FALCONS DELIVER TO HAND SWANS FIRST LOSS

Monday, April 24, 2017 - 3:39 PM by Chris Pike

WEST Perth delivered a second straight stirring performance to hand Swan Districts its first loss of 2017 in a tremendous ANZAC Round contest at HBF Arena on Saturday.

Little separated the two teams all afternoon with West Perth's 26-point lead late in the third quarter the biggest break in the contest.

But from there, Swans kicked the next three goals either side of three quarter-time to set up a thrilling finish in the clash that is now an annual event to commemorate ANZAC Day.

It proved only fitting that former Swan Districts forward Rudy Riddoch kicked the sealer for West Perth late in the contest in his second game for the Falcons.

That saw West Perth hold on for the 13.7 (85) to 12.8 (80) triumph in what likely was the most hotly contested match of the WAFL season to date.

It was a terrific result for West Perth who has now responded to a horror 103-point loss to South Fremantle with strong wins over Peel Thunder and Swan Districts.

Aaron Black delivered a remarkable performance for West Perth in the midfield finishing with a career-best 47 possessions made up of 27 kicks and 20 handpasses. He also took eight marks and drove the ball inside-50 on six occasions.

His partner-in-crime Shane Nelson wasn’t too far behind also racking up 39 disposals to go with five marks, four inside 50s, three tackles and a goal for the Falcons.

Trent Manzone continued his impressive ball-winning form with 33 touches while Aidan Lynch again performed strongly in his second game of the season with 28 possessions, five marks and five tackles.

Luke Meadows was strong with 25 possessions while Kody Manning spent much of the day alongside Ryan Crowley and did well for 25 touches, seven marks and a brilliant long goal.

Nick Rodda played his best game of the season down back not only having 24 possessions and 10 marks, but limiting Ricky Cary to two goals from nine kicks and three marks.

Scott Nelson finished with 21 disposals, Jay van Berlo 21, Andrew Strijk 20, Steve Potente 18, Kris Shannon 18, Blake Wilhelm 18 and Dean Munns 18.

Michael Lourey found some form to kick three goals from seven kicks and five marks with Tyler Keitel and Corey Chalmers also booting two majors for West Perth.

Scott Simpson had another strong performance in the ruck up against both Corey Gault and Jake Nuich finishing with 18 possessions, seven marks and 32 hit outs.

It took just four minutes for West Perth to get the game's opening goal when Chalmers rode one in on the breeze nicely.

But Swans answered with the next three in the space of five minutes with the first to Todd Banfield and then the next two to Cary.

A clever snap gave West Perth the reply to make the margin five points and Keitel and Tyson Moulton also kicked answering goals for the Falcons in a high-quality first term, but Swans goals to Crowley and Taryce Stewart saw the black-and-whites lead by five points at the first change.

The breeze picked up a little after quarter-time and was at West Perth's back in the second quarter with the Falcons taking full advantage after an early goal for Swans to Warrick Wilson put the visitors nine points up.

A long goal from outside 50 to Lourey brought West Perth back within two points and then a good snap out of a boundary throw-n put the Falcons in front soon after.

A bomb from more than 60m out on the run from Manning saw West Perth pick up all the momentum and an 11-point lead before Riddoch sent another 60-plus metre rocket goalward.

Keitel marked on the goal line and went back to kick the goal line to give West Perth the game-high 17-point lead at that stage.

Swans did get the last goal of the half though thanks to Stewart and trailed by just 10 points at the main change.

It took 11 minutes for the opening goal of the third quarter but it did go West Perth's way courtesy of Strijk to make the margin 16 points.

That soon became 21 points with a goal to Chalmers and 26 when Lourey booted his second of the day.

But Swans wouldn’t go away and two late goals before three quarter-time from Brayden Noble made the margin just 12 points at three quarter-time.

Despite kicking into the breeze in the last quarter, Swans were desperate to remain undefeated in 2017 and closed to within six points when Stewart ran in for his third goal of the contest.

West Perth did respond through Lourey but again Swans hit back through Banfield to make the margin just seven points.

Things then went up a notch with the game up for grabs and it was the black-and-whites who really made things interesting with another to Banfield at the 22-minute mark to make it a one-point ball game.

But as if the script was written in advance, former Swan Riddoch kicked the sealer for the Falcons at the 25-minute mark and West Perth held on for the thrilling five-point victory.

The day began at HBF Arena with the colts contest and that saw Swan Districts beat West Perth 10.14 (74) to 7.5 (47).

Zak Patterson and Noah Clune kicked two goals apiece for West Perth.

Connor West racked up 32 possessions, Bailey Chalmers 26, Lachlan Sherriffs 25, Oscar Allen 25, Tyrese Miller 25, Nathan Murray 24, Josh Hunter 20, Tom Medhat 18, Baylee James 18 and Dylan Yem 17.

Then in the reserves contest at HBF Arena on Saturday, West Perth recorded a 15.6 (96) to 9.9 (63) over Swan Districts.

Mitch Peirce was the dominant presence in the game finishing with 38 possessions, nine marks and three goals for West Perth.

Joel Bennett also kicked four goals for the Falcons and Nick Marinovich three.

James Batterham picked up 30 possessions for West Perth, Conal Lynch 29, Brayden Antonio 24, Alexander Coe 24, Jordan Mills 23, Joel Horgan 20, Tom O'Brien 19, Kael Coleman 19 and Ben McGillivray 18.

West Perth remains at HBF Arena next Saturday to take on Perth.

WEST PERTH            4.1    8.5    11.5    13.7    (85)
SWAN DISTRICTS        5.0    7.1    9.5    12.8    (80)

WEST PERTH – Goals: Lourey 3; Chalmers, Keitel 2; Strijk, Moulton, Shane Nelson, van Berlo, Manning, Riddoch.
Best: Black, Nelson, Manning, Manzone, Simpson, Meadows, Rodda, Lynch.
SWAN DISTRICTS– Goals: Banfield, Stewart 3; Cary, Noble 2; Wilson, Crowley.
Best: Faulkner, Banfield, Turner, Stewart, Crowley, Bennell.