Swan Districts staged a remarkable second-half-revival to beat Peel by 35 points at Steel Blue Oval today.
Unheralded full forward Ricky Cary was the hero for Swans with eight goals in his fourth league match, three in the first quarter, two in the third and three more in the last.
The 22-year-old proved a handful for Peel captain James Flaherty and looks to be a player of the future.
Swans trailed by 34 points in the opening minutes of the third quarter after being comprehensively outplayed in the first two quarters.
The home team rallied, kicking the next six goals, and had snatched an unlikely 10-point lead by three-quarter time.
A strong finish helped the black and whites to a 16.18 (114) to 11.13 (79) victory.
Swans were also well served by hard-running midfielders Ryan Davis, Matt Riggio, Adam Faulkner and Aaron Elari and defenders Justin Simpson, Tallan Ames and Brent Latch.
Peel midfielder Clancee Pearce was a dominant player against his former WAFL team, the 23-year-old finishing with 39 possessions, 10 marks, six tackles and five inside 50s in a best-on-ground display.
Swans started brightly and led by as much as 10 points after kicking three of the first four goals of the match.
Peel hit back with goals to Michael Apeness and Zac Clarke but Cary’s third for the term gave the black and whites a five-point lead at the first change.
The Thunder opened up the game in the second quarter, with Pearce winning plenty of possessions through the middle of the ground.
Consecutive goals to prized recruit Colin Sylvia late in the second quarter gave the visitors a handy 26-point buffer.
Matt Rogers got Swans back to within 20 points soon after but a late goal to Jacob Ballard gave Peel a 27-point advantage at half time.
Swans gained the momentum in the third stanza, outscoring the Thunder 11.13 (79) to 2.4 (16) in the second half for a tremendous win.
Peel had two late changes with Fremantle squad members Zac Clarke and Clancee Pearce dropping back to the WAFL after missing out on a game for the Dockers against Hawthorn on Friday night.
In a positive sign for the future, Swans won both minor grades.
The black and whites took out the colts 11.11 (77) to 10.4 (64) while the home team won out 18.9 (117) to 15.7 (97) in the reserves.
Jesse Manton showed he wasn’t far from a league recall with 32 possessions, 10 inside 50s and two goals for Swan Districts.
Brothers Rodney and Aaron Jetta also showed they could force their way into the senior side with three goals apiece.
Liam McKenna was terrific in a losing side for the Thunder reserves with 34 possessions, six tackles, four inside 50s and three goals.
|GOALS – SWAN DISTRICTS: Cary 8; Rogers 2; G Jetta, Davis, Riggio, Anderson, Simpson. PEEL: Wilkins, Sylvia, Dann, Taberner 2; Clarke, Apeness, Ballard.|
BEST – SWAN DISTRICTS: Cary, Davis, Riggio, Ames, Faulkner, Simpson. PEEL: Pearce, Jones, Morabito, Simpson, Clarke, Sylvia.