Thunder take the fight up to star studded Demons

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 - 3:55 PM by Owen Davies

How good is it to be back?!

On Saturday our boys returned to the field for the first time in 2020, taking on a Perth side that many had tipped could by a many to be a major force in 2020. Externally expected to be one-sided, the game proved to be a tight contest throughout with the Demons doing just enough to eke out a 10-point win.

Both sides started slowly only managing 3 behinds a piece, in what was a fairly apprehensive opening term. Things immediately picked up at in the second, with new recruit Hayden Yarran opening his and the club’s account for 2020. The Demons responded in turn and looked to have found their stride with majors from Logan McDonald and Fraser McInnes. The home side rallied wiith goals through Blair Bell and Hayden Ballantyne (which incidentally was his 150thThunder goal), found themselves in front. A late red time goal to Marshall Jones saw Perth wrestle back momentum just before the half, putting them ahead by the slenderest of margins.

The third quarter opened with Logan McDonald adding his 2nd and 3rd for the afternoon, and just as it looked as though Perth Ruck Christian Eyres (38 hit-outs) first use of the ball would be the Thunder’s downfall they struck back with goals to Yarran (his 2nd) and Brad Holmes (Playing his first League game since 2013). Once Holmes added his second right on the three quarter time siren, the Thunder went in trailing by only 3-points with the result in the balance.

The Demons rose to the challenge in the last, kicking 2-goals in the first 8 minutes of the quarter, which kept the game just beyond the Thunder’s reach. Lachie Cullen added a couple goals late to keep the game alive, but when one of Perth’s star recruits Fraser McInnes added his second for the quarter it was a bridge too far. With the Demons holding on to run out winners 10.10 (70) to 9.6 (60)

Jordan Boullineau was a standout down back repelling Perth attacks with 6 contested marks to go along with 15 disposals (13 contested). Captain Ben Howlett was his usual consistent best with 24 disposals (17 contested), 11 tackles and 3 clearances. Michael Randall had 7 clearances to go along with his 20 disposals (11 contested) but will want to improve upon his disposal efficiency as he ran at only 25%. Brad Holmes kicked 3 in his first League game in nearly 7 years, while Lachie Cullen and Hayden Yarran added 2 each.

Chris Masten was racked up 30 possessions in his first official outing in the Red and Black, while Matthew Taylor was industrious with 20 disposals, Thunder Premiership player Brady Grey finished with 19. 

Going forward without the Fremantle alignment the ruck definitely continues to an area of concern with the Hit-outs -30 (28 – 58) and first possession stast -18 (33-51) both in Perth’s favour. With no recognisable ruckman Brad McGowan was forced to do the bulk of the duties, toiling hard to pick up 16 hit-outs.

We take on East Fremantle at New Choice Homes Park this Saturday from 2:30pm.