Monday, June 19, 2017 - 10:55 AM by Darrell Kent

IF there is one team that West Perth has struggled against in recent years it is South Fremantle. Earlier in the year they inflicted a heavy defeat on the Falcons and leading into Saturday’s game they had won seven of their last 10 encounters at HBF Arena.

On Saturday they continued this dominance when they produced a consistent effort to down the home side by 47 points.

West Perth matched the intensity of the visitors early in the match. South Fremantle kicked the first of the game courtesy of key forward, Ben Saunders. The Falcons' reply came at the 10-minute mark when Tyler Keitel was on the end of some good work by Jay van Berlo. He kicked the first of his four for the day from the square. This tied up the scores but it was as close as West Perth was going to get for the rest of the day. Haiden Schloithe kicked the first of his four soon after and from here the Bulldogs extended the lead. It was a tight quarter of football but South Fremantle had the best of it and as a result they led by 15 at the first break; 3.4 (22) to 1.1 (7).

The second quarter was the one that did the damage for the Falcons. South Fremantle dominated and by half-time they had the game well and truly under control. The Bulldogs kicked the first two behinds before West Perth kicked one at the five minute mark. The margin was 16 points at this point in time. But from here South Fremantle dominated and they had the next 10 scoring shots. By the 25-minute mark they had established a match-winning 56-point lead. They dominated the Falcons in all aspects of the game, particularly the run through the middle of the ground. The only West Perth goal came at the 32-minute mark and it went to Joe Morrow who scored from 30m. As a result the Bulldogs led by 49 points at half-time; 9.10 (64) to 2.3 (15). The efforts of Mark Hamilton in defence were very good and he is growing into his role as a key back.

West Perth managed to stem the damage in the third quarter outscoring South Fremantle four goals to three. The Bulldogs kicked the first major to extend the lead before West Perth kicked the next two. Both went to Keitel who marked and goaled on both occasions. South Fremantle kicked the next two courtesy of midfielders Schloithe and Dylan Main who constantly got forward. Both on-ballers kicked four apiece. Steve Potente snapped one from the top of the square to narrow the margin before Nick Rodda, who had been moved forward, hit the scoreboard. This was after taking a strong mark 40m out. At the final change West Perth had limited the damage and trailed by 43 points; 12.11 (83) to 6.4 (40).

West Perth continued to try hard in the final quarter and held their own kicking four goals, the same as South Fremantle. They kicked the first two of the quarter. The first was a fourth to Keitel after marking in the square and the next went to Corey Chalmers who kicked a clever goal from deep in the pocket. Main followed up with his fourth before West Perth kicked their third for the term. This went to Tyson Moulton who marked 40m out. He takes a strong grab and he added extra bite to the forward-line after starting the game in defence. The lead was now reduced to 33 points but South Fremantle had the next four scoring shots to take the lead back out to 47 points. This ended up being the final margin as both sides kicked a major in the dying minutes of the game. The final Falcon goal went to Rodda who ran into an open goal after a precise pass from Chalmers. At the final siren the visitors had scored a 16.15 (111) to 10.4 (64) victory.

The Falcons need to develop the belief that they can match it with South Fremantle as they are the only team, apart from Subiaco, that they have not defeated this year. They still sit in third place as other results went their way. Best players included Mark Hamilton, Kody Manning, Dean Munns, Ben King, Tyler Keitel and Shane Nelson.

The Colts recorded another victory and the Reserves were defeated after challenging the top of the table Bulldogs in the third quarter. It seems to be the case every week but it is fair to say that the game against Claremont next week looms as a must win to keep a place in the five secure.

PHOTOS BY BELINDA TAYLOR ... click here for the gallery of images from the weekend