Monday, September 4, 2017 - 2:29 PM by Darrell Kent

AN inaccurate first quarter was the precursor to a season-ending loss to Swan Districts at Steel Blue Oval on Sunday. West Perth rallied on a number of occasions to hit the front but on the final siren West Perth was 15 points short of Swans. 

As a consequence the Falcons season is over but in the context of the year the fifth placing was a good result and will provide a launching pad for next year.

The first quarter was one in which West Perth received very little reward for effort. They kicked the first score of the match, a behind, before Swans kicked the first goal after receiving a 50m penalty. It went to dangerous forward, Ricky Cary. The Falcons followed with three behinds. Of the first four West Perth scoring shots, three were very kickable and this was to come back and haunt the visitors.

Swans didn’t have the same problem, however, and they kicked four more to score five for the quarter. As a result they led by 26 points at the first change; 5.1 (31) to 0.5 (5). The Falcon endeavour was as you would expect in a final but the score board didn’t reflect this.

During the second term West Perth dominated the contest. They restricted Swans to just four inside 50s for one behind. Luke Meadows scored the first major when he finished from 40 after being on the end of a series of hand balls. 'Strijky' scored on the run from 50 and at the 20-minute mark registered his second after a very good Aidan Lynch pass. 

The Falcons only trailed by seven at half time; 5.2 (32) to 3.7 (25). They were undoubtedly right back in the game but on the run of play should have been in front.

A West Perth defensive error enabled Swans to kick the first goal of the third quarter but they steadied to have the next four scoring shots and gain the lead. A clever tap by Scott Simpson saw Lynch finish with a precise kick from near the boundary. At the 13-minute mark Shane Nelson was rewarded for a strong tackle. His straight kick from 30 gave West Perth a one-point advantage.

Swans hit back shortly after but at the 20-minute mark the scores were all tied up after a Michael Lourey goal. It was a terrific kick from 40 out on the boundary. It was a game that fluctuated all day and the last 10 minutes of the third quarter was no exception. Swans had the better of it and because of this they led by eight at the final change; 8.5 (53) to 6.9 (45).

The Falcons were kicking to the scoring end for the last quarter and were off to a flyer when Tyson Moulton received a free at the top of the square. His straight kick reduced the margin to two. Swans scored two behinds before Lourey gave West Perth the lead at the seven-minute mark. He kicked his second with a long bomb from outside 50. 

For the next seven minutes West Perth continued to attack but only managed one behind. At the 13-minute mark Swans Taryce Stewart turned the game on its head when he kicked the first of two consecutive goals. The Black Ducks kicked a third and in a five-minute burst had turned the game. 

They now led by 14 and it was a lead that they held onto despite the best efforts of the Falcons. At the final siren Swans had progressed to next week with a 15-point victory; 11.9 (75) to 8.12 (60).

Season 2017 is now at an end. It is a year that has had plenty of highs and lows but I think that the highs have had the best of it. The fortunes of the Falcons have fluctuated during it but the one thing that cannot be doubted is the effort and commitment of the players. Supporters can turn up each week knowing that they are going to get value for money and this year was no exception. 

The playing group has shown a high degree of resilience to pick themselves up and perform at different times of the year and there is no doubt that they will enjoy their hard-earned break. Their commitment to the cause is undoubted as they will be fronting up for pre-season in a couple of months. As fans we should never under estimate the time, effort and commitment that the players put in. 

Best players for the Falcons included Scott Simpson, Aaron Black, Shane Nelson, Jay van Berlo and Mark Hamilton. 

Next year has a lot to look forward to with the opening of the new facility just one of the drawcards.

See you then!