WHEN STATS DO LIE

Monday, July 18, 2016 - 9:07 AM by Darrell Kent

Seven more scoring shots, 33 more inside 50s, 49 more possessions and having the best of the free kick count 20 to seven. You would normally expect that these types of numbers would see you on the right side of the scoreboard but this wasn’t the case at Medibank Stadium on Saturday. West Perth went down to East Perth 8.7 (55) to 4.18 (42) after controlling the play for long periods but failing to reflect this domination on the scoreboard.

The weather for the first half was relatively good as opposed to what was to come after half-time. West Perth were kicking into the breeze for the first quarter but still controlled the play for long periods. East Perth kicked the first goal, though, courtesy of big man Jonathan Giles. He kicked three for the day and was a real problem for the Falcons defence. The Falcons had a number of opportunities to kick goals but didn’t take advantage of them. They had five behinds on the scoreboard before the first goal came at the 28-minute mark, right on the siren, when Max Duffy scrambled one through out of heavy congestion from 20. The result was that West Perth had a three-point lead at the first change; 1.5 (11) to 1.2 (8). 

At the six-minute mark of the second term Joel Leeson soccered a goal from the square to take the advantage out to 11. This was to be West Perth’s last goal until the 14-minute mark of the fourth quarter. The reply from East Perth came quickly courtesy of Giles who took a mark 30 out and kicked his second. This occurred at the eight-minute mark and it was to be the last goal for the quarter. The Falcons had the ball in their forward line for long periods but only added behinds to kick seven for the quarter. As a result they led by eight straight behinds at the main break; 2.12 (24) to 2.4 (16). Against a team like East Perth you couldn’t help but feel that this would be costly and it certainly proved to be the case.

The rain arrived after half-time and on occasions it was torrential. This didn’t stop East Perth, though, as they played much better in the conditions and took advantage of the strong breeze. By the six-minute mark they had kicked two, including a third to Giles, and they led by four. Despite the best efforts of the Falcons they kicked another three and had the game in their keeping at the end of the quarter. They led by 22 points after restricting West Perth to just two behinds. The challenge was now well and truly in front of the Falcons as the rain showed no signs of abating. The scores were 7.6 (48) to 2.14 (26).

West Perth’s effort in the last quarter was a credit to them as they tried hard having 27 inside 50s. But as was the case all day the lack of finishing and the conditions made the deficit too hard to make up. The Eagles' Simon Tunbridge kicked his second at the 11-minute mark to give the home team a 27-point lead and make the task nigh on impossible. West Perth continued to attack consistently and were finally rewarded when Duffy soccered one to get his second and Mark Hamilton scrambled one from 40. The Falcons fell short, though, and at the final siren East Perth had won 8.7 (55) to 4.18 (42). After the really tough encounter the players will certainly enjoy their week off when they have the bye.

The result was disappointing as the opportunity to break into a top two spot was lost but it was not through lack of effort. The Falcons won the game in key areas but not where it counts, on the scoreboard. The reserves had a wonderful win against the top of the table Royals. The thoughts of all WAFL supporters will be with East Perth player, Beau Chatley, who was injured. We all wish him the very best. Liam Baker, Keegan Knott and Seva Mozhaev kicked three for West Perth and were among the best players along with Alexander Coe and Martin Geraghty. The colts narrowly went down. Best players for the league team included Luke Meadows, Tyler Keitel, Dean Munns, Aaron Black, Shane Nelson and Rohan Kerr. A week off to prepare for the improving Perth Demons at HBF Arena. Each week looms as a must win encounter.

BY DARRELL KENT
PHOTOS BY BELINDA TAYLOR