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FALCONS CLAIM CRUCIAL WIN TO CELEBRATE STRIJK'S 200TH

Monday, June 12, 2017 - 12:26 PM by Chris Pike
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WEST Perth showed tremendous heart to respond to a challenge by Swan Districts with three consecutive last quarter goals to win by eight points at Steel Blue Oval on Sunday to celebrate Andrew Strijk's 200th game.

Swans-Falcons games never fail to disappoint and this was yet another tremendous contest with plenty on the line and milestones on either side of the fence to celebrate at Steel Blue Oval.

Both teams entered the contest with 6-3 records and with South Fremantle's loss to Peel on Saturday, it opened the door to only be percentage out of second spot with a game in hand.

In the end, it was West Perth who claimed the 12.17 (89) to 12.9 (81) victory but it was hard fought the whole way through and they did need to go on a three-goal run during the fourth quarter to set it up.

West Perth celebrated Strijk's 200th game in the process and improved to the 7-3 record to be in third position, and just percentage behind South Fremantle and now they face the Bulldogs on Saturday.

Swan Districts slipped to 6-4 as a result of the loss in what was a 150th WAFL game for Matt Riggio and 100th for fellow midfielder Adam Faulkner as he books his name on the No. 7 locker.

West Perth's key forwards stood tall on the day with Tyler Keitel delivering four goals from 19 possessions and seven marks. Having struggled with his kicking but earning plenty of shots all season, he will take confidence from the four-goal haul.

Michael Lourey also delivered a crucial three goals for the Falcons with Rudy Riddoch kicking two on his second game against his former club, and first trip back to Steel Blue Oval as an opposition player.

Shane Nelson racked up another 40 possessions to go with seven inside 50s and six tackles for West Perth with Trent Manzone compiling 29 disposals, Aaron Black 24, Jay van Berlo 24, Luke Meadows 23, Steve Potente 20 and Corey Chalmers 20.

Dean Munns was back to his lockdown best too keeping David Ellard to two first half possessions and splitting his time between running with him and Faulkner through the second half. Blake Wilhelm also did well at half forward limiting the run and carry of Jamie Bennell for Swans.

Kody Manning returned and had a fascinating battle with Matthew Rogers at half-back. Manning ended up with 23 possessions, six tackles and five marks for West Perth.

Nick Rodda was tremendous holding Ricky Cary scoreless.

After a couple of behinds to start the game, West Perth got the first goal on the board courtesy of Keitel as he began his big afternoon.

Swans responded when some good lead up play led Josh Kirkup to run into an open goal and then soon after Rogers banged one home to put his team on top.

A terrific snap from near 50 by Keitel after a turnover ensured West Perth led by four points at quarter-time though.

It was a scrappy opening with both teams not giving an inch to start the second term. It took 14 minutes for the first goal and it went West Perth's way thanks to Meadows. They soon added another through Wilhelm as he capitalised on a rushed behind free-kick paid against Bennell.

A goal for the black-and-whites to Noble kept the home team within tough but Keitel's third goal saw West Perth take a handy 19-point lead into half-time. It could have been more considering the Falcons had 16 scoring shots to seven.

Swans came out fired up to start the second half and two goals to open proceedings to Todd Banfield and Brayden Noble suddenly made the margin just seven points.

West Perth responded with two goals in less than two minutes to Lourey to again lead by nine points, but Swans again hit the scoreboard when Rogers kicked his second and Banfield his second of the term.

Once again the Falcons answered the challenge thanks to Riddoch against his former team when it was handed to him on a silver platter after a miskick from Kirk Ugle.

But the black-and-whites kicked the last two goals of the third quarter from Jesse Manton and Banfield to draw level, and then West Perth led by a solitary point by three quarter-time.

Swans then hit the front to start the last term when Rogers kicked a floater from the boundary that somehow went through. The Falcons responded with a good kick from Lourey for his third to be back on top by a point, but Swans again hit back and were up by five with a goal to Tony Notte.

They appeared to have the momentum and should have had the fresh legs too. But West Perth wouldn’t be denied. Riddoch kicked a second against his former team and then Black earned a free-kick in the forward pocket, and kicked truly to make it an eight-point game.

Keitel kicked the sealer soon after as he works towards putting his kicking woes behind him and nailed his fourth. Swans got the last of the game through Banfield, but it only cut West Perth's winning margin to eight points.

West Perth's colts got the action on Sunday at Steel Blue Oval underway with a 10.10 (70) to 2.10 (22) victory over Swan Districts.

Nathan Murray kicked three goals for West Perth, Koopah Todd two and Tyrese Miller two.

Connor West racked up 29 possessions for the Falcons to go with seven tackles, six inside 50s and a goal.

Thomas Medhat also had 21 disposals for West Perth with Baylee James gathering 19 touches, Todd 19 and Thomas Boyes 18 to go with 12 tackles. Bailey Chalmers and Tom O'Donnell also had 17 touches apiece.

Then in the reserves contest on Sunday at Steel Blue Oval, West Perth beat Swan Districts 15.12 (102) to 3.9 (27).

Max Alexander booted four goals for the Falcons with Sam Rotham also kicking three majors, Mitch Antonio two and Brayden Antonio two.

Aidan Lynch finished with 27 possessions, Mitch Peirce 27, Brayden Antonio 27, Conal Lynch 25, Alexander Coe 24, Nathan Alexandre 21, Mitch Antonio 20 and Riley Hutchinson 18.

Chris Keunen continued to build form and fitness in his second game back with 15 possessions, six marks, 16 hit outs and a goal.

West Perth will now play South Fremantle on Saturday at HBF Arena with a chance to move a game clear in second position and with a game in hand on the Bulldogs.

WEST PERTH            2.5    5.11    8.14    12.17    (89)
SWAN DISTRICTS        2.1    3.4    9.7    12.9    (81)

WEST PERTH – Goals: Keitel 4; Lourey 3; Riddoch 2; Black, Meadows, Wilhelm.
Best: Shane Nelson, Keitel, Munns, Manzone, Rodda, Lourey, van Berlo.
SWAN DISTRICTS – Goals: Banfield 4; Rogers 3; Noble 2; Kirkup, Manton, Notte.
Best: Faulkner, Rogers, Gault, Banfield, Riggio, Notte.