Royals dominate disappointing Thunder

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 3:31 PM by Alex Paull

A GOALLESS first half and a raft of missed opportunities early has condemned Peel to their worst loss of the season, going down by 66 points to ladder leaders East Perth at Bendigo Bank Stadium on Saturday.

Both sides struggled to impact the scoreboard early, but the class of the Royals was telling, overcoming inaccuracy to secure a 14.21 (105) to 5.9 (39) win.

Peel had plenty of opportunities to break the game open in the first term, but could only manage six behinds, with three hitting the post, while East Perth also struggled to kick away, scoring the only goal of the first term.

But Peel’s luckless endeavour in the first quarter was stripped away by the Royals, who dominated the second term despite being wasteful in front of goal, booting 4.9 to Peel’s solitary point.

Max Duffy finally opened Peel’s account after 23 minutes in the third quarter, and the Thunder began to show the effort that has been evident throughout the season.

Retiring Docker Kepler Bradley soon added a second before three-quarter time, and majors to Anthony Morabito, Brad Walsh and Jacob Ballard saw Peel add five goals in over half an hour of football to finish the game on a somewhat positive note.

The extent to East Perth’s dominance exceeded the scoreboard, with the Royals recording 100 more disposals, 52 more marks and 10 more hitouts.

While East Perth dominated in all facets of the game, the usual suspects of Morabito, Eddie Dann and Brendon Jones all toiled hard for the Thunder, while Clancee Pearce put in a convincing performance with 33 disposals.

Peel coach Cam Shepherd said the missed opportunities in the first term were costly, and the Royals made his side pay.

“We had the majority of the play, we hit the post a number of times and had opportunities to create a lead, and we probably should have had the lead by quarter time,” Shepherd said.

“Both sides missed opportunities in the first quarter, but the Royals were good enough to make up for it and that is something our young players will definitely learn.

“They really taught us a lesson in the second and third quarters, and that’s why they’re on top of the ladder and we’re still making our way.”

While Peel were outclassed for the majority of the day, Shepherd said there were still positives to come out of it, including the players’ effort, their commitment in the clearances, and the growing experience for young players such as Brad Walsh, Dylan Winton, Ben Hancock and Jordan Wythes, who played his first game of 2014.

The Thunder will travel to Fremantle Oval for the final game of the season against South Fremantle itching for revenge after the one-point loss in Round 20.

With a win over the Bulldogs already this season, Peel will be looking to finish off the season on a strong note.