Peel Thunder’s WAFLW side have started their 2023 season off in winning fashion with a close five-point victory over Swan Districts at Lane Group Stadium on Saturday.
Thunder were out to prove a point against the soaring Swans, who ended Peel’s finals campaign and with that a chance at a premiership trifecta in 2022.
The Swans tried to assert their dominance early on with plenty of hands on the ball in the first quarter but struggled to convert with five behinds. Thunder were quiet but hit the target when it mattered.
A goal from Holly Britton put them two points clear heading into the second.
Accuracy plagued the Swans once again in the second quarter, with another four behinds throughout, while Peel continued to build momentum with a goal from Ebonee Hardie helping to put them up by five points at halftime.
Kira Phillips helped broaden the gap for Thunder with a goal and a behind early in the third quarter, but the Swans would soon find their groove with back-to-back goals from Courtney Zappara and Kayley King to snatch a one-point lead heading into the final term.
A slow fourth quarter by both sides left the win in anyone’s hands until Hardie was able to break away with a goal and put Thunder back in front. The Swans seemed to concede before the final siren, with a rushed behind in the final minutes not enough to claw back the win, the final score in Thunder’s favour 4.3 (27) to 2.10 (22).
Jessica Cox lead the way for Swan Districts with 28 disposals, followed by Peel’s Ebony Dowson 24 disposals and Jade Briggs with 19. Abby Barnden had a decent first game back for Thunder after a year off with 14 disposals, while Hardie was impressive in attack with two goals and 13 disposals.
Round 2 will see Claremont host Peel Thunder at Revo Fitness Stadium on March 19.