Monday, April 29, 2013 - 2:23 AM

West Perth won most of the battles but not the war in the match against Swan Districts at the Arena on ANZAC Day.

The pattern of play for each quarter saw the Falcons control the early part of each term but not take advantage of their opportunities. Swans would then make the most of their chances late in the term to stay in the game and eventually run away with it in the last quarter.

The Falcons were quickly out of the blocks and led by eight after four minutes. The goal went to exciting youngster Matthew Johnson who goaled on the run from fifty. Unfortunately he was injured shortly after and had little game time from this point on. Swans hit back with the next two including one to promising youngster Nathan Blakely and key forward Tim Geappen. West Perth regained the lead when Anthony Tsalikis finished from the square after some good work from Marc Crisp. Tim Geappen hit back shortly after with his second before Kody Manning intercepted a kick out of defence to score from thirty. This gave the Falcons back the lead and at the first change they led 3.5 (23) to 3.3 (21).

The second quarter was a tight and physical contest. West Perth took their lead out to fifteen after six minutes by scoring the first two goals. These were to be their only goals for the quarter. The first went to Jay Van Berlo who finished from forty five after receiving a Chris Keunen pass. Steven Browne and Jay Van Berlo then combined to get the ball into the hands of Frank Stockley who marked and goaled from fifty. There wasn’t another score for twelve minutes but it was Swans who finished the term with three majors and at the main change they led by two points; 6.3 (39) to 5.7 (37).

The game trend continued in the third quarter and the Falcons controlled play to lead by eleven at the eighteen minute mark. Swans had only one scoring shot in this time so it was fair to say that West Perth did not make the most of their opportunities. The two goals went to “Slick” who kicked his second and busy forward Josh Mellington who scored from forty five after receiving a free kick. As was the case all game the hard work was undone when Swans kicked the last two goals of the quarter to take a one point lead into the final change. It was hard to fathom how West Perth could trail after controlling so much of the play. Delivery into the forward line was a problem. Scores were Swans 9.5 (59) to West Perth 8.10 (58).

Once again West Perth were into stride quickly having the first four scoring shots of the quarter but they only managed to take their lead to eight. When Josh Mellington kicked his third after one minute of the final quarter West Perth supporters would not have expected it to be their last for the game, but it was. The Black Ducks piled on six goals to run out twenty eight point winners; 15.8 (98) to 9.16 (70). It was an uncharacteristic finish to the game by West Perth who have finished all games strongly this year. The run of Swans young gun, Dayle Garlett, was a turning point of the game.

The game against East Fremantle next week has now become crucial in the context of the season. There is no doubt that at their best West Perth are capable of beating the premiership fancy. The intensity has been there but the finishing has not. Best for West Perth were Andrew Strijk, Mark Hutchings, Kody Manning, Jordan Jones and best was Jay Van Berlo. The Reserves suffered a disappointing loss after being five goals in front at half time. Best players included Kris Shannon, Brayden Antonio, Trent Manzone and James Batterham. Congratulations to the Colts who gutsed out a one goal victory against their opposition. See you at Shark Park next week.