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Monday, August 5, 2013 - 11:53 AM
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West Perth recorded a most impressive victory against Peel at the Arena on Saturday. Supporters would have expected a close contest with Peel bolstered by the return of AFL listed players and the Falcons losing three key players; Michael Pettigrew, Dan Hunt and Jay Van Berlo. But this was not to be as West Perth led all day to record a comprehensive forty nine point victory.

The first score of the game didn’t come until the eighth minute of the opening term. Shane Nelson kicked a clever goal out of a congested pack. A minute later dangerous Peel forward Bradley Holmes took advantage of a West Perth defensive error to even up the scores but from here the term belonged to the Falcons as they kicked five unanswered goals. The first went to Josh Mellington who marked in the square after a kick forward by Anthony Tsalikis. Andrew Strijk’s terrific defensive pressure resulted in the skipper, Jason Salecic, snapping from thirty. Matt Guadagnin then showed his class with a give and go out of the middle and a goal on the run from fifty. Once again the Falcons took the ball straight out of the centre courtesy of some hard work by Marc Crisp. Matt Fowler kicked the first of his four after marking forty out. In the blink of an eye the lead was out to twenty four. At the twenty five minute mark Matt Fowler instigated a passage of play that saw Kris Shannon and Steven Potente involved before he ran forward to receive the ball and kick his second. Peel finished the quarter with a major to Docker Viv Michie but at the first change West Perth led by twenty three; 6.1 (37) to 2.2 (14).

Once again it took both sides time to settle into the quarter but the first goal went to West Perth. Kris Shannon finished on the run from forty. In only his third game he certainly didn’t look out of place. Peel steadied to kick the next two and by the eighteen minute mark the lead had been reduced to seventeen. Shortly after Matt Fowler marked and kicked his third and he was once again involved shortly after when he cleverly tapped the ball out to Josh Mellington who received a free and fifty to kick his second from the square. The Falcons had extended their lead at the main break to twenty eight; 9.4 (58) to 4.6 (30).

It was an even third term with both teams kicking three goals. At the two minute mark a rocket like pass from Matt Guadagnin was marked by “Slick” who scored from a sharp angle. Anthony Tsalikis soccered his second shortly after and when Josh Mellington scored his third at the thirteen minute mark the lead was out to forty nine. The game appeared to be done at this stage but to Peel’s credit they kicked the last three of the quarter to reduce the margin to twenty nine at the final change. Scores were 12.8 (80) to 7.9 (51).

When Viv Michie kicked his second for Peel at the two minute mark the lead had been reduced to four straight kicks and a comeback similar to what had occurred in Mandurah seemed likely but the Falcons responded in the best possible way by kicking the next four goals. Anthony Tsalikis kicked his third after some terrific work at ground level, a clever kick by Ray Bartholomew set up Matt Fowler for his fourth, Frank Stockley took a strong mark thirty out and converted and the final major in the run came from Jason Salecic who was on the receiving end of a Josh Mellington handpass. At the eighteen minute mark the lead was out to fifty. Four minutes later Marlon Motlop got onto the scoreboard for Peel before a long goal from Marc Crisp completed the game. The final margin of forty nine was a credit to the disciplined team brand of football played by the Falcons. Final scores were 17.12 (114) to 9.11 (65).

It was a day out for West Perth as they won all three grades for the first time this year. Well done to all concerned. Players to receive awards included Andrew Strijk, Shane Nelson, Steven Potente, Kody Manning, Marc Crisp and best was Matt Guadagnin. The Reserves remain on the fringe of the four after recording a strong victory. Best players were Cameron Branch, Ben McNamara, Mitch Van Berlo and Jack Thrum. The Falcons travel to Moora to play Perth next weekend. A victory should shore up second place on the ladder.