Anthony Morabito. Picture: Ben Crabtree/The West Australian.
Anthony Morabito. Picture: Ben Crabtree/The West Australian.

Peel Thunder have lifted themselves off the bottom of the ladder in style, crushing wooden spoon rivals Perth by 65 points at Lathlain Park this afternoon.

The game was a contest in the opening half before the Thunder caught fire in the second, kicking 12 goals to the Demons' five in the run home for a dominant 21.14 (140) to 12.3 (75) win.

The result lifts Peel to eighth on the ladder, four points ahead of Perth with a game in hand.

The Thunder's win was built in the midfield, with WAFL veteran Brendon Jones (29 disposals, two goals) and Fremantle duo Anthony Morabito (31 disposals) and Hayden Crozier (30 disposals, two goals) doing a power of work.

Their forward line was also on song, with strong performances from Michael Wood (five goals), Max Duffy (three) and Matt Taberner (two), who made the most of their opportunities.

There were few winners in the end for Perth, although former GWS player Gerald Ugle showed his class with his 26 touches.

Peel went into the game with 16 Dockers, one of their highest contingents of the year, even with the late withdrawal of Scott Gumbleton.

They had plenty of the early running, but two missed opportunities in front of goal meant the first major of the game went to Perth, who were able to rebound and run the length of the field for a Mark Deaves goal.

Morabito was everywhere after being dropped by the Dockers this week and racked up 11 touches in the first quarter alone, having a hand in a Jack Hannath goal, the first for the Thunder, and managing to avoid attention around the stoppages.

The Thunder had far more of the ball, but for every goal they created the Demons had an answer and when Michael Florio goaled in the shadows of quarter-time the home side had an early three-point lead.

Matt Taberner caught fire early in the second term, booting two goals in the opening five minutes. When Kristin Thornton added another for the Thunder, they had opened up a 15-point lead.

Deaves kicked another for the Demons to keep them around the mark, but Peel had started to get on a roll and extended the lead again through goals to Michael Wood and Mathew Brown.

The Thunder went into the half-time break with a 17-point lead, but the home side were given some hope when Ugle, who had been prolific all afternoon, kicked a tight set shot to open the third term.

However the difference in class became more obvious as the game wore on.

Peel were able to outmuscle their opponents around the stoppages to create high-percentage shots on goal, while the Demons' few chances came on the run and were more often than not shut down with poor decisions on the final kick inside 50.

A huge quarter from Crozier and the growing influence of maligned Fremantle pick-up Colin Sylvia helped the Thunder kick six goals to four in the third quarter to extend their lead to 31 points at the final break.

From there on it was party time for the visitors, who kicked six of the final seven goals of the game to blow out the margin and lift them off the bottom of the table.


SCOREBOARD

PERTH4.17.1 11.212.3(75)
PEEL3.4 9.615.921.14 (140)
GOALS - PERTH: Deaves 4; Moody, O’Sullivan 2; Florio, Hug, Ugle, Manuel. PEEL: Wood 5; Duffy 3; Jones, Sylvia, Crozier, Taberner 2; Hannath, Thornton, Brown, Dann, Griffin.

BEST - PERTH: Ugle, Tropiano, Moody, Deaves, Bateman. PEEL: Jones, Crozier, Morabito, Wood, Ballard, Taberner.
INJURIES: PEEL - Apeness (Concussion)
REPORTS: Silvagni (PT) for rough conduct on Tropiano (PD) in the fourth quarter.
UMPIRES: T McPhee, C McCann, T Norton.
CROWD: 1000 (approx) at Lathlain Park.

The West Australian

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