Demons Triumph Over Peel. Round 15 Match Review.

Monday, July 16, 2018 - 11:20 AM

Our first WAFL finals appearance since 1997 took another step to becoming reality on Saturday with the Demons kicking the first four goals of the last quarter to come from behind and beat Peel Thunder at Lathlain Park by eight points.

The winner of Saturday's contest at Lathlain Park always knew it was going to finish Round 15 of the WAFL season inside the top five. 

For the first three quarters, that looked likely to be Peel with the premiers of the past two years leading the Demons by 11 points at quarter-time, 11 points at half-time and 16 points at three quarter-time. 

But Perth came out and kicked the opening four goals of the final term and that was enough to set up a match-winning advantage with the Demons going on to prevail 10.15 (75) to 10.7 (67).

The win means Perth has won four of its past five matches now to improve to a 6-7 record on the season and to move into fourth position on the ladder.

Coach Early Spalding is thrilled with the result, but cautiously optimistic about our finals contention.

“It was a good result,” Spalding stated. “The boys showed a lot of character out there, even when we were behind on the scoreboard.”

“Our numbers are some of the best they’ve been all season in terms of inside 50s and clearances.”

Peel remains outside a finals position at 5-8 having now lost two in-a-row.

Perth's quality and experienced midfield again stood out on the door led by Cody Leggett who produced a game made up of 32 possessions, 13 inside-50 entries, seven marks, five tackles and a goal.

Captain Clint Jones also had 29 possessions, six inside 50s and four marks for the Demons with Corey Yeo contributing 29 disposals and nine tackles, and Brant Colledge 28 touches, eight inside-50 entries, six marks and two goals.

We got good support from ruckman Christian Eyres who had 31 hit outs while Corey Byrne finished with 17 possessions and three tackles.

Perth's defence was once again anchored by Michael Sinclair who had another 24 possessions, eight marks, seven tackles and four inside 50s.

Cody Ninyette kicked three goals for the Demons, and Michael Bennell two, with the pair having now combined to kick 33 goals in the five matches they've played together.

Brady Grey returned from injury for Peel and kicked two early goals but he proved to be the Thunder's only multiple goal scorer on the afternoon.

Peel did kick the opening goal of the game through Brady Grey and then following a Perth major to Cody Ninyette, the Thunder also scored courtesy of Grey again then Mitch Crowden and Gerald Ugle to lead by 16 points.

The Demons scored the last goal of the first quarter thanks to Blake Johnson to be within 11 points at quarter-time.

It was then just one goal apiece in the second quarter with conditions at their worst of the afternoon. Perth got a goal to Michael Bennell and Peel's came from Luke Strnadica with the Thunder heading into the main break with an 11-point advantage.

It was two goals apiece in the opening 15 minutes of the third quarter with Peel's coming courtesy of Ben Hancock and Danyle Pearce, and Perth's to Brant Colledge and Ninyette.

Peel then was able to extend its lead to 16 points again with a Michael Tassone goal and the premiers of the past two years were still on top to the tune 16 points by three quarter-time.

It was all Perth in the last quarter and the Demons had the first 10 scoring shots for the term which included goals to Ninyette, Bennell, Kristian Cary and Colledge. That saw them go from 16 points down at three quarter-time to lead by 14 points at the 26-minute mark.

Peel did manage the last goal of the game courtesy of Lloyd Meek but it mattered little with Perth going on to win by eight points and make finals a distinct likelihood in 1997.

Perth's reserves also produced a solid showing to beat Peel Thunder at Lathlain Park by 34 points to move into fifth position on the ladder.

Peel dominated the play in the opening quarter but could only manage one goal from eight shots and that meant they only led by five points at the first beak.

The Thunder kicked another six behinds without a goal in the second quarter. Perth kicked our second goal of the game and the Thunder lead by three points at the main break despite just the one goal for the half.

Perth then managed to get going in the third quarter kicking five goals to one to head into three quarter-time leading by 26 points before another three goals to two in the last term to end up winning 10.13 (73) to 4.15 (39).

Kurtis Chester delivered an impressive performance for Perth with 23 possessions and two goals while Marshall Jones also booted two majors.

Daniel Horan also gathered 25 disposals for the Demons, Austin Davis 22, Ben Giobbi 21, Shaun Smith 20, Zac Casey 19, Jayden Johnstone 19, Brad McPhail 18 and Callum Marshall 18.

Perth will remain at Lathlain Park on Saturday in Round 16 to play the bottom placed East Fremantle with the chance to further cement our spot inside the top five.

PERTH 2.2 3.4 6.8 10.15 (75)

PEEL THUNDER 4.1 5.3 9.6 10.7 (67)

PERTH – Goals: Ninyette 3; Colledge, Bennell 2; Cary, Leggett, Johnson.

Best: Colledge, Leggett, Yeo, Jones, Sinclair, Bennell, Ninyette. 

PEEL THUNDER – Goals: Grey 2; Ugle, H Bennell, Hancock, Meek, Crowden, Tassone, Pearce, Strnadica.

Best: Pearce, Hancock, Crowden, Strnadica, H Bennell, Johnson.