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Tuesday, August 22, 2017 - 9:31 AM
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By Megan West

Peel Thunder have earned a thrilling 13-point victory over East Fremantle at East Fremantle Oval on Saturday to secure third position on the WAFL ladder.   The Thunder booted seven unanswered goals in the final term to overcome a 31-point deficit at three-quarter time, finishing 10.8 (68) to 8.7 (55).

In his debut game, James Kirby said he enjoyed his first win at league level.   “Yeah it was definitely something different, it was a step up from twos [reserves], so yeah it was good to get the first win,” he said.

The Thunder started strongly with Jonathon Griffin and Brett Milward both scoring majors, giving them a seven-point lead over the home side at quarter-time.

Kirby said his coach wanted his team to increase their pressure around the ball in the second quarter.  “In the first quarter Cam addressed us and said we need to step up our intensity,” he said.   “Our run wasn’t there and they were getting though the midfield.”

In the second quarter the Thunder had opportunities to hit the scoreboard, but were inaccurate in front of goal, kicking three behinds.

The third term saw the Sharks push away from the Thunder with the home side scoring six goals, leading at three-quarter-time by 31-points.   Peel Thunder fought back in the final term with seven individual goal scorers, to defeat the Sharks by 13-points.

With 12 disposals and two goals Kirby said Brett Milward was important in his side’s victory.   “He’s a real presence, he’s real good up forward,” he said.  “He’ll give it one-hundred percent every game and he’s a good player to have on your team.”

Jonathon Griffin had another strong performance in the ruck with 36 hit-outs along with two goals.   Haydn Matthews (25 disposals and a goal) and Tommy Sheridan (23 disposals and nine tackles) were also standout players for the Thunder.

With finals fast approaching, Kirby said he believes his team can have a successful finals campaign.   “As a team I think we can do really well, we can go pretty far,” he said.

“It helps with the Fremantle boys and we’ve got some players who are in some really good form.”

Peel Thunder face second-placed South Fremantle at Bendigo Bank Stadium on August 26 at 2.15pm in a Qualifying Final preview.