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BRAVE FALCONS FIGHT BUT FALL TO TIGERS

Monday, April 22, 2013 - 12:00 AM
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WEST Perth might have lost for the first time in 2013 against Claremont on Saturday at Claremont Oval, but there was plenty of like from the fight shown by the undermanned Falcons.

West Perth started the season so impressively with wins over East Perth, Subiaco, South Fremantle and Peel Thunder to set up a top-of-the-table clash at Claremont Oval on Saturday with the two-time reigning premier Tigers who had also started the season off 4-0.

Even though Claremont ended up winning 13.9 (87) to 10.8 (68), West Perth never gave in and showed some tremendous fight to kick three goals to one in the third quarter after trailing by 25 points at half-time.

Not only did West Perth come into the game without captain Jason Salecic, veteran defender Dan Hunt, Fremantle's Josh Mellington and young goalkicker Matthew Johnson, but two players went down for the day in the first half as well.

Joe Morrow was given his chance in the back-line with Hunt going out of the side but he injured his ankle before half-time while small defender Laine Rasmussen went off with a concussion as well meaning the Falcons were down to 20 men for the entire second half.

That is what made West Perth's resurgence in the third quarter all the more impressive and now anticipation is already building for Round 12 at Arena Joondalup when the Falcons get another crack at Swan Districts.

Aaron Black racked up 27 possessions to go with seven marks and a goal to continue his outstanding start to the season for West Perth.

His young midfield partner Shane Nelson also worked hard finishing with 24 disposals while Steven Browne and Mark Hutchings gathered 23 possessions apiece. Hutchings also kicked two goals as did Kody Manning.

West Perth's back-line again stood up tremendously well led by Michael Pettigrew while Jordan Jones continued his terrific form with 20 disposals while Luke Tedesco collected 22 in a strong performance setting up play out of defence.

Andrew Strijk and Rohan Kerr both picked up 18 possessions each with Jay van Berlo finishing with 16 to go with six tackles.

The reserves put in a strong performance against Claremont but narrowly went down by 11 points. Mitchell McPhee kicked four goals with Frank Stockley adding three.

James Embley picked up 20 possessions with Alex Elisseou finishing with 18, Kris Shannon 17, Jack Thrum 17, Joel Latham 17 and James Batterham 17.

The colts had a day to forget losing to Claremont by 115 points but Harrison Silver kicked two goals with Blake Acres picking up 23 possessions, Joel Brown 20, Luke Meadows 20 and William Michell 18.

WEST PERTH                                                      1.4          5.4          8.7          10.8        (68)

CLAREMONT                                                      3.2          9.5          10.7        13.9        (87)

WEST PERTH – Goals: Hutchings, Manning 2; Black, Crisp, Manzone, Fowler, Rodda, Kerr.

Best: Black, Hutchings, Pettigrew, Jones, Browne, Nelson, Tedesco.

CLAREMONT – Goals: Richardson 3; Hamp, Seaby 2; Chidgzey, Davies, Holt, Neates, Andrews, Williams.

Best: Murphy, Seaby, Neates, Sibosado, Holt, Davies.

BY CHRIS PIKE