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WAFL: Peel suffer loss to Lions

WAFL: Ballas returns for Peel Hayden Ballantyne kicked three goals on return in the WAFL on Sunday.

A successful three-goal return from Hayden Ballantyne was overshadowed by Peel Thunder’s 41-point loss to the Subiaco Lions in a hard-fought contest at Rushton Park on Sunday.

After a hopeful first quarter for the Thunder with the margin only nine-points in the Lions favour, Subiaco then delivered a punishing second quarter, kicking six goals and keeping the Thunder out of the game to eventually finish 8.10 (58) to 15.9 (99).

Ruckman Lloyd Meek said despite Peel’s fast start to the game, the Lions managed to secure their win through their performance in the second term.

“Every game that we’ve lost this year there’s just been that one quarter that’s just lapsed us,” he said.

On the back of the Lions-dominated second term, coach Cam Shepherd told his team to knuckle down and focus on sending the ball all the way through to the forward line.

“His main focus was that we just had to keep digging,” Meek said.

“There were times where we built the ball really well up until halfway and then couldn’t quite get the ball inside forward 50.

“I think we had 14 inside 50’s in the first half and that’s just not enough for our forwards to get a look at it and get a chance to score really… it’s just not enough entries to be viable to win the game.

The third and fourth quarters saw Peel’s pressure increase, with Jackson Merrett and Blair Bell kicking goals within the first minutes of the second half.

Meek said even with the team’s best efforts, the 47-point margin the Lions acquired from the second quarter had sealed the Thunders fate.

“I think the main [aspect that let us down] would just be our four-quarter performance. [We need to work on] that consistency, we know that when we play well, we play our best [and] we can really give a lot,” he said.

Even in the face of their defeat, Stefan Giro had a standout game before leaving the field due to an ACL injury.

“He provides so much run, he’s an athlete-endurance-beast and a great ball-user,” he said.

“He’s one of our better players and unfortunately him going down meant we had one less rotation and obviously [lost] a bit of our run, [a] bit of our defensive work and a bit of flare out there on a wing and grunt inside, he really can cover all aspects of the game, so I’m a bit flat that he’s down.”

Peel Thunder are set to face South Fremantle in two weeks following the bye at Rushton Park on Saturday 15 June at 2.15pm.

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