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Monday, May 1, 2017 - 9:30 AM by Darrell Kent
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WEST Perth was too good for a tenacious Perth at HBF Arena on Saturday. The Falcons looked like blowing the game apart on a number of occasions but the Demons always fought back to go under by just 19 points.

This margin could have been higher, though, as an inaccurate West Perth won by 1.13. The victory was also a fitting tribute to captain, Jay van Berlo, who played his 150th game.

West Perth had the better of the first term but it wasn’t fully reflected on the scoreboard. The first three scores were behinds before some good work by Aidan Lynch at a throw-in saw him take possession and pass to Tyson Moulton 30m out. The first of his three goals gave the Falcons a five-point lead after 11 minutes.

West Perth continued to attack and the second goal came eight minutes later. Tyler Keitel looked like hitting the scoreboard but his long kick bounced backwards just when it looked like going through. The busy Corey Chalmers pounced on this opportunity to kick the first of his two. The first Demons major came at the 22-minute mark when Sam Garstone ran into an open goal. Just before the quarter-time siren the Falcons kicked their third.

Luke Meadows received a free but Rudy Riddoch played on to score the first of his six for the day. Brennan Stack was ably supported by the promising Cody Ninyette and Gordon Narrier who added another three to the Demons total for the day to go with his six. At the first change the Falcons led by fourteen; 3.5 (23) to 1.3 (9).

The game opened up in the second quarter with nine goals being kicked. Perth kicked the first three majors and led by two after eight minutes. Their speedy small forwards were causing problems for the Falcon defence. Riddoch regained the lead for the home team after a clever goal on his left. It was out to 11 points when Riddoch kicked his third after marking a kick in just inside 50.

His fourth goal at the 20-minute mark took the lead out to 18 points. At this stage he had kicked four consecutive goals for West Perth. As they did all day Perth rallied to kick the next two and reduce the margin to just five. At the 27-minute mark Chalmers scored on the run from 30 to kick his second. This was the result of some good tackling pressure in the middle of the ground by the Falcons. At the main change West Perth led by 11; 7.9 (51) to 6.4 (40).

The goals kept flowing in the third quarter with another nine being scored. The two number 11's kicked the first two. Stack kicked his third to narrow the margin before Moulton finished from 20 on a tight angle. This was his second. Nick Rodda, who had been moved forward for the second half, marked 30m out on an angle after a fine pass by Michael Lourey. At the 10-minute mark the lead was out to 19 and West Perth appeared ready to go on with it. But once again Perth steadied to kick the next two and at the 17-minute mark the lead had been reduced to eight.

Once again the game swung and West Perth had the best of the next 10 minutes. Shane Nelson snapped a clever goal on his left after a throw up and Moulton kicked his third from the square after receiving a 50m penalty. The lead was out to 22 at the 25-minute mark. A fifth to Stack and a second to Garstone to finish the term set up the game for an exciting last quarter. At the final change the margin was 11, as it was at half-time, despite West Perth having 10 scoring shots to five for the quarter. They led 11.15 (81) to 11.4 (70).

The sixth goal to Brennan Stack at the four-minute mark really made it game on. Perth had closed to within five. The challenge lay in front of West Perth and it was one that they rose to. They had seven of the next eight scoring shots to kick three majors and take the lead out to 25 points midway through the quarter.

The first went to Lourey who received a free next to the right goal post after the ball was kicked out on the full. His clever kick split the middle. Riddoch snapped his fifth and then his sixth when he sold the dummy to his opponents and scored from just outside 50.

Not to be outdone Stack kicked his seventh before the game was finally put to bed at the 22-minute mark. Lourey took a strong mark and passed to Jay van Berlo 40m out on an angle. The skipper showed his class by slotting it and it was more than appropriate that he kicked the 15th and final Falcon goal for the game in his 150th. Perth had the last two scoring shots but at the final siren West Perth had run out 19-point victors; 15.19 (109) to 14.6 (90)).

The win takes the League team to 4-2 for the season, a good result up to this stage. The Colts and Reserves both lost to now have a 3-3 record. Players to receive an award in the Reserves included Dylan Campbell, Mitch Peirce, Ben McGillivray and Brayden Antonio. Best for the League side included Rudy Riddoch, Tyson Moulton, Kody Manning and Shane Nelson. Luke Meadows, Kris Shannon and Aidan Lynch also contributed strongly in a very even team performance. A challenge at Shark Park next week before a bye. Let’s hope for another win.