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FALCONS SUFFER FIRST DEFEAT

Monday, April 22, 2013 - 2:52 AM
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It was a tough game between the Falcons and Tigers at Claremont Oval on Saturday but at the end of the day Claremont ran out nineteen point winners.

West Perth trailed all day but closed to within five early in the final term before two goals courtesy of free kicks gave the Tigers the breathing space that they needed.

It was a low scoring game but Claremont got the jump by kicking the first two goals of the game. They went to ex-Falcon Mark Seaby and busy forward Ian Richardson. By the seven minute mark the Tigers led by thirteen. The rest of the term was a real grind with goals hard to score. At the seven minute mark a ferocious bump by Kody Manning freed the ball for Nick Rodda who finished on the run from fifty. This was to be the only goal kicked by the Falcons for the term and it was not a great result for their tenacious efforts. They were also kicking to the scoring end of the ground. The only other goal for the term was a second to Richardson and at the first change Claremont led by ten; 3.2 (20) to 1.4 (10).

Ten of the twenty three goals for the game were scored in the second quarter. Claremont once again kicked the first two to extend their lead to twenty four after eight minutes. West Perth responded quickly after a clever kick from Jordan Jones enabled Mark Hutchings to finish from fifty and Kody Manning took the ball off hands to kick his first. The margin was twelve midway through the term. A Ryan Neates major extended the lead for the Tigers but Rohan Kerr marked thirty out and kicked accurately to restore the status quo. The game continued to be played between the half back lines before Ian Richardson again popped up to kick his third. A clever set up by Anton Saylor enabled Kody Manning to kick his second and after twenty two the lead was just thirteen. Unfortunately for the Falcons, Claremont kicked the last two of the half to lead by twenty five at the main change; 9.5 (59) to 5.4 (34).

West Perth played a terrific third quarter to restrict the prolific scoring Tigers to just one major. Matt Fowler and Aaron Black finished off some good work originating out of defence by kicking consecutive goals to reduce the margin to thirteen at the fifteen minute mark. Mark Seaby was the beneficiary of a free kick thirty out and his second goal extended the lead. West Perth hit back just before the siren when Trent Manzone kicked a wonderful off balance goal from fifty. At the final change the lead had been reduced to twelve with the Tigers leading 10.7 (67) to 7.7 (55).

When Marc Crisp took the ball off the back of the pack to score from thirty the lead had been reduced to five and the momentum was with the Falcons. Shortly after Mark Seaby took the ball from a throw in deep in attack and was tackled but not penalised. The ensuing passage of play resulted in a goal to Claremont. This was to be a turning point in the game. This was magnified when Matthew Davies received a suspect free kick and fifty metres to extend the lead to seventeen from the square. Another goal to Claremont extended the lead to twenty five before the last goal of the game was a second to Mark Hutchings. This resulted in the final scoreline; 13.9 (87) to 10.8 (68).

There was a lot to like about the West Perth performance but the Tigers used the ball slightly better on the day. The Falcons won the clearance and tackle count but the extra inside fifties were too much for the Falcons to overcome. Best players for West Perth included Michael Pettigrew who continues his great form, Mark Hutchings, Jordan Jones, Steven Browne and Jay Van Berlo. Andrew Strijk also played a strong game off half back. The Reserves played an impressive second half to go down by eleven after trailing by fifty at the half. The Colts suffered a heavy defeat. The game against Swans on ANZAC Day now assumes an even greater significance. Be there to get the Falcons over the line.

BY DARRELL KENT

PHOTOS BY BELINDA TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY