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GOALLESS FIRST HALF TELLS THE STORY

Monday, July 10, 2017 - 9:29 AM
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FIVE more scoring shots, 25 more inside 50s, a goalless first half and a 30-point loss. They were just some of the facts that Falcons supporters had to come to terms with after the game against Peel at HBF Arena on Saturday.

It was a contest that the Falcons were not in all day after Peel kicked eight goals straight in the first half to eight behinds by the home team. Peel didn’t score their first behind for the day until the 20-minute mark of the fourth quarter and even that was a rushed behind.

This may sound like the ramblings of someone who doesn’t know what to say about what was a hard to understand game of football and, if so, you are right.

A West Perth behind to Kody Manning at the two-minute mark of the first quarter gave West Perth the lead for the only time of the game. The Falcons controlled the play for the next 10 minutes but, as has been the case in recent weeks, couldn’t hit the scoreboard.

Peel scored their first goal at the 13-minute mark and this gave them a five-point lead. They steadily built on this for the rest of the game. They kicked four more for the quarter to take a 5.0 (30) to 0.3 (3) lead into the first change. The Peel tall forwards were causing the Falcons defence all sorts of problems.

The visitors kicked three quick goals to commence the second term and things had the potential to get very ugly. To the Falcons credit they steadied, stemmed the flow of goals and had the next five scoring shots. But in what has become a familiar pattern they were all behinds and as a result Peel led 8.0 (48) to 0.8 (8) at half time.

In the third quarter West Perth had twenty two inside 50s to six but Peel increased their lead by two. Go figure! Corey Chalmers kicked the first of his two for the game at the three-minute mark. It was a clever snap out of a pack. Five minutes later Tyler Keitel scrambled one from 30m and the margin was reduced to just 27 points.

West Perth was back in the game but the inability to take advantage of their chances going forward was really hurting. This became more pronounced when Peel kicked three majors from their six inside 50s to extend the lead to 40 points at the final change. Cameron Sutcliffe scored the three Peel goals and they led 11.0 (66) to 2.12 (24) going into the last quarter.

There were 13 goals kicked up to three quarter-time and 12 in the last quarter. Seven goals were kicked in the first 12 minutes with the teams taking it in turns. West Perth scored four of these. The Falcons kicked the first courtesy of Aaron Black, the third went to Luke Meadows, the fifth was a second to Chalmers and the seventh to Manning who soccered one from the square. Peel key forward, Matt Taberner scored the three for the visitors. The run of both sides trading goals was broken when Keitel scored his second after he was on the end of a handball 40m out. At the 17-minute mark the margin was 29 points. Thunder kicked the next two before Meadows kicked his second and as the siren went Andrew Strijk slotted one from f40. This saw the visitors win by 30; 16.3 (99) to 9.15 (69).

The inability to finish up forward is proving to be a real concern. Injuries have certainly added to this and the list grew when big man, Chris Keunen, did a hamstring. The Colts were defeated and the Reserves were narrow losers after hitting the front late in the game. Best players for the Reserves were Riley Hutchinson, Brayden Antonio, Mitch Peirce and best was Angus Allen. League players to be recognised included Jay van Berlo, Nick Rodda, Ben King and Luke Meadows. Club legend, Bill Dempsey, presented the game ball to Luke Meadows and encouraged the players to keep believing in themselves and know that they can turn the season around. It will take a big effort to hold the place in the five but the bye next week will be welcome before travelling to Lathlain the week after.

BY DARRELL KENT
PHOTOS BY BELINDA TAYLOR ... click here for the weekend's gallery