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Peel Thunder have defeated East Fremantle by 21 points in a hard-fought clash at New Choice Homes Park on Saturday.
The Thunder started strong and remained resilient throughout the match, never relinquishing their lead, with the score finishing 11.14 (80) to 9.5 (59).
Midfielder Bailey Banfield starred for the Thunder, amassing 30 disposals and kicking two goals.
Banfield said the Thunder’s ability to stand up when it counted was ultimately the difference between winning and losing.
“I think we were efficient and we played really well in the big moments…end of the second half, end of the second quarter as well…that was probably what separated us.” he said
The first term saw the Thunder kick three goals to East Fremantle’s one, setting the stage for an impressive outing away from home.
The Sharks fought back in the second term, booting four unanswered goals to put Peel on the back foot. However, the Thunder refused to give up their lead at any point despite being dominated in the hitouts 75 to 17.
Bailey Banfield said the team’s ability to win a high number of clearances despite the Sharks dominance in the ruck was a catalyst for getting the win.
“To lose the hitouts by as much as we did, 50 or 60 I think, and still comfortably win the clearances was really important for us.” he said.
Mitchell Crowden was also one of Peel’s best, kicking a goal in the first quarter to go with his 26 disposals.
Peel’s character was tested in the final term as the Sharks kicked the first goal of the quarter bringing them within four points of Peel and on the cusp of a dramatic late win.
However, the Thunder stood tall when it counted, kicking the last three goals of the game. Ryan Bennell capped off the win, booting a sensational goal close to the boundary line on an extremely tough angle to drive the Thunder home.
The Thunder will now enjoy the bye, before turning their attention to Claremont, who they will play the following week on Saturday 3 August at 2.15pm at Mineral Resources Park.