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MOVE ON AND LOOK TOWARDS NEXT WEEK

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 1:47 PM by Darrell Kent
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Every team has a game where everything seems to go wrong and the opposition has a day out. This was the case at Fremantle Oval on Saturday when West Perth was comprehensively beaten by a red hot South Fremantle outfit. It was hard not to be impressed by the ball use of the Bulldogs mids and the marking and kicking of their key forwards. They will certainly be a major force this year. On the positive side for the Falcons the Colts recorded their third straight win under new coach, Ryan Lasscock, and the Reserves were desperately unlucky to lose by one point. They came from a six goal half time deficit to grab the lead late in the last quarter. A goal in the last minute got the Bulldogs home but the Falcons were more than competitive.

The first five minutes of the game gave a firm indication of what was to come. Ben Saunders and Corey Dell-Olio kicked the first two goals for the Bulldogs. They, along with Mason Shaw and Blaine Johnson, went on to kick fifteen goals between them. West Perth steadied courtesy of a very good goal from Mark Hamilton who scored from deep in the pocket after a precise pass from Trent Manzone. At the nineteen minute mark Tyler Keitel kicked his first to tie up the scores. But unfortunately for West Perth this was as good as it got. Another Bulldogs key forward, Blaine Johnson, then came into the game to kick two of his six goals. This gave the home team a fourteen point quarter time lead; 4.3 (27) to 2.1 (13).

The Bulldogs took complete control of the game in the second quarter kicking five unanswered goals. At the eighteen minute mark they led by forty three. Shortly after Tyler Keitel scored his second and Andrew Strijk his first to reduce the margin. But the relief was only temporary as South Fremantle closed out the quarter with two more majors and as a result they took a seven goal lead into the main change; 11.3 (69) to 4.3 (27).

Supporters could only hope for a Falcon fight back in the second half but on the run of play it appeared unlikely. This unfortunately turned out to be the case. West Perth worked hard to limit the supply to the dangerous South Fremantle forwards and had some success, only limiting them to four goals. West Perth however, despite attacking consistently, managed only four behinds. As a result they trailed by sixty two at the final change; 15.3 (93) to 4.7 (31). The accuracy of the South Fremantle forwards was almost uncanny.

West Perth kicked two of the first three goals and had reduced the margin to fifty seven after ten minutes. Corey Chalmers slotted one from an angle thirty out and Luke Meadows also scored. He was on the end of a James Batterham pass after some hard work by Aaron Black. From this point the Bulldogs surged to play some of their best football for the game. They completely dominated to score seven goals in the last half of the quarter. It would be fair to say that they completely controlled possession of the football. When the siren finally sounded South Fremantle had run out 103 point victors; 23.8 (146) to 6.7 (43). It was a dominant final quarter by the premiership favourites.

There were few positives to take out of the game from a West Perth perspective. The coaching staff and players will undoubtedly review the game and move on. The team is still in a better position than last year when it started the year with a 0-4 record and still finished third. There is no doubt that the team will rebound strongly against Peel next week. Recruit Rudy Riddoch is running into good form in the Reserves and with a few more games under his belt will push for League inclusion. Best players for the Falcons included Ben King, Shane Nelson, Aaron Black and Trent Manzone.

BY DARRELL KENT
PHOTOS BY BELINDA TAYLOR