FALCONS CONTINUE DOMINANCE OF DEMONS

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 - 12:54 PM by Chris Pike
WEST Perth has continued its dominance of Perth with a strong first half on the way to a comfortable 62-point victory against the Demons at Lathlain Park on Saturday.
 
It was a dominant first half by West Perth with the Falcons doing as they pleased with the turnovers and lack of ability to hit targets, hold chest marks or handle the ball cleanly causing havoc for the Demons.
 
The Falcons took full advantage to lead by 53 points at half-time and the second half didn’t reach any great heights for either side in warm conditions, but West Perth cruised to the 17.11 (113) to 6.15 (51) victory.
The win improves West Perth to a 3-2 record on the season while Perth slips to 1-4.
 
It continued West Perth's remarkable run both against Perth and at Lathlain Park.
 
The Falcons are yet to lose in 14 trips to Lathlain Park since 2004 while winning their last nine visits. They have won 14 consecutive matches against the Demons as well as a result of Saturday's 62-point victory.
 
Coming off kicking a career-best seven goals against Perth at Lathlain Park last year, Tyler Keitel had another good day against the Demons at the same venue on Saturday booting five goals from 15 kicks and 11 marks.
 
Andrew Strijk also had a field day returning for the Falcons and playing deep forward ending up with 24 disposals and 15 marks while kicking 3.4.
 
Tyson Moulton kicked three goals as well for West Perth and Keegan Knott two.
 
Allowing Strijk to play forward rather than having to play across half-back in the absence of the injured Kody Manning was the form of Blake Wilhelm who slotted into that role tremendously finishing with 26 possessions and seven marks.
 
Michael Lourey took on the role as the No. 1 ruck with aplomb with Chris Keunen spending the week back in the reserves. Lourey ended the day with 19 possessions, 27 hit outs and a goal.
 
Corey Chalmers racked up 35 possessions for West Perth too while Shane Nelson gathered another 35 disposals, Luke Meadows 25, Aaron Black 24, Kris Shannon 23, Trent Manzone 21, Connor West 20 and Jay van Berlo 19.
 
Every West Perth player made a good contribution to the dominant win even Jordan Mills and Ben King who might have only combined for 10 possessions and four marks, but were rock solid defensively.
 
It took less than a minute for the scene to be set for the day with West Perth going forward, Andrew Strijk pouncing on the loose ball and slamming it home.
 
Less than two minutes later and Tyler Keitel drilled one from 50m out and then minutes later Connor West kicked in a long ball that got through a big pack without being touched, and somehow dribbled over the goal line with Perth defenders there alongside the ball.
 
By the time Keegan Knott kicked truly as well at the seven-minute mark, West Perth had left Perth shell-shocked and they had the first five goals of the contest when Tyson Moulton kicked truly too.
 
Luke Salomone at least kicked a goal for Perth before quarter-time.
 
Five minutes into the second quarter and it was more of the same with goals for West Perth to Strijk and Keitel as the margin grew to 36 points before the Demons got a steadier courtesy of Salomone again.
 
But the Falcons responded shortly after thanks to Moulton and then answered a Perth goal to Kristian Cary when Knott kicked his second too. Moulton's third put the Falcons 41 points up and then Michael Lourey made that that 46 points.
 
West Perth's lead had grown to 53 points by half-time when Strijk booted his third of the opening half too.
 
West Perth looked likely to put the hammer further down in the third quarter when Jay van Berlo kicked a goal in the opening minutes to make it a 59-point ball game. But Perth kicked the only other goal of a forgettable third term courtesy of Corey Byrne at the 19-minute mark.
 
The Demons got back within 47 points early in the last term when John Levien kicked a goal too. But West Perth went on to kick the last three goals of the game, including two more to Keitel to give him five for the day and the Falcons the 62-point victory.
 
Perth's reserves started the day at Lathlain Park with a strong 19.10 (124) to 8.8 (56) victory against West Perth.
 
Mitch Peirce kicked two goals for West Perth to go with 19 possessions.
 
Brayden Antonio gathered 18 disposals for the Falcons, Scott Nelson 18, Steve Potente 18, Jacob Turner 17 and Matt Guadagnin 14 as he embarks another comeback attempt in 2018 while his cousin, Zac, 15 years his junior is embarking on his league career.
 
The last game of the big day of colts action at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday took place in the afternoon with Perth beating West Perth by 12 points on the back of a strong third quarter.
 
Warm conditions greeted the two teams for the 3pm bouncedown at the port and the Demons started strongly against the Falcons with four goals to two in the opening quarter.
 
West Perth hit back with some scintillating football in the second term piling on seven goals to one to head into half-time leading Perth by 22 points.
 
But the Demons turned things around after half-time with five goals to two behinds in the third term to open a nine-point three quarter-time lead before going on to win 11.15 (81) to 10.9 (69).
 
Nathan Murray had a big performance for West Perth finishing with three goals to go with 27 possessions and nine tackles.
 
Jack Burke, Eamon Gilbert and Jamie Dowen also kicked two goals each for the Falcons.
 
Alec Johnson gathered 23 possessions, Bailey Chalmers 20 and Filimone Muavou 18.
 
West Perth now has unenviable task this Saturday of taking on the rampant and refreshed Subiaco at Leederville Oval. The Lions have beaten East Perth, South Fremantle, Swan Districts and Claremont to start the season by an average of 89.5 points before the bye last weekend.
 
WEST PERTH 5.3 13.6 14.10 17.11 (113)
PERTH 1.3 4.7 5.11 6.15 (51)
 
WEST PERTH – Goals: Keitel 5; Strijk, Moulton 3; Knott 2; Lourey, Manzone, van Berlo, West.
Best: Strijk, Wilhelm, Chalmers, Lourey, Nelson, Meadows, Keitel, Black.
PERTH – Goals: Salomone 2; Byrne, Yeo, Cary, Levien.
Best: Leggett, Byrne, Bourne, Edmonds, Nicholas, Salomone.