Monday, August 14, 2017 - 4:11 PM by Darrell Kent

IT wasn’t a pretty game to watch and West Perth struggled to hit the scoreboard for three of the four quarters but they still did enough to record a victory over East Fremantle. The most important aspect of the 13-point victory is that it keeps the Falcons in the hunt for a finals berth.

West Perth kicked to the Perth end of the ground in the first quarter. This was to be the scoring end even with a fairly large puddle at the top of the goal square. Despite this, it was East Fremantle who kicked the first goal, and their only score for the quarter, at the two-minute mark. 

The rest of the quarter was dominated by the Falcons as was shown by the 17 to four inside-50 count. But the ability to finish accurately was once again a problem. West Perth managed only five behinds and as a result trailed by a point at the first change; 1.0 (6) to 0.5 (5).

The home team scored a behind early to tie the scores up but the Sharks took control to kick the next two and by the 12-minute mark they led by 13 points. The first Falcons goal came at the 17-minute mark and it went to Nathan Alexandre who marked at the top of the square. This goal was to be the only one for the half. 

East Fremantle kicked two more and as a result took a handy 18-point lead into half time. They led 5.2 (32) to 1.8 (14).

By the run of play it felt as though West Perth only needed to play a good quarter of football to get right back into the game. The third term was to be that quarter. The Falcons dominated to kick five goals five while keeping the Sharks scoreless. Michael Lourey was moved up back and Nick Rodda forward. The move worked as Lourey found some good touch and Rodda hit the scoreboard. 

It only took a minute for West Perth to kick their second goal. It went to Tyler Keitel who marked 50m out. Two more behinds followed before Blake Wilhelm snapped a major out of the pack. At the 12-minute mark the Falcons hit the lead for the first time when Keitel kicked his second. He was on the end of some good work by Kody Manning and Brayden Antonio. Jay van Berlo then passed to Rodda 40m out. His straight kick took the lead to 10 points.

Towards the end of the quarter Andrew Strijk barrelled one through from 50m and as a result West Perth took a 17-point lead into the final change; 6.13 (49) to 5.2 (32). It was a quarter of football that kept the Falcons season alive.

East Fremantle weren’t going away and this proved to be the case when they kicked the first of the final term after three minutes. This reduced the margin to 11 points but West Perth then had another good patch. 

Antonio kicked one from the square and Keitel his third. Midway through the term the Falcons led by 25 and appeared to be in control. But this proved to be far from the case. The Sharks had the last seven scoring shots of the game. The first was a major and the next six were behinds. 

As a result Falcons supporters were more than happy to hear the siren and take the 13-point victory. Some more accurate kicking by East Fremantle towards the end of the quarter would have made it a much more 'interesting' finish. The final scores were 8.15 (63) to 7.7 (50).

The Colts went down but the Reserves scored a close, hard fought victory. The League sits in sixth spot, but a hefty percentage behind East Perth. Swan Districts appear the most likely team for West Perth to displace but it will require them to win their last two games including the one against the League leaders, Subiaco, next week. Swans will need to lose both of theirs. 

Reserves players to receive awards included Mitch van Berlo, Conal Lynch and Mitch Antonio. League players to be recognised were Jay van Berlo, Corey Chalmers, Mark Hamilton and Aaron Black. Matty Guadagnin was back for his first League game in over two years but was unfortunately injured early in the game. This was a real shame for one of the really good guys of the football club.

It was terrific to see a number of former players at the game and stay for a drink afterwards. Blokes like Corey Johnson, Clayton Lasscock, BJ, Stocko, Brett Cousins, Brent Lecras, Jason Salecic and Dan Hunt highlight all that is good about West Perth. (Sorry if I missed anybody). They certainly livened up the day. Good on you Jim Caffi for bringing them altogether.

Let’s see what next week has to offer.