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Thunder reigns supreme in the wet

Rhys Dickinson  July 16, 2017 8:45 AM

ColeThunder17 landscape.jpg

Tom Cole amassed 25 disposals and stuck three tackles in trying conditions against Peel Thunder

East Perth’s finals charge took another hit yesterday following a disappointing 28-point loss to Peel at Leederville Oval.

The Royals could have replaced West Perth in the top five with a win over the Thunder, but they now sit a game outside of the qualifying zone with just six rounds remaining in the home-and-away season.

Scoring was hard to come by during a dour first quarter and the home crowd had to wait 26 minutes to see East Perth’s first goal, which came courtesy of crafty forward Josh Hill.

Peel adapted to the wet conditions best and kicked three-straight goals to open up an 18-point advantage midway through the second term.

But the Royals hit back with consecutive goals to ruckman Jonathan Giles, who converted a Thunder holding infringement into six points, and Luke Partington, who snapped truly from 25m in the 28th minute following a brilliant three-part defensive effort from Josh Rotham.

Just when it looked like East Perth had arrested some momentum, Peel captain Gerald Ugle got on the end of a clean centre bounce clearance and goalled from 20m put the visitors ahead by 12 points just seconds before the half-time siren.

Returning Docker Harley Bennell kicked the second half’s first goal with a cunning right-foot snap in the 5th minute, but the Royals fired back via Callum Hart, who was awarded a 50m free kick after Thunder big man Jonathan Griffin lashed out and struck him late following a marking contest.

There didn’t seem to be much separating the two teams before Taberner stepped up and owned the quarter.

The 197cm giant got a hold of East Perth's young defenders and kicked four consecutive goals to give Peel a 37-point ahead of the final change of ends.

Kurt Mutimer gave East Perth some hope of a comeback when curled a left-foot snap through the big sticks in the 22nd minute and the Royals were up and about following two more quick fire majors to Julian Ameduri and Nathan Blee.

But Ugle, again, broke East Perth’s run with a timely goal and Bradley Walsh sealed the Thunder’s 12.7 (79) to 7.9 (51) victory with a late major.

Midfielder Luke Partington topped East Perth’s disposals tally with 30 touches, livewire defender Tom Cole amassed 26 disposals and Tom Lamb, who played on the wing, collected the Burley 17 times.

Half-backs Tom Gorter and Francis Watson collected 16 and 15 touches respectively, while inside midfielder Kurt Mutimer, versatile tall Fraser McInnes and dangerous forward Josh Hill and  had 16, 15 and 14 touches respectively.

Jonathan Giles had 12 disposals to go with his 26 hit outs, Jordan Snadden got his hands on the ball 11 times and dashing defender Josh Rotham collected seven disposals.