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FALCONS SEASON ENDED WITH FIRST HOME LOSS TO THUNDER IN A DECADE

Monday, September 12, 2016 - 12:11 PM by Chris Pike
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WEST Perth returned to HBF Arena on Sunday for the WAFL first semi-final but lost at home to Peel Thunder for the first time since 2006 to see the Falcons' 2016 season come to an end.

Having made history last Sunday by winning the club's first ever final downing East Perth by 49 points at Bendigo Bank Stadium, Peel backed it up at HBF Arena on Sunday defeating last year's grand finalists West Perth 15.15 (105) to 7.3 (45).

While Peel had 17 Fremantle-listed players for a second straight week, it was their ability to perform as a team combined with the five WAFL-listed players that helped them dominate the contest.

Peel will now take on South Fremantle in next Sunday's preliminary final at Fremantle Community Bank Oval with the winner to advance to the Grand Final to take on Subiaco at Domain Stadium.

Meanwhile, West Perth's 2016 season is over with two finals defeats after qualifying from third position.

The win was Peel's first at Joondalup since 2006 and just the Thunder's third in 23 attempts at the ground. West Perth had won its previous 11 home games against Peel and its last 12 overall against the Thunder.

It took 12 minutes for the game's first goal and that came to Peel through one of five non Fremantle-listed players Blair Bell. West Perth answered through Rohan Kerr and the teams continued to trade goals with Peel leading by just three points early in the second term.

The Thunder went on to kick the last two goals of the first half to lead by 14 points at the long break and then the only four goals of the third quarter. By the time Michael Apeness goaled 30 seconds into the last quarter, Peel was leading by 51 points.

West Perth's almost two-quarter goal drought finally ended four minutes into the final term when Andrew Strijk kicked truly but Peel still managed six goals to four in the last term to secure the 60-point victory and a place in the preliminary final.

Andrew Strijk kicked three last quarter goals for West Perth to finish with 15 possessions and 10 marks for the afternoon.

Aaron Black gathered 28 possessions for the Falcons to go with seven marks, six tackles and a goal while Steven Browne also had 28 disposals and 11 marks, and Rohan Kerr 26 touches, 14 marks and a goal.

Corey Chalmers finished with 24 possessions and eight marks as well for West Perth with captain Jay van Berlo contributed 20 disposals, six marks, six tackles and four inside-50 entries.

Tyler Keitel spent a lot of the game in the ruck and had 16 touches, seven tackles and 10 hit outs while Kody Manning contributed 18 possessions and Joe Morrow 18 to go with 12 marks.

Kerr and Trent Manzone both played their last games with West Perth after four years with the Falcons. Both have been tremendous performers for the Falcons with Kerr a 2013 premiership player and having four outstanding seasons.

Manzone might have missed the 2013 premiership but played in the 2015 grand final and proved himself a valuable league player whether as a midfielder or off half-back.

WEST PERTH        2.0    3.2    3.3    7.3    (45)
PEEL THUNDER        3.2    5.4    9.12    15.15    (105)

WEST PERTH – Goals: Strijk 3; Black, Kerr, Chalmers, Leeson.
Best: Browne, Black, Kerr, Strijk, Morrow, Chalmers, van Berlo. 
PEEL THUNDER – Goals: Ugle 4; Bell 3; Lawler, Griffin 2; Langdon, Yarran, de Boer, Apeness.
Best: Blakely, Clarke, Ugle, Bell, de Boer, O'Brien, Ducker, Langdon, Deluca.