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FALCONS PAY FOR INNACURACY BUT STILL IN FINALS SPOT

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 - 10:03 AM by Chris Pike
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KICKING eight behinds only in the first half made for a tough afternoon against Peel Thunder in NAIDOC Round on Saturday at HBF Arena but the positive is West Perth remains in the top five and can gear up for a big finish to 2017 after this week's bye.
 
When one teams kicks eight straight goals with their opening eight shots and the other kicks eight behinds, the result is a 40-point lead to the accurate and that was the case at HBF Arena on Saturday.
 
Peel led West Perth 8.0 to 0.8 at half-time as the reigning premiers made their Falcons pay for their inaccuracy in front of goal while taking full rewards for taking their chances.
 
The Thunder went on to kick 16 goals without a miss when they kicked three behinds in the final quarter. The Falcons didn’t kick a goal until the opening minute of the third quarter.
 
While West Perth held its own from that point on including a seven-goal final quarter, the job was too big and Peel cruised to the 16.3 (99) to 9.15 (69) victory.
 
The win is a fourth straight for Peel as the Thunder improve to a 9-5 record on the season to be just a game from second spot and percentage ahead of fourth, but two games clear now of the fifth placed West Perth.
 
The Falcons do remain fifth despite four consecutive losses and with the bye to come this weekend.
 
West Perth ended up kicking nine second half goals and seven in the last quarter with Luke Meadows, Corey Chalmers and Tyler Keitel all booting two apiece. Meadows also racked up 27 possessions to go with eight marks, five inside-50 entries and four tackles.
 
Shane Nelson compiled another 30 possessions for the Falcons after a quieter than usual performance last week in the wet against Subiaco.
 
Trent Manzone gathered 28 disposals for West Perth, Aaron Black 23, Jay van Berlo 21, Blake Wilhelm 16, Steve Potente 16 and Aidan Lynch 16.
 
It took a while for either time to score in perfect conditions at HBF Arena but when they did, it was Peel getting the game's first goal thanks to the returning Harley Balic.
 
Following a couple of West Perth behinds, the Thunder finished the first term strongly with four goals in 10 minutes courtesy of debutant Damon Cramer, Ed Langdon, Cameron Sutcliffe and Jonathon Griffin.
 
That put the Thunder up by 27 points at quarter-time before that became 33 early in the second term with Matt Taberner's first major of the afternoon.
 
West Perth had plenty of chances and were on top in a lot of areas throughout the second quarter, but could only kick five behinds while Peel managed two more goals to Taberner and Zac Dawson to be on top by 40 points at the main break.
 
West Perth finally kicked its first goal of the game less than a minute into the third term when Chalmers ended the drought following eight first half behinds. The Falcons then made it two in succession with Keitel adding another to bring them within 27 points.
 
But they could only manage another three behinds for the quarter with Peel kicking three goals all courtesy of Sutcliffe to remain in control to the tune of 42 points at the last change.
 
The game really opened up in the final quarter and West Perth finally was rewarded for its good efforts up the field on the scoreboard.
 
West Perth kicked seven goals for the last term including a second each for Keitel and Chalmers, two for Meadows and one each to Andrew Strijk, Black and Kody Manning.
 
But Peel did enough to still win by five goals on the back of five goals themselves for the final quarter including four to Taberner and a second to Langdon.
 
The day began at HBF Arena with Peel Thunder's colts beating West Perth 11.11 (77) to 7.7 (49).
 
Rhys Bostock and Kurt Monaghan kicked two goals each for West Perth.
 
Nathan Murray gathered 23 possessions for the Falcons, Connor West 20 (13 tackles), Alec Johnson 19, Thomas Boyes 18 (10 tackles), Oliver Kidd 16 and Graham Richards 16.
 
The reserves contest at HBF Arena saw Peel Thunder also record a 13.10 (88) to 11.14 (80) victory over West Perth.
 
Brayden Antonio kicked four goals for West Perth to go with 17 possessions and five marks. Josh Hatch also kicked two majors.
 
Angus Allen racked up 26 possessions for the Falcons, Mitch Peirce 25, Broderick Walton 18, Max Alexander 17, Nathan Alexandre 17, Riley Hutchinson 15 and Baylee James 15.
 
West Perth now has the Round 17 bye before a clash with Perth at Lathlain Park.
 
WEST PERTH 0.3 0.8 2.12 9.15 (69)
PEEL THUNDER 5.0 8.0 11.0 16.3 (99)
 
WEST PERTH – Goals: Meadows, Chalmers, Keitel 2; Black, Strijk, Manning.
Best: Meadows, Manzone, Nelson, Chalmers, Black, van Berlo.
PEEL THUNDER – Goals: Taberner 6; Sutcliffe 4; Langdon 2; Balic, Griffin, Cramer, Dawson.
Best: Taberner, Sutcliffe, Collins, Balic, Bennell, Matthews, Griffin.