The West

Avoiding wooden spoon not Peel s focus
Brendon Jones. Pic: WA News

Peel Thunder will not focus on avoiding a 10th wooden spoon in their final six games this season, according to former captain Brendon Jones.

The Thunder drew level on wins with Perth at the bottom of the table after their thrilling 11.8 (74) to 9.18 (72) victory over a wasteful Claremont at Bendigo Bank Stadium on Saturday.

Jones said it was a relief to hold on for their third victory of the season against the fast-finishing Tigers.

The triumph was notched without the experienced Kepler Bradley, who finished the game on the bench after injuring a hamstring.

"We were under the pump a bit after copping a bit of a hiding from East Perth so we refocused this week and it was good just to get the four points," Jones said.

"The message goes through in the last quarter that we need to hold tight and I thought everyone just played their role and played their role to perfection."

Jones, 28, said he had no regrets about backflipping on a short-lived retirement to play on in 2014 and hinted he may go again next season.

"I was definitely happy to come back," he said. "The alignment with Fremantle has been fantastic so that makes it easier.

"There is a lot more leadership on the ground with a few older guys from Freo that come back to shoulder the workload. Hopefully we can get another couple of wins and go again next year."

With finals out of the question, Jones denied the wooden spoon was on their minds ahead of a tough clash with East Fremantle at East Fremantle Oval next week.

"I think our focus is just week-by-week," he said.

"I know it's a cliche but definitely we don't get ahead of ourselves, we don't look at the ladder.

"It would be nice to finish and not get the wooden spoon but hopefully after winning today we can look forward and get a couple more before the end of the season.

"If we bring our pressure game and our defensive game and we can smother East Freo a bit and their runners, it will go a long way to the win."

Fremantle tough nut Matt de Boer (31 possessions) was outstanding in the centre square for Peel and received great support from youngster Jacob Ballard (33 touches, one goal) and the exciting Edward Dann (22 disposals, one goal).

Dockers rookie Michael Wood, 20, also emerged as an unlikely hero with a four-goal second term as the Thunder broke the game open and stole the lead just before half-time after scoring just one point in the first term.

Already without captain Jake Murphy, Claremont lost the in-form Luke Blackwell as a late withdrawal before the game, but his replacement Tom Ledger (25 possessions, two goals) made the most of his inclusion in his first league game since round nine.

Ryan Neates (37 possessions) was also fantastic for Claremont, who kept coming, despite being 13 points down at the 23-minute mark of the final term.

The West Australian

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