturday.


After a disappointing ending last week, Peel finished strong against the Demons, kicking three goals to two in the final term, clinging on to a 12.12 (84) to 12.9 (81) victory.


The Peel outfit battled with the fifth placed Demons all day, never giving up in a hard-fought contest which could have seen the lead break open multiple times.


Speaking after the game, Peel forward Michael Randall said he was impressed by the persistence of the team when the game was hanging in the balance.


“The resilience of the squad was amazing,” he said.


“We had Lachie Schultz go down, so we had to flip the board around and to fight it out was tremendous.” 


Randall said the coach stressed the importance of finishing close games off strongly.


“We have a strong emphasis on closing out the closer games and to get on top in the end was just a really good result, “he said.


At quarter time, Thunder coach Cam Shepherd called on his team to keep the tackling pressure up, not giving Perth any breathing space to make decisions. 


Thunder captain Ben Howlett answered the call, amassing a massive 20 tackles (Equal WAFL Record) for the game and gathering 24 disposals.


Randall said playing alongside a leader like Howlett is always inspiring.


“Yeah, he does it week in, week out and he’s just a machine that bloke...I don’t know how he does it,” he said.


“It’s just amazing to play alongside him and a few other blokes who just lead from the front and the rest follow…it’s really good.”


Ben Hancock was another stand out for the Thunder, kicking four goals and collecting 14 disposals on the day.


It has been a frustrating past month for the Thunder, ultimately paying the price for dropped points at Swan Districts and against Claremont at home by finishing two games outside the 5 and finishing 7th. However It was still great for all players and supporters to finish the year on a positive note with a win.


Randall said the squad will now look to take some momentum and belief from the game into next year, as the Thunder look to improve over the summer.


“It’s going to be a massive pre-season and all of the boys are really keen to knuckle down and just go hard at it,” he said.


With the Thunder now missing the finals for the second straight season after the back to back flag successes of ‘16 and ’17, the players will now have a long summer ahead in an effort to come back a stronger outfit for the 2020 season.