FALCONS EARN REDEMPTION ON GOOD FRIDAY
WEST Perth headed to Mandurah on Good Friday on a mission of redemption and delivered in emphatic fashion beating Peel Thunder by 35 points in Shane Nelson's 100th game.
Both Peel and West Perth came into the contest on the back of two-game losing runs, but it was the Falcons with redemption on their minds especially following a 103-point loss to South Fremantle the previous Saturday.
West Perth also had the added motivation of Nelson playing his 100th game and the Falcons were remarkably dominant straight out of the blocks.
After five minutes, Peel had only touched the ball a total of five times and just seven in the opening seven minutes. By the end of the opening term, the Falcons' dominance was illustrated with a remarkable 145 possessions to just 65 from Peel.
West Perth led by 21 points as well and then by 47 at half-time. Peel showed some fight with the breeze behind them in the third term, but the Falcons had all the answers to end up winning 15.18 (108) to 11.7 (73).
Coming off the thrashing from South Fremantle last week on the back of a loss also to Subiaco since the Round 2 win over East Perth, West Perth needed to bounce back.
Coach Bill Monaghan tried some different things at selection too with the main one to go in without a recognised ruckman against Peel's Fremantle ruck pair Jonathon Griffin and Sean Darcy.
A similar policy didn’t quite pay off in the first semi-final last year but worked tremendously on Good Friday with Scott Simpson delivering his best performance since joining West Perth in 2017.
He was challenged to play in the ruck and delivered with 27 possessions, five marks, 15 hit outs and a goal despite being up against two bigger bodies currently on the Dockers list.
Peel did a good job to limit the influence of Nelson in his 100th game as well, but plenty of other midfielders stood up for West Perth led by Aaron Black who finished with 38 possessions.
Trent Manzone also racked up 33 disposals for the Falcons, Aidan Lynch 32 in his first league appearance of the season, captain Jay van Berlo 29 and Luke Meadows 28 to go with two goals.
Kody Manning also finished with 21 possessions for West Perth, Kris Shannon 21, Wilhelm 20, Nelson 20, Steve Potente 19 and Moulton 18.
There were plenty of options forward for the Falcons too with Tyler Keitel kicking three goals, Andrew Strijk two, Tyson Moulton two and Blake Wilhelm two.
Former Swan Districts forward Rudy Riddoch made an impressive West Perth debut with 19 disposals, seven marks and a goal.
Without Simpson down back, Mark Hamilton had a good battle with Matt Taberner while Nick Rodda did well also in an improved defensive performance.
West Perth was completely dominant from the outset coming out with redemption on the mind after last week. The Falcons just wouldn’t let Peel get near the ball with their ferocious approach and that saw Strijk and Wilhelm kick two goals in the game's opening seven minutes.
They perhaps didn’t get full reward for the dominant opening quarter with Potente and Keitel adding goals either side of Brayden Lawler putting the Thunder on the board. But West Perth did lead by 21 points by the first break.
That soon became 27 points to start the second quarter with a goal to Manzone before Wilhelm's second made it 33 points.
Peel did manage two second quarter goals themselves to Sean Darcy and Matt Taberner, but it was all West Perth with Simpson, Riddoch, Meadows and Keitel all kicking truly before half-time to put them up by 47 points at the long break.
The Thunder did gain the breeze in the third quarter and took full advantage. They held West Perth goalless and kicked six themselves to close to within 14 points and have all the momentum heading into three quarter-time.
They couldn't continue that though. West Perth steadied with the first four goals of the last quarter from Strijk, Keitel, Moulton and Meadows to set up the eventual 35-point victory.
The reserves contest got things underway on Good Friday at Bendigo Bank Stadium with Peel Thunder beating West Perth 17.9 (111) to 12.14 (86).
Brayden Antonio delivered another outstanding performance for the Falcons finishing with six goals from 24 possessions and six marks.
Conal Lynch was also impressive for West Perth with 24 disposals, 12 tackles and two goals.
James Batterham finished with 28 touches, Ben McGillivray 26, Mitch Peirce 24, Alexander Coe 24 and Riley Hutchinson 20.
Then following the league clash it was time for the colts clash on Good Friday at Bendigo Bank Stadium with Peel Thunder beating West Perth 17.10 (112) to 5.7 (37).
Oscar Allen and Kurt Monaghan kicked two goals apiece for the Falcons.
Nathan Murray gathered 26 possessions for West Perth, Bailey Chalmers 20 and Jamie Dowen 15.
West Perth returns to HBF Arena next Saturday to take on Swan Districts.
WEST PERTH 4.3 10.8 10.14 15.18 (108)
PEEL THUNDER 1.0 3.3 9.5 11.7 (73)
WEST PERTH – Goals: Keitel 3; Wilhelm, Moulton, Meadows, Strijk 2; Manzone, Simpson, Potente, Riddoch.
Best: Simpson, Black, Meadows, van Berlo, Lynch, Wilhelm, Manzone, Keitel.
PEEL THUNDER – Goals: Taberner 3; Sutcliffe 2; Jetta, Lawler, Darcy, Tucker, Bell, Strnadica.
Best: O'Brien, Tucker, Taberner, Sutcliffe, Bray, Collins.