FALCONS PROVIDE LIONS BIGGEST TEST OF 2018

Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - 2:15 PM by Chris Pike
WEST Perth came out ready to challenge Subiaco and the Falcons started brightly and gave the Lions their sternest test of the 2018 WAFL season to date, but ultimately the undefeated league-leaders won by 22 points on Saturday at Leederville Oval.
 
Subiaco had taken all before it over its opening four games before a bye in Round 5 beating East Perth, South Fremantle, Swan Districts and Claremont by an average of 89.5 points.
 
That meant it was a daunting challenging for West Perth heading to Leederville Oval on Saturday taking on a Subiaco team who hadn’t played since beating Claremont by 86 points 16 days previous.
 
But the Falcons were full of confidence following impressive wins against Swan Districts and Perth, and carried that momentum into a strong start against Subiaco.
 
The Falcons came out and kicked the opening three goals of the game in a tremendous start and then still led by 15 points when Tyler Keitel kicked his second goal midway through the second term.
 
The Falcons were still 14 points up too when Keegan Knott goaled into time-on of the second term.
 
But Subiaco responded with the last three goals of the first half to lead by three points at the main break and went on to kick seven goals to four in the second half to run out hard fought 13.10 (88) to 10.6 (66) winners.
 
West Perth now sits in fourth position at 3-3 heading into the break for the State game against the SANFL in Adelaide on Saturday.
 
Tyler Keitel kicked two goals in attack for West Perth in the first half and ended the day with 15 possessions and six marks, but he would have been disappointed with two missed gettable shots in the second half.
 
Michael Lourey once again had to fight above his weight division in the ruck after Chris Keunen went down injured early. Following a strong showing against Perth last week, Lourey battled hard against Zac Clarke and Lachlan Delahunty. He had 11 touches, seven marks and eight hit outs.
 
West Perth's midfield had plenty of impressive ball winners led by captain Aaron Black who amassed 36 possessions, nine marks and seven tackles.
 
Shane Nelson compiled another 29 disposals, Corey Chalmers 26, Luke Meadows 25, Trent Manzone 22 and Blake Wilhelm 22.
 
Steve Potente came in to play his first game of the season and brought up his 100th appearance in the WAFL in the process. The 2013 premiership winning small forward played well too with 20 possessions and a goal.
 
Andrew Strijk also had 20 touches, nine marks, seven inside 50s and a goal for West Perth.
 
The West Perth back-line held up well also led by Jordan Mills who continues to be rewarded for his dedication at reserves level by now cementing himself in the Falcons' league side.
 
The challenge was ahead of West Perth coming into the game but the Falcons showed they were up for it with the way they started. It began with a goal to Tyler Keitel after just a couple of minutes.
 
West Perth's stunning start continued with Nathan Alexandre and Trent Manzone also kicking truly while Subiaco went goalless until Brad Stevenson goaled at the 24-mintue mark. But the Falcons had still done a tremendous job to lead by 10 points at the first change.
 
The Lions did kick a goal early in the second term through Rowen Powell in less than a minute but West Perth again steadied. That was firstly thanks to a goal to Steve Potente in his 100th game while Keitel's second soon after put the Falcons back out to a 15-point advantage.
 
Kyle Halligan's first goal of the day got one back for Subiaco but West Perth retained its advantage with the response from Keegan Knott to still be 14 points in front at the 23-minute mark.
 
But the Lions finished the first half strongly with goals to Leigh Kitchin, Lachlan Delahunty and then Halligan as they took their first lead of the game to be three points to the good at the main break.
 
The Lions lead grew to nine points to start the third quarter with a goal to Halligan but the Falcons pulled that back to three soon after when Andrew Strijk kicked truly.
 
Subiaco took control from there, though, with West Perth going more than 30 minutes of game time without another goal. 
 
In the meantime, the Lions scored through Ben Newton, Daniel Perkins, Newton again, Halligan with his fourth and then Stevenson his second to be 32 points by six minutes into the last quarter. 
 
West Perth got back within 19 points with a couple of consecutive goals to Rudy Riddoch and Jay van Berlo, but the Lions did enough to remain undefeated in 2018 and come away with the hard fought 22-point victory.
 
West Perth's reserves delivered another impressive performance on Saturday at Leederville Oval to beat Subiaco 13.12 (90) to 10.5 (65).
 
The Falcons trailed by 13 points at quarter-time, five points at half-time and 10 points at three quarter-time, but finished strongly with six goals to one in the last term to win by 25 points.
 
Brayden Antonio kicked three goals to go with 21 possessions and five tackles for West Perth with Mitch Antonio, Baylee James, Dylan Yem and Daniel Del Prete kicking two goals apiece.
 
Mitch Peirce amassed another 30 possessions for the Falcons reserves, Alex Coe 20, Kael Coleman 19, Matt Guadagnin 18 and Conal Lynch 16.
 

Subiaco put its undefeated start to the WAFL Colts season on the line on Saturday at Leederville Oval but West Perth handed the Lions their first defeat with an impressive 59-point win.

Subiaco had won its opening four games of the season against East Perth, South Fremantle, Swan Districts and Claremont prior to the bye in Round 5.

They couldn’t make it five successive wins, though, with the Falcons getting on top all game before ending up claiming the 18.7 (115) to 8.8 (56) win.

West Perth kicked four goals to three in the first quarter and then another four to three in the second to lead by 12 points at half-time.

The Falcons further kicked away in the third quarter with seven goals to one and then another three to one in the final term to end up winning by 59 points.

Logan Foley kicked four goals for West Perth from five kicks with Ben Johnson, Filimone Muavou and Koopah Todd kicking two goals apiece.

Nathan Murray amassed 30 possessions for the Falcons, Daniel Rowe 27, Alec Johnson 17, Muavou 17, Todd 16, Ben Johnson two and Jaxon Prior 15.

West Perth will be back in action after the State game break in Round 7 on Saturday May 19 up against the bottom placed East Fremantle at Joondalup Arena.
 
WEST PERTH 3.2 6.4 7.5 10.6 (66)
SUBIACO 1.4 6.7 10.7 13.10 (88)
 
WEST PERTH – Goals: Keitel 2; Strijk, Meadows, Manzone, Potente, Knott, van Berlo, Riddoch, Alexandre.
Best: Black, Chalmers, Meadows, Strijk, Nelson, Manzone, Keitel.
SUBIACO – Goals: Halligan 4; Powell, Newton, Stevenson 2; Kitchin, Delahunty, Perkins.
Best: Horsley, Halligan, Kennedy, Kitchin, Phelan, Newton, Delahunty.