Record-breaking Thunder crush Perth

Monday, August 4, 2014 - 11:06 AM

PEEL Thunder has strung together its most clinical performance of the season, crushing Perth by 65 points at Lathlain Park on Saturday.

It was the club’s first away win since Round 17 2012, and it marked the first time that the Thunder has scored over 100 in 37 games, while also lifting the club off the bottom of the ladder.

Michael Wood, Max Duffy and Brendon Jones all starred in the 21.14 (140) to 12.3 (75) demolition, and the even spread of goalkickers contributed to the Thunder kicking the second-highest score in its history, while the 65-point win is also its second-highest winning margin.

It was also the Thunder’s highest score and biggest winning-margin against Perth, which lost its 11th consecutive game.

After a tight tussle in the first quarter, the record-breaking win was set up by a commanding second quarter, which saw the Thunder slam on six goals to three to open up a 17-point lead at half time.

The Peel forward line, which has struggled at times this season, outclassed the Perth defence, with Wood, Duffy and Matthew Taberner all pouncing on the opportunities provided by the midfield.

Wood was instrumental with 25 touches and five goals, while Duffy continued his comeback from injury with three goals from 25 disposals.

Jones provided the grunt work in the middle with 29 touches and two goals, while he linked up well with Hayden Crozier (30 touches), Anthony Morabito (31 touches) and Jacob Ballard (28 disposals).

While the young Thunder side had struggled to run out games this season, the visitors were emphatic in the final term with six of the last seven goals to complete the rout.

Peel coach Cam Shepherd was delighted with the win, which he said was the first true four-quarter performance of the season.

“It was a good performance, we’ve been building for a number of weeks now and to respond in that manner after being challenged early was extremely pleasing,” Shepherd said.

“ We re-assessed our key performance indicators at quarter time and we were up, so we just had to make sure the same intent was there and we were able to get reward for effort.”

The last time Peel eclipsed the 100-mark was in Round 23, 2012 against Subiaco, and Shepherd said while it was pleasing to kick a large score, it wasn’t a statistic that he was concerned with.

“We’re not too worried about the stat, our focus has been on getting the KPIs right, and that means tightening up the defence, so while we’re pleased with the score, we’re also pleased about restricting Perth to 15 scoring shots,” Shepherd said.

The Fremantle alignment has been a talking point this season, and Shepherd said it was exciting to see the group gel together and understand the game plan.

“It’s really exciting and pleasing, to see guys like Jones, Dann and Mathers really improve and embrace the alignment, and it’s showing in our improvement,” he said.

Peel will carry plenty of confidence into next weekend’s game against South Fremantle at Bendigo Bank Stadium.