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FALCONS DOWN PERTH TO MOVE CLEAR IN SECOND

Sunday, May 26, 2013 - 3:28 PM
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WEST Perth showed no signs of rustiness after a three-week break in between games moving clear in second position on the ladder after a commanding 36-point win over Perth at Arena Joondalup.

Both the Falcons and Demons came into the clash with identical 5-2 records and it was West Perth who moved a game clear in second spot and to remain in contention with the unbeaten Claremont by recording an impressive 17.13 (115) to 12.7 (79) victory.
West Perth last played on Saturday May 4 and recorded an also impressive 23-point win over East Fremantle at East Fremantle Oval in a high-scoring shoot out that day, and despite the weeks without a game in between carried on that momentum on Saturday against the in-form Perth.
Perth had lost just two games this season to Claremont and East Fremantle by a combined seven points so the Demons were always going to prove a big test for West Perth, and in the end it was one the Falcons passed with flying colours.
West Perth came into the game having lost Mark Hutchings to West Coast but captain Jason Salecic returned from a hamstring injury for his first game since Round 2.
Laine Rasmussen also went out of the side that beat East Fremantle with the Falcons opting for two ruckmen as Frank Stockley came into the side to battle Perth's big men.
While the Falcons midfield and forward-line had terrific days as well, it was the home side's back-line that really stood out against the Demons.
Trent Manzone was given the big job on former Western Bulldogs forward and WA representative from this year Brennan Stack, and the pair had an enthralling battle.
While Stack kicked five second half goals, Manzone kept him very quiet in the first half and there was little he could have done on a lot of occasions with Stack isolated deep in attack. The Queensland recruit also did well running off with 19 possessions and seven marks for West Perth.
Meanwhile, veteran key defenders Michael Pettigrew and Dan Hunt were rock solid ensuring that Perth big forwards Haydn Busher and Fraser McInnes, and the resting ruckmen had no impact.
Jordan Jones continued his outstanding defensive form while also racking up 29 possessions and taking 12 marks. Luke Tedesco was outstanding in defence with 19 disposals and seven marks with Andrew Strijk having another 21 disposals and 10 marks.
State wingman Aaron Black continued his strong form for West Perth with another 31 possessions with Steven Browne also racking up 24 disposals, Ray Bartholomew 22, Matt Guadagnin 22, Marc Crisp 21 and Jay van Berlo 18.
Up forward, Josh Mellington kicked four goals to go with his 23 possessions and 12 marks. Anthony Tsalikis was also terrific with 16 disposals, 10 marks and three goals with Matt Johnson and Anton Saylor adding two majors apiece.
It was a terrific first quarter of football from both teams with each kicking four goals and with the game going from end to end with good skills, and quick ball movement.
There were eight lead changes in the first quarter alone with West Perth going into quarter-time one-point up, but it was all the home side in the second term. The Falcons kept Perth goalless with Mellington, Crisp and Nick Rodda kicking goals to make the half-time margin 21 points.
West Perth then turned on some scintillating play midway through the third quarter with their running game and skill level on full display. The margin got out to as much as 52 points before Perth showed some fight just before three quarter-time with three goals to Stack.
Two quick goals to Johnson to start the last quarter steadied West Perth again, though, and the Falcons went on to cruise to the 36-point win.
The West Perth reserves also recorded a 10-point victory against Perth on Saturday at Arena Joondalup with Matt Fowler kicking five goals from seven kicks.
Max Alexander also kicked two goals with Joel Latham racking up 25 possessions, Brayden Antonio 22 and Rasmussen 21.
The Falcons colts went down, though, to the Demons by 54 points despite three goals from Thomas Wells and 20 possessions to Joel Brown, and 18 to Ashley Smith.
WEST PERTH 4.3 7.8 13.11 17.13 (115)
PERTH 4.2 4.5 8.5 12.7 (79)
WEST PERTH – Goals: Mellington 4; Tsalikis 3; Saylor, Johnson 2; Rodda, Keunen, van Berlo, Guadagnin, Crisp, Salecic.
Best: Jones, Black, Mellington, Hunt, Browne, Guadagnin, Pettigrew.
PERTH – Goals: Stack 5; Bevan 3; Florio 2; McInnes, Ashley Smith.
Best: Ashley Smith, Jacobs, Bevan, Hodge, Stack, White, Sinclair.
BY CHRIS PIKEWEST Perth showed no signs of rustiness after a three-week break in between games moving clear in second position on the ladder after a commanding 36-point win over Perth at Arena Joondalup.

Both the Falcons and Demons came into the clash with identical 5-2 records and it was West Perth who moved a game clear in second spot and to remain in contention with the unbeaten Claremont by recording an impressive 17.13 (115) to 12.7 (79) victory.

West Perth last played on Saturday May 4 and recorded an also impressive 23-point win over East Fremantle at East Fremantle Oval in a high-scoring shoot out that day, and despite the weeks without a game in between carried on that momentum on Saturday against the in-form Perth.

Perth had lost just two games this season to Claremont and East Fremantle by a combined seven points so the Demons were always going to prove a big test for West Perth, and in the end it was one the Falcons passed with flying colours.

West Perth came into the game having lost Mark Hutchings to West Coast but captain Jason Salecic returned from a hamstring injury for his first game since Round 2.

Laine Rasmussen also went out of the side that beat East Fremantle with the Falcons opting for two ruckmen as Frank Stockley came into the side to battle Perth's big men.

While the Falcons midfield and forward-line had terrific days as well, it was the home side's back-line that really stood out against the Demons.

Trent Manzone was given the big job on former Western Bulldogs forward and WA representative from this year Brennan Stack, and the pair had an enthralling battle.

While Stack kicked five second half goals, Manzone kept him very quiet in the first half and there was little he could have done on a lot of occasions with Stack isolated deep in attack. The Queensland recruit also did well running off with 19 possessions and seven marks for West Perth.

Meanwhile, veteran key defenders Michael Pettigrew and Dan Hunt were rock solid ensuring that Perth big forwards Haydn Busher and Fraser McInnes, and the resting ruckmen had no impact.

Jordan Jones continued his outstanding defensive form while also racking up 29 possessions and taking 12 marks. Luke Tedesco was outstanding in defence with 19 disposals and seven marks with Andrew Strijk having another 21 disposals and 10 marks.

State wingman Aaron Black continued his strong form for West Perth with another 31 possessions with Steven Browne also racking up 24 disposals, Ray Bartholomew 22, Matt Guadagnin 22, Marc Crisp 21 and Jay van Berlo 18.

Up forward, Josh Mellington kicked four goals to go with his 23 possessions and 12 marks. Anthony Tsalikis was also terrific with 16 disposals, 10 marks and three goals with Matt Johnson and Anton Saylor adding two majors apiece.

It was a terrific first quarter of football from both teams with each kicking four goals and with the game going from end to end with good skills, and quick ball movement.

There were eight lead changes in the first quarter alone with West Perth going into quarter-time one-point up, but it was all the home side in the second term. The Falcons kept Perth goalless with Mellington, Crisp and Nick Rodda kicking goals to make the half-time margin 21 points.

West Perth then turned on some scintillating play midway through the third quarter with their running game and skill level on full display. The margin got out to as much as 52 points before Perth showed some fight just before three quarter-time with three goals to Stack.

Two quick goals to Johnson to start the last quarter steadied West Perth again, though, and the Falcons went on to cruise to the 36-point win.

The West Perth reserves also recorded a 10-point victory against Perth on Saturday at Arena Joondalup with Matt Fowler kicking five goals from seven kicks.

Max Alexander also kicked two goals with Joel Latham racking up 25 possessions, Brayden Antonio 22 and Rasmussen 21.

The Falcons colts went down, though, to the Demons by 54 points despite three goals from Thomas Wells and 20 possessions to Joel Brown, and 18 to Ashley Smith.

WEST PERTH 4.3 7.8 13.11 17.13 (115)

PERTH 4.2 4.5 8.5 12.7 (79)

WEST PERTH – Goals: Mellington 4; Tsalikis 3; Saylor, Johnson 2; Rodda, Keunen, van Berlo, Guadagnin, Crisp, Salecic.

Best: Jones, Black, Mellington, Hunt, Browne, Guadagnin, Pettigrew.

PERTH – Goals: Stack 5; Bevan 3; Florio 2; McInnes, Ashley Smith.

Ashley Smith, Jacobs, Bevan, Hodge, Stack, White, Sinclair.

BY CHRIS PIKE