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BULLDOGS CONTINUE TO BE FALCONS NEMESIS

Monday, July 31, 2017 - 11:11 AM by Darrell Kent
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SOUTH Fremantle continued Its recent dominance against West Perth at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday. The Bulldogs defeated the Falcons by 47 points, the same amount as the Round 13 encounter.

In each quarter West Perth made a charge at the home team but on all occasions they steadied to extend their lead at each change. The loss has left the Falcons in a precarious position with a loss to East Perth next week seeing them drop out of the top five for the first time since Round 5. 

Injuries to key playmakers Kody Manning and Andrew Strijk compounded what was a difficult day for the West Perth Football Club.

Heavy rain welcomed the start of the game and as a result the first quarter was a real slog. The Bulldogs had the first three scores and led by 13 points at the nine-minute mark. A very good Rudy Riddoch pass to Brayden Antonio 20m out resulted in the first Falcons major at the 14-minute mark.

The conditions had a large impact on the term and the only other score for the quarter was a behind to the Falcons. When the quarter-time siren went South Fremantle led by six; 2.1 (13) to 1.1 (7).

The heavy rain had stopped by the start of the second quarter and as a result a lot more goals were scored. West Perth tied the game up at the two-minute mark when Nick Rodda kicked the first of his three. He was rewarded for a strong tackle 20m out. The next 10 minutes belonged to the Bulldogs, however, as they piled on four quick goals. Their ability to score quickly is the best in the competition.

The Falcons rallied, though, and fought to get back into the game. They scored two behinds before Shane Nelson hit the scoreboard. He received a free close to goal for a strong tackle. He had another very good game racking up 45 possessions. At the 20-minute mark a clever soccer forward by Riddoch enabled Corey Chalmers to finish from 30. This was the first of his four goals for the day. The Bulldogs finished the term strongly, kicking two more majors, and as a result led by 24 at the main change; 8.3 (51) to 4.3 (27).

The Falcons were still in the game and they started the third term strongly. They had the first three scoring shots but they were all behinds. South went forward for the first time at the seven-minute mark and scored a goal to take the lead out to 27 points. The rain came back with a vengeance, at this stage, but West Perth did best kicking two quick goals. They were a second to Chalmers and Rodda and at the 13-minute mark the deficit was back to 16. 

As was the case all day, when challenged the home team stepped up and this time it was through Cory Dell'Olio who scored the next two. Rodda kicked his third shortly after following some good work by Aaron Black out of the middle. From here West Perth were outscored four goals to one and as a result they trailed by 39 points at the final change. The Falcons goal went to Luke Meadows who scored a clever major from the boundary 40 out after Souths kicked the ball over the line on the full. The scores were 15.5 (95) to 8.8 (56).

Three goals in quick succession had West Perth back in the game. Chalmers kicked his third after marking close in, Tyler Keitel soccered one out of the pack and Chalmers kicked his fourth after intercepting a kick out of defence 40 out. At the seven-minute mark the lead was just 21 but the pattern of the game continued and South Fremantle kicked the last five goals of the game. 

West Perth had its chances but managed just five behinds. At the final siren South Fremantle had prevailed 20.6 (126) to 11.13 (79).

The margin may not have shown it but this was West Perth’s best effort against South Fremantle this year. At various times they challenged the home team but their finesse and polish were too good. The Falcons only had two less scoring shots but the finishing of South Fremantle was much better.

The three teams left Fremantle without a win and as a result it wasn’t a great day. Best players for the League included Shane Nelson, Corey Chalmers, Nick Rodda, Riley Hutchinson and Aidan Lynch. 

The biggest game of the year, so far, comes up next week against East Perth. 

Be there to help get the team over the line.

ARTICLE BY DARRELL KENT

PHOTOS BY BELINDA TAYLOR