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FALCONS SHOW TRUE GRIT

Monday, July 1, 2013 - 12:39 PM
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For the second week in a row West Perth refused to be beaten and as a result recorded a three point victory against Swan Districts at Steel Blue Oval on Saturday.

The Falcons worked hard to get back into the game after being jumped early, grab the lead and then refuse to be headed as the hard fought match went down to the wire. A masterstroke by League Coach, Bill Monaghan, was the move of Michael Pettigrew into the forward line. Swans State defender Tallan Ames was in great form but the move of Pettigrew up forward negated his influence and saw the backman kick three match winning goals.

Swans were out of the blocks quickly and led by eight after ten minutes. Their first goal came from Docker, Lachie Neale. Anthony Tsalikis scored the first for the Falcons after taking possession fifty out on the boundary. It was a great kick. Lachie Neale bobbed up for his second before behinds to West Perth saw the lead reduced to five into time on. Tom Roach extended the lead for the Black Ducks before Brayden Antonio received a free thirty out and converted.

Tim Geappen, who was well held by Dan Hunt all day, kicked one before a clever pass from Kody Manning enabled Rohan Kerr to score from twenty on a sharp angle. He is a very good finisher. The last goal of the quarter went to Swans, though, as Geappen took advantage of a spill over the back to kick his second. At the end of the first quarter the Falcons had done well to stay in touch and trailed by ten; 5.2 (32) to 3.4 (22).

Andrew Strijk got the ball rolling for West Perth in the second quarter when he ran hard and passed the ball to Marc Crisp who scored from thirty. “Strijky’s” hard running off half back was a feature of the game. The Falcons grabbed the lead when Michael Pettigrew out muscled his opponent and ran into an open goal to kick the first of his three.

West Perth did not relinquish the lead from this point of the game onwards. The Falcons continued to control play and at the fifteen minute mark Aaron Black received a free, handballed to Josh Mellington who finished from fifty five.

The ten minute lead was short lived as one of Swans best, Ryan Davis, scored after the ball was taken straight out of the middle. The next ten minutes saw only behinds scored before Marc Crisp hand balled to Rohan Kerr who kicked his second from fifty. The ten point lead was reduced to eight after Swans kicked two behinds but at the main break the Falcons led; 7.8 (50) to 6.6 (42).

The third term was an even contest with both sides kicking two goals. West Perth kicked the first two of the term to take their lead out to twenty two. The first went to Michael Pettigrew who kicked his second with a snap twenty out on his left foot. A clever goal. He then kicked his third at the thirteen minute mark after taking a grab forty five out. Swans then steadied to work their way back into the game thanks to majors from Blaine Boekhorst and a second to Ryan Davis. At the final change the Falcons had extended their lead by just one. The scores were 9.12 (66) to 8.9 (57).

The last quarter was always going to be a beauty and that was the way it turned out. Shane Nelson got the Falcons off to a flyer at the two minute mark when he took the ball from a boundary throw in and scored. But the lead was reduced to just four two minutes later when Ryan Davis kicked his third. The next ten minutes saw the West Perth lead reduced to just two as Swans kicked behinds but at the fourteen minute mark Andrew Strijk passed to Marc Crisp deep in the pocket, “Chippa” then passed off to youngster Brayden Antonio who marked thirty out straight in front. He showed composure by going back and kicking his second to give the Falcons an eight point lead. This was to be their last goal of the game and the next fourteen minutes were a battle of wills as much as anything else.

There wasn’t another goal until the twenty six minute mark. This was a controversial deliberate out of bounds against the Falcon defence that resulted in Murray Newman snapping one from a sharp angle near the point post. The lead was just two and the centre clearance was going to be crucial. Fortunately it went the way of West Perth, they went forward and Rohan Kerr kicked a behind. It is worth mentioning at this point the centre clearance work of Matt Guadagnin. On a number of occasions his work in this area was outstanding as he fought to get the ball forward or at least halve the contest. From the kick in the ball went onto the wing where the siren went; much to the relief of Falcons fans. Final scores were 11.16 (82) to 11.13 (79).

The terrific victory keeps West Perth a game clear in second spot and was a credit to the entire team. Best players included Michael Pettigrew for his influence up forward, Laine Rasmussen for his wonderful defensive effort on Dayle Garlett, Andrew Strijk for his tireless run off half back, Aaron Black for his work around the ground and Matt Guadagnin for his clearance work. The Reserves went down narrowly to Swans to put a dent in their finals aspirations but the Colts had a strong victory. Down to Peel next week for another must win game. Be there to get the boys over the line.

BY DARRELL KENT

PHOTOS BY BELINDA TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY