Sunday, July 28, 2013 - 7:16 PM

West Perth was most impressive in their thirty point victory against arch rivals East Perth at the Arena on Saturday.

The Falcons trailed by twelve at the main change but not even the most ardent fan would have expected the Royals to be limited to just three behinds for the rest of the game. The West Perth pressure on the contest was a credit to the whole team and it completely restricted the run and ball movement of East Perth.


It would be fair to say that it wasn’t a great day for football as showers swept across the ground all day. West Perth won the toss and kicked to the northern end with the use of the breeze. The ball was in the West Perth forward line for the first ten minutes with two behinds being scored before a Josh Mellington kick forward was marked by Matt Fowler who converted from thirty. Former Falcon, Josh Smith, snapped a left foot goal to get East Perth on the score board. The ball rebounded between the back lines in the wintry conditions before the passage of the day took place. West Perth ran the ball from deep in defence and Matt Fowler kicked his second on the run from fifty. It was great to watch. But from here the Royals steadied and did best kicking the final two goals for the quarter. At the first change they led by five; 3.2 (20) to 2.3 (15).


The Royals kicked the first two behinds of the second term before Chris Keunen scored a behind to make the deficit one straight kick. Before the ball was kicked in an incident occurred that saw Kody Manning receive a free from the end of the square. His kick evened up the scores. East Perth kicked the next courtesy of Craig Wulff. This took the lead out to seven after fourteen minutes. Six minutes later Steve Potente snapped the first of his two goals to tie things up. It was his best game for the Falcons since coming over from Swan Districts. Josh Smith then kicked his second and Jarred Oakley-Nicholls his first from the square. No-one would have expected that the Oakley-Nicholls goal at the twenty seven minute mark would be the last one for the game for the Royals. At half time, though, they held a handy twelve point lead; 6.5 (41) to 4.5 (29).


It was imperative that West Perth get back into the game in the third quarter while they had the use of the breeze. The players knew this and they dominated play restricting East Perth to just one behind for the quarter. Anthony Tsalikis got the ball rolling with a fine snap but it wasn’t until the nineteen minute mark that they hit the lead. The Falcons ran in a wave from deep in defence and Josh Mellington finished the good work on the run from forty. A second to Steve Potente and Kody Manning followed and at the final change West Perth had established a handy sixteen point lead. They led 8.10 (58) to 6.6 (42).


The breeze was still a factor and East Perth were still right in the game but West Perth made a lie of the wind advantage and completely dominated the quarter. The ball rarely left their forward fifty as the Falcons piled on the pressure. The first goal came at the eleven minute mark when Ray Bartholomew ran hard to soccer the ball through from fifteen metres. The only other goal for the term came right at the end when Marc Crisp scrambled one through. This gave West Perth their thirty point winning margin.  The Falcons completely dominated the quarter and this was shown by the fifty nine to thirty one inside fifties for the game. Final scores were 10.14 (74) to 6.8 (44).


It was an important victory in the battle to retain second spot and once again West Perth showed, that on their day, they are as good a team as anybody. The main worry to come out of the game is injuries to Michael Pettigrew, Jay Van Berlo and Rohan Kerr. They are vital players in the Falcons side. Players to receive awards included Marc Crisp, Steve Potente, Matt Guadagnin, Chris Keunen, Kody Manning and best was Luke Tedesco who was terrific across half back. The Reserves have closed to within a game of the four after another impressive victory. Well done to best players Joel Latham, Cameron Branch, James Embley and Frank Stockley. Another must win game against Peel this week. See you at the Arena to help get the boys over the line.