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LOSS TO PEEL ENDS SEASON

Monday, September 12, 2016 - 11:56 AM by Darrell Kent
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WEST Perth's season ended on Sunday with a 60-point loss to Peel Thunder at HBF Arena.

This was the complete reversal of the last time that the two teams met on July 9 when West Perth held Peel to just 1.5 (11) for the whole game in Mandurah. It just goes to highlight how the addition of a number of seasoned AFL players can bolster a team and make them serious premiership contenders.

While it was a disappointing end to the season for the Falcons they did a really good job to win 13 matches after a slow start.

It was an even start with both teams taking time to settle. The first score didn’t come until the 10-minute mark and it was a behind to Peel. They weren’t headed for the rest of the day. Mandurah local Blair Bell kicked the first of his three shortly after. The Falcons reply came midway through the term courtesy of Rohan Kerr who finished after a clever hand ball from Kody Manning.

At the 19-minute mark Peel extended their lead to eight following a major to Brayden Lawler but after Corey Chalmers marked and received a 50m penalty, his finish from 20 had the Falcons trailing by only two. Dockers ruckman Jonathon Griffin finished the term with his first and as a result Peel led by eight at the first change; 3.2 (20) to 2.0 (12). West Perth were well and truly in the contest.

Joe Morrow, who marked strongly all day, was involved in the Falcons first goal for the second quarter when he passed to the hard running Aaron Black in the square. His kick reduced the margin to three.

In a low scoring quarter Peel kicked the only other two goals of the term. It was a tight battle with a lot of contested ball and West Perth fought hard to stay in the game. They went into the main break trailing by 14 points and would have been reasonably content with their position. The scores were 5.4 (34) to 3.2 (20).

The third quarter saw the Falcons chances of progressing any further in the finals removed. It was a quarter that was completely controlled by Peel despite the best efforts of West Perth. No matter how hard they tried the Falcons could not impact the scoreboard managing only one behind. Peel, on the other hand, kicked four goals eight to extend their lead to 45 at the final change; 9.12 (66) to 3.3 (21).

Play opened up in the final quarter with 10 goals being scored, West Perth kicked four of them. Andrew Strijk received some reward for effort when he kicked three. The first was after marking on the wing, running on and finishing from 50. It was a class finish by a quality player.

Joel Leeson chimed in with one after a clever finish from the boundary but the last two went to Strijk. The second was a clever goal on the run and the third after a mark 40 out. At the final siren West Perth had lost by 60; 15.15 (105) to 7.3 (45). This is West Perth’s greatest ever loss to Peel and the lowest score that they have kicked against the Mandurah team.

While it was a disappointing end to the year the Falcons still gave their fans much to cheer about during the season. They strung together a number of victories defeating all teams except South Fremantle to finish third at the end of the home and away season.

A number of players were exposed to league football and will provide a solid base to build on for next year. Players to receive awards included Steven Browne, Aaron Black, Ben King and best was Joe Morrow.

Rohan Kerr and Trent Manzone won’t be back next year due to work commitments and moving over east. They have both been really good contributors to the West Perth Football Club.

There will undoubtedly be other players who move on but if Luke Tedesco decides to retire he deserves a lot of credit for his contribution as a captain, premiership player and life member. All the best to those players who leave West Perth at the end of this year. Enjoy the off season as everyone at the club prepares to celebrate the highs of 2016 and plan for 2017.

BY DARRELL KENT
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