Monday, August 1, 2016 - 10:18 AM by Darrell Kent

WEST Perth scored an important victory against Perth at HBF Arena on Saturday. As the qualifying rounds draw to a close the battle for a top two finish is heating up. The Falcons needed to beat the lower placed Demons to maintain their advantage in third spot and they did this when they recorded a 46-point victory. They weren’t headed at any stage and remain third with three games, and four rounds remaining.

It only took a minute for West Perth to kick the first of the day and it went to big man Michael Lourey who took advantage of a Perth defensive error to snap from close in. It was the first of four for the key forward. Perth kicked two behinds before a terrific tackle by Joel Leeson turned the ball over as a Perth player was running into goal. The ball was quickly transferred to the other end where Jay van Berlo marked 20 out. He duly kicked the Falcons second.

This occurred at the eight minute mark and was the last major until early in time on. A series of precise passes by Andrew Strijk and Luke Meadows saw Max Duffy mark 40 out on an angle. His kick split the middle to register the first of his four in what was his best effort since joining the Falcons.

The next followed immediately as the Falcons took the ball out of the middle and an accurate pass by Aidan Lynch spotted Lourey 40 out. He kicked his second to give West Perth a 22-point lead and this was the margin at the first change. The Falcons had held the Demons goalless as can be seen by the 4.2 (26) to 0.4 (4) score line.

The second quarter was a real scramble. Both teams kicked two goals with the first going to Perth forward Spencer White who kicked the first of his three. This happened at the three-minute mark but the next major didn’t occur until 15 minutes later. It went to the Falcons after Strijk and Lynch combined to get the ball into the hands of Duffy who kicked his second. Once again the goals became hard to find and it was nearly 10 minutes later when White kicked his second to reduce the margin to 17.

The Falcons' reply came within a minute though. It was a third to Duffy who snapped one out of the pack. The siren blew as he took possession and there was some conjecture as to whether it was before or after the siren but the goal stood to give West Perth a 23-point half-time lead; 6.5 (41) to 2.6 (18).

West Perth rammed home their advantage early in the third quarter kicking two goals within three minutes to take the lead out to 35 points. The first was a fourth to Duffy who finished on the run from 30 and then Strijk received a free 40 out that he converted. Perth replied with two of their own before Lourey kicked two with some precision kicking from the boundary. The first was 30 out and the second a touch further but both split the middle from a very tight angle on the scoreboard side of the ground. This reinstated the 35-point lead but a third to White saw the margin reduced to 30 at the final change; 10.9 (69) to 5.9 (39).

The Falcons controlled the last quarter to increase their advantage. Leeson started the scoring when he intercepted a hand ball to finish from close in. Sam Garstone then kicked the second of his goals for Perth. Once again the goal scoring dried up and there wasn’t another major until the 23-minute mark. Leeson kicked his second after taking the ball off hands and Mark Hamilton scored his first after marking 30 out on an angle. At the final siren the Falcons had prevailed by 46 points; 13.13 (91) to 6.9 (45).

Congratulations to Joe 'Bones' Morrow who played his 50th game. It is an achievement that he has worked really hard towards and it is a credit to him.

The colts and reserves went down narrowly after leading at various stages of their matches. It was great to see Matt Guadagnin return from his knee injury to play some time in the twos and Trent Manzone return to the league side. Players to receive awards in the reserves included Jordan Mills, Keegan Knott, Mitch Peirce and best was Nathan Alexandre. League players to be recognised included Max Duffy, Shane Nelson, Joe Morrow and best was the skipper, Jay van Berlo. A big game next week against the ladder leading Subiaco, see you at Kingsway Reserve.