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Peel Thunder finals hopes are over after suffering a heartbreaking four-point loss to Swan Districts at Steel Blue Oval on Saturday.
The Swans, who had won just three games all year prior to the fixture on Saturday, stunned the Thunder late, kicking the final two goals of the game and going on to win 7.6 (48) to 6.8 (44).
After two consecutive games in the AFL, Bailey Banfield made a solid return to the Peel side, collecting 38 disposals, laying 13 tackles and finishing with a goal.
Key forward Hugh Dixon applauded the effort from Banfield on an otherwise disappointing day out for the Thunder.
“That’s a great response from Banfield after being dropped and hopefully he’ll get the call up next week because he’s playing some really good footy,” Dixon said.
The Thunder faltered late, failing to kick a goal for the entire fourth quarter as the Swans lifted their intensity in the final term, kicking two goals to seal a late win.
Dixon said it was frustrating to be on top for major parts of the game and fail to turn it into a win.
“Obviously, we were on top until the last quarter, so it’s pretty frustrating but I think they just outworked us in the end and we just gave them too many scoring options up the field,” he said.
“They cut us up a little bit going inside 50 and we had three scoring shots in the last quarter and they were all points…they had two scoring shots and they were both goals, so we were a little bit unlucky but they also just outworked us.”
Peels dominance in the ruck, which saw them win the hit-outs 59 to 28, wasn’t enough to inspire a result but Dixon commended Peel ruckman Scott Jones’ efforts after the game.
“I don’t know how Scotty feels about it but he gets bashed around just about all game and really competes hard,” he said.
With finals out of the question, Peel will now look to finish their season strong next week against Perth at David Grays Arena on Saturday 24 August at 2:15pm.