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Monday, July 3, 2017 - 6:58 PM - by Chris Pike
THE weather might have put a halt on a lot of the International Football Festival celebrations but it created a tough and brutal affair between West Perth and Subiaco at HBF Arena with the Lions prevailing by 11 points.
The conditions that greeted both clubs at HBF Arena might have dampened the attendance and the celebrations for the annual International Football Festival, but it did set the scene for what was always going to be a tight, physical and tense affair between two strong rivals.
With rain constantly falling throughout the game and large puddles taking up chunks of the HBF Arena surface, playing any sort of attacking and free-flowing football became impossible. Winning the contested ball and gaining territory any way possible became the name of the game.
Subiaco did open an 18-point lead by early in the third quarter and was on top for virtually all the last three quarters, but West Perth never gave up and was within five points late in the contest.
But the Lions held strong to come away with the 6.11 (47) to 4.12 (36) victory.
Subiaco has now won 12 straight matches since losing to South Fremantle in Round 1 with the Lions moving further clear in top spot.
It's a third consecutive loss for West Perth but the Falcons remain in fifth position with a 7-6 record.
Luke Meadows worked tirelessly in the midfield for West Perth collecting an equal game-high 28 possessions to go with six tackles.
Aidan Lynch made the most of his recall to the league side with an impressive 20 disposals, 12 tackles and an important goal.
Kody Manning had a fascinating duel at full-back on Liam Ryan. Manning finished with 19 possessions and six tackles with Ryan kicking two goals from his 10 disposals.
Trent Manzone also picked up 21 possessions for the Falcons, Blake Wilhelm 20 and Scott Simpson 17 to go with 31 hit outs and six entries inside the forward 50.
Andrew Strijk kicked two of West Perth's four goals for the game to go with 14 possessions and five tackles.
Scott Nelson had a strong game down back holding his former colts teammate Liam Baker scoreless and to four kicks while having eight kicks himself including the first goal of his league career.
West Perth started strongly in the torrential conditions with the opening five scoring shots of the game. Four of those were behinds before Strijk kicked truly with a clever snap out of congestion to the put the Falcons 10 points up after 12 minutes.
Subiaco responded just three minutes later with a goal to Ryan and that would be the last of the goals for the opening term with West Perth up by three points at quarter-time.
The conditions certainly were making it difficult for any team to get momentum and with the puddles throughout the ground, even gaining territory was increasingly challenging with the ball going nowhere.
But Subiaco managed the only two goals of the second quarter, both courtesy of Corey Adamson who got forward from half-back. The state representative from earlier this year ensured the Lions went into half-time with a 12-point advantage having held West Perth to one goal.
Subiaco's lead then appeared a match-winning one in the conditions with a goal to Ben Sokol to open the third term with the Lions leading by 18 points. 
But when Strijk added his second, West Perth was back in the contest within two goals and when Scott Nelson earned a holding the ball free-kick against Baker, and he went back to kick his first career goal, the Falcons were within four points.
Subiaco's lead was back to seven points by three quarter-time and then 14 when big man Adam Creeper kicked truly eight minutes into the last quarter. 
West Perth wouldn’t go away, though, and despite kicking towards the end that was carrying the most water, the Falcons did get back within five points at one stage shortly after a terrific goal from Aidan Lynch that somehow carried almost 50m despite being a rushed effort out of congestion.
The quarter went well past 30 minutes and West Perth kept attacking, but it just wasn’t to be and then Subiaco locked away the victory with the game's last goal with Ryan booting his second.
It was an early start for the colts for the International Football Festival at HBF Arena on Saturday with Subiaco claiming a 9.6 (60) to 4.8 (32) victory against West Perth.
Lane Sedgwick kicked two goals for West Perth with Lachlan Johns and Alec Johnson booting one apiece.
Baylee James gathered 25 possessions for the Falcons, Johns 21, Dylan Yem 20, Thomas Boyes 19, Tyrese Miller 17 and Thomas Medhat 17.
The reserves clash at HBF Arena on Saturday saw Subiaco kick the only two goals of the last quarter in the atrocious conditions to beat West Perth 6.14 (50) to 6.6 (42).
Brayden Antonio kicked two of the six goals for the game for West Perth.
Mitch Peirce gathered 24 possessions for the Falcons, Riley Hutchinson 20, Nathan Alexandre 18 and Dylan Campbell 14 to go with 12 tackles. Michael Ashfield had 21 hit outs as well.
West Perth is back at HBF Arena next Saturday needing to beat the reigning premiers Peel Thunder to remain in the top five. But Peel will come into the contest on a three-match winning streak.
WEST PERTH 1.5 1.6 3.8 4.12 (36)
SUBIACO 1.2 3.6 4.9 6.11 (47)
WEST PERTH – Goals: Strijk 2; Scott Nelson, A Lynch.
Best: Meadows, A Lynch, Manning, Strijk, Simpson, Scott Nelson, Manzone.
SUBIACO – Goals: Ryan, Adamson 2; Creeper, Sokol.
Best: Horsley, Creeper, Kitchin, Adamson, Hancock, Cockie, Hoskins.


Monday, July 3, 2017 - 9:10 AM - by Darrell Kent

SUBIACO beat West Perth by 11 points in Round 3 and they repeated that performance at HBF Arena on Saturday. It would be fair to say that the conditions were vastly different, though. Earlier in the year the sun was shining but this certainly wasn’t the case on Saturday.

Heavy and persistent rain had left the ground with large puddles, particularly at the Perth end, and as a result the game was a real war of attrition. West Perth’s form against the ladder leaders, who have only lost one game for the year, has been very good with them having the opportunity to win both encounters but falling just short on both occasions. At least the ducks who settled into the puddle at the Perth end after the game enjoyed what was a miserable day for football.

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Friday, June 30, 2017 - 7:45 PM - by Chris Pike

WEST Perth celebrates its annual International Football Festival against Subiaco on Saturday at HBF Arena, but it's the four points that are crucial for the Falcons to remain in the WAFL's top five.

The International Football Festival has become one of the biggest days on the WAFL calendar and another big crowd is expected at the game on Saturday, but that can't detract from the importance of the contest for the Falcons in particular.

West Perth come into the game just clinging to fifth position just the one game clear of Claremont and two ahead of East Perth. A loss on Saturday and a win for the Tigers over Peel and the Falcons will be out of the top five.

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Friday, June 30, 2017 - 7:39 PM - by Aaron Black

It’s fair to say it's been a bumpy few weeks for the side as we have won just one game out of our last three defeating Swan Districts three weeks ago and losing more recently to South Fremantle and Claremont. 

We have made strides in a few areas but are disappointingly a long way away from where we would like to be. 

Due to some disappointing and close losses we have given up a great position on the WAFL ladder to now sit fifth in the middle of the pack, making things all the more important in the coming weeks. 

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Friday, June 30, 2017 - 7:23 PM - by Matt Barnsley

WEST Perth's longest-serving coach Bill Monaghan discussed the heartbreaking loss to Claremont at Claremont Oval, what he liked and didn't, and what his thoughts are heading into this Saturday's clash with Subiaco at HBF Arena.

QUESTION: You gave yourselves a chance with a strong finish, but what are your first reactions to that game?
I think first of all most of the scoring over the whole day was done at one end. They got away from us a little bit in the third quarter, which we set ourselves a bit of a task and there was an arm wrestle but 2.7 in that last quarter and at least two out on the full hurt us. We were coming and coming, I guess they were brave in the end and competitive but we left our run too late. We’re gutted it’s a two-point loss, but 12.16 to 14.6 tells the story. Our kicking at goals has been poor all year, it’s probably the first time its cost us in a game. Strijk hitting the post and a couple of others should have been able to hit the target. A lot of attention will be put on Corey Chalmers shot after the siren in a little patch that should he should’ve got a preferred lie or something, it was in a terrible patch of ground that was a tough kick. Claremont may have thought that they were robbed if we had have got up but in the last 20 minutes it was all us. I guess you have to give the players some credit but it’s a loss we have to deal with and move on.

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Thursday, June 29, 2017 - 9:12 AM - by Tyler Keitel

AFTER a stellar performance by Blake 'Wish I was Ras' Wilhelm in the last player column, it was always going to be a tough ask to produce the same quality this week … although I will give it a shot.

In recapping last week’s disappointing loss to Claremont, it was a game the boys really set themselves for knowing the outcome could set us up leading into the second half of the season, although we simply left it all a little late. 

Our inability to capitalise from shots on goal in the last quarter from a number of players (myself included) was detrimental and did not allow us to come out on top when the final siren sounded. Overall it was a performance that the playing group is not proud of and will look to improve on in the coming weeks.

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Monday, June 26, 2017 - 9:01 PM - by Chris Pike

WEST Perth finished all over the top of Claremont at Claremont Oval on Saturday and had five chances on goal after getting within six points late, but couldn’t convert with the Tigers holding on to win by two points.

Claremont appeared to have the game won at Claremont Oval leading by 25 points late in the third quarter and still by 18 at the 19-minute mark of the final term.

But West Perth found something from there with quick goals to Tyler Keitel and Tyson Moulton. The Falcons then had four shots on goal but managed just three behinds before Corey Chalmers earned a holding the ball free-kick as the siren sounded.

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Monday, June 26, 2017 - 12:25 PM - by Darrell Kent

IT is hard to express the frustration of West Perth's two point loss against Claremont on Saturday. It was a game that was tight all day. The Falcons had eight more scoring shots and six more inside 50s but was unable to get the job done.

There was no doubting the endeavour of the team but unfortunately the entries into the forward line in a tight last quarter weren’t as efficient as they could have been and as a result West Perth fell short.

They kicked 2.7 to only two behinds but this wasn’t enough to overcome the 19-point three quarter-time deficit. The loss saw West Perth slip from third to fifth and will have repercussions for the rest of the year.

Mark Hamilton started in the ruck for West Perth and he kicked the first major. He took possession at a throw in and snapped a clever goal. This took place at the two-minute mark but the Tigers replies came shortly after. They went to Alex Manuel and Matt Guelfi. Kris Shannon evened things up again at the 15-minute mark when he intercepted a kick out of defence on 50. His long kick into the breeze was a beauty. Beau Maister then kicked the first of his three for Claremont to give them back the lead before Aaron Black scored for West Perth. He was on the end of a very good Blake Wilhelm pass and showed his class with a good finish from 30. The last eight minutes of the quarter belonged to Claremont, however, and they kicked the last two majors. As a result the home team took an 11-point lead into the first break. They led 5.0 (30) to 3.1 (19). It was a high quality term of football.

The high scoring encounter continued in the second quarter. West Perth kicked one goal from four shots and narrowed the margin to two. Corey Chalmers was the goal kicker and he finished from deep in the pocket. Guelfi kicked his second before Tyler Keitel hit the score board for the first of his four. Andrew Strijk scored from 30 and the Falcon lead was out to four. The fast paced game continued with a Tigers reply before Luke Meadows took advantage of an opponent’s fumble to score from 50m and a clever Rudy Riddoch tap enabled Keitel to kick his second. The lead was out to nine, but in what was to become a pattern, Claremont scored the next two. They took a 9.3 (57) to 8.5 (53) lead into the main break. It was a very good game of football that was doing the Tigers’ new facility justice.

Kody Manning, who continues to play very good football across half back, scored the first goal of the third quarter. He scored from fifty after barging through the pack. Tyson Moulton then used the ball very well to hit Keitel on the chest 40m out. He showed his increasing goal kicking confidence by going back and slotting his third to take the lead out to nine points. This was at the 11-minute mark but the rest of the quarter belonged to Claremont and this is when they set up their victory. They kicked the last five goals to take a 19-point lead into the final change. West Perth was unable to stop their run through the middle and they led 14.4 (88) to 10.9 (69).

The challenge was well and truly in front of the Falcons and it was one that they rose to. The goals really dried up and West Perth kicked the only two for the term. The first didn’t come until the 20-minute mark and it was a scrambled fourth major to Keitel. West Perth had been attacking consistently with little reward for effort. Three minutes later Moulton showed how dangerous a forward he is when he crumbed the ball to score on his left from 30. The margin was now only six and the Falcons were full of running. A minute later Manning got the ball out of the middle and it was marked by Strijk 40 out. His shot at goal hit the post and the Falcons then trailed by five. Two more behinds to Keitel and Scott Simpson followed to reduce the margin to three. It is hard to explain the tension at the ground at what was a wonderful finish to a top game. At the 28-minute mark Chalmers marked 50 out on the boundary. As he went back the siren sounded. His kick went behind and West Perth, after dominating the quarter, had fallen two points short. The 14.6 (90) to 12.16 (88) score line indicated West Perth’s last quarter dominance but the lack of precision going into the forward line was costly.

A place in the five is really on the line now; particularly with games against top side Subiaco and fellow top five side Peel in the next two weeks. Joe Morrow has injured his hand and the unlucky but very talented player is likely to miss a few weeks just as he was running into good form. Kody Manning was once again very good for West Perth. Other good players included Aaron Black, Luke Meadows, Corey Chalmers, Shane Nelson and Dean Munns. The Colts and Reserves both recorded very good victories against teams above them on the premiership table and have increased their chances of playing finals football. A tough one against the ladder leaders, Subiaco, next week. The International Football Festival is a highlight of the year so be at HBF Arena next week in what will be a game full of interest.

PHOTOS BY BELINDA TAYLOR ... click here to view the weekend's gallery


Friday, June 23, 2017 - 6:55 PM - by Chris Pike

WEST Perth's last visit to Claremont Oval was the winning 2013 second semi-final and the Falcons look to repeat that against Claremont this Saturday to retail third position in the WAFL.

With Claremont to potentially enter the top five with a victory and West Perth to remain in third spot with the win it sets the scene for a potentially season-defining contest for both clubs on Saturday at Claremont Oval.

Claremont's season had appeared off the rails prior to the opening of its redeveloped home ground. After starting the season with three straight wins, the Tigers had lost six straight before hosting East Fremantle two weeks ago.

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Friday, June 23, 2017 - 12:22 PM - by Matt Barnsley

WEST Perth coach Bill Monaghan discussed last Saturday's loss to South Fremantle, where the Falcons need to improve and looking ahead to another crucial match with Claremont this Saturday at Claremont Oval.

QUESTION: They again got off to a strong start against you and just left you with too much to do by half-time?
ANSWER: I thought the first quarter for the most part we were competitive, it was the second quarter we were horrific. Everything that we had planned and things that we were doing relatively ok in the first quarter went out the window. We realigned that at half-time, reminded the players of what we had planned and what we had thought would work against South. I think we improved in the second half albeit maybe we were flattered a little bit by South’s kicking on goal. There’s a lot to learn from it. I guess a positive is that last time it was 103 points and this time it’s 40 something so we’re on the right track. There’s an improvement there but we’re obviously disappointed because we genuinely think we can beat anyone if we play our stuff well. We just didn’t do that for long enough periods.

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