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WAFL: Peel tamed by Lions

Mitchell Crowden finished the game with five tackles in the midfield. (Picture: Joshua Sunderland - Curtin University) - Fremantle Dockers,Mitchell Crowden
Mitchell Crowden finished the game with five tackles in the midfield. (Picture: Joshua Sunderland - Curtin University)

Peel Thunder have suffered a setback towards their finals chances after a 52-point defeat to the Subiaco Lions at Leederville Oval on Friday night pushed them out of the top five on the WAFL ladder.

The Thunder’s only two goals came in the last quarter, finishing with a final score of 2.5 (17) to Subiaco’s 9.15 (69).

Fremantle mifielder Mitchell Crowden, who had a busy night in the midfield with five tackles, said that Peel’s loss was due to a struggle in winning the contested ball.

“Winning the contested and ground balls was something we didn’t do very well tonight,” he said.

“We struggled getting inside 50’s and getting on the scoresheet.”

A strong defensive start by the Thunder in the first term kept the Lions to only a single goal, however in the second term, Peel began to struggle to match the Lions intensity, conceding four unanswered goals.

Crowden said coach Cam Shepherd pushed the side during the half-time break to be more confident with their passes and to press forward as much as possible.

“He told us to just get it forward as much as we can and to not mess around with the handballs,” he said.

“Outnumbering the contests so that we actually have runners to win it on ground level and then go forward with it.”

Crowden said Fremantle duo Michael Johnson and Danyle Pearce were key players as they kept the Lions wasteful with seven behinds and no goals throughout the third quarter.

“The experience of Johnson and Pearce is incredible and they’ve played really well tonight,” Crowden said.

“Johnson in the backline held us together, if it wasn’t for him Subiaco would’ve kicked a lot more goals.”

The final quarter saw the Thunder finally break Subiaco’s run with Matthew Piggott and Fremantle’s Luke Strnadica kicking a goal each.

However, this was not enough to respond to the Lions who slotted four majors.

With six games remaining in the race for a spot in the finals, Crowden stressed the Thunder need to get the little things right.

“I think the focus for us is getting our structure right and increasing our work rate,” he said.

“This means making sure every player comes in prepared to give it their best crack so that we can try and get to Subiaco’s level”.

Peel Thunder face the Perth Demons at Lathlain Park on Saturday, July 14 at 2.15pm.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs