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Monday, July 17, 2017 - 8:23 PM
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Match report written by: Michael Roberts

Photo: Megan West

Peel Thunder have continued to push their case as premiership contenders, with a 28-point victory over East Perth at Leederville Oval on Saturday.

Peel kicked five goals to one in a dominant third term, to set up their fifth win-in-a-row and a 12.7 (79) to 7.9 (51) victory.

Peel defender Matthew Piggott said Rory O’Brien’s 33 disposals and six tackles were crucial for his side.

“I thought he was awesome, he plays trade mark footy nearly every game and he just keeps finding ways to get the footy and it’s awesome for us,” he said.

Piggott was also impressed with Peel youngster Hayden Matthews, who finished with 25 disposals and six tackles.

“I thought he was really good for us in tight, in the congestion,” he said.

“It’s really rewarding to see him play really good footy coming out of the reserves at the start of the year.”

It was a tight contest in the opening 15 minutes with Matthew Taberner scoring Peel’s first of the day with a set shot from 40 metres out.

In contrast to last week’s game, The Thunder couldn’t capitalise on most of their opportunities going forward, meaning East Perth lead by just one point at the first change.

Rain poured at quarter time, making it a wet and slippery contest for the players.

Peel came out strong in the second term, booting three goals in-a-row; including a brilliant snap from livewire Michael Tassone.

The Royals fought their way back into the contest with two goals of their own, before Peel’s captain Gerald Ugle stepped up to score his first of the day, handing his side a 12-point lead at half time.

The Thunder asserted their dominance in the third term with a strong defensive effort restricting East Perth’s ability to score.

Piggott thought Peel’s youngsters stood up in the backline.

“We only had one Freo boy down there today so it was really good that we all held up and played our roles,” he said.

Matt Taberner capitalised on Peel’s ascendency booting four goals for the term to give his side a game-high 37-point lead at the last change.

East Perth kicked three goals in the last term to give Peel fans a few nervous moments, but Ugle and Bradley Walsh converted two majors to seal the Thunder’s tenth win for the season.

On Harley Bennell’s return to competitive football, the Fremantle recruit from Peel Thunder was lively up forward, finishing with a goal and 11 touches.

Next week Peel will return home to Bendigo Bank Stadium on Saturday, July 22 to play ladder-leading Subiaco, a free entry day for all Patrons, thanks to McDonalds Lakelands, Mandurah and Greenfields.