FALCONS DOMINATE SWANS TO RISE TO SECOND SPOT

Tuesday, July 24, 2018 - 8:10 PM by Chris Pike
WEST Perth continued its impressive form dominating Swan Districts to win by 90 points at Joondalup Arena on Saturday to improve to second position on the WAFL ladder after 16 rounds.
 
West Perth and Swan Districts have become fascinating WAFL rivals over the past 15 years, but Saturday at Joondalup Arena wasn’t another chapter in that with the Falcons continuing their impressive form and Swans continuing to struggle.
 
The Falcons delivered a dominant performance at home to Swans on Saturday to record their second win against the black-and-whites in 2018 on the back of losing last year's elimination final at Steel Blue Oval.
 
West Perth had the only 10 scoring shots of the opening quarter to assert its dominance early and the Falcons never let up. They went on to lead by 25 points at quarter-time, 38 points at half-time, 73 points at three quarter-time and then to end up winning 16.22 (118) to 4.4 (28).
 
It was an emphatic performance by the Falcons who finished with 37 more possessions, 33 more inside-50 entries, and most decisively 38 scoring shots to eight. It was only West Perth's inaccuracy that made it a 100-plus point performance.
 
The result improved West Perth to a 9-5 record on the season to move percentage clear in second position on the ladder ahead of South Fremantle.
 
West Perth had plenty of firepower on song in attack on Saturday with Andrew Strijk and Tyler Keitel kicking four goals apiece with Strijk finishing with 20 possessions and five marks too, and Keitel 19 disposals and five marks.
 
Jordan Mills moved forward for the Falcons and having never kicked a goal in his league career previously, he did well in attack on Saturday booting three goals from eight kicks and four marks.
 
Former captain Jay van Berlo was also lively with two goals from 17 possessions and five inside-50 entries.
 
Shane Nelson continued his remarkable form this season and over his career against Swan Districts with another 42 possessions, six inside 50s, five tackles and a goal. He is now averaging 37 possessions a game in 2018 and in 16 appearances against Swans, he's averaging 33.9 disposals.
 
Captain Aaron Black was again tremendous too for West Perth with 38 possessions, 10 tackles and eight inside 50s with Luke Meadows collecting 33 disposals, Trent Manzone 27, Blake Wilhelm 23 and Mitch Peirce 21.
 
Ruckman Chris Keunen put in a strong performance opposed to both Nathan Blakely and Corey Gault, finishing with 13 possessions, six tackles, four marks and 45 hit outs in his 201st appearance for West Perth.
 
There were plenty more strong contributors for the Falcons too with Corey Chalmers finishing with 17 possessions, Tyson Moulton 16, Zac Guadagnin 16, Dean Munns 14 and Kris Shannon 14.
 
West Perth's dominant afternoon began with complete control in the opening quarter with the Falcons having the only 10 scoring shots. They kicked three behinds before the opening goal of the game thanks to Tyler Keitel at the 16-minute mark.
 
Shane Nelson and Andrew Strijk then also kicked goals before quarter-time with West Perth putting up 3.7 with Swan Districts unable to score.
 
Swans did have the first two scoring shots of the second quarter, a behind to Brayden Noble and goal to Josh Cipro, but West Perth then again took over and with goals to Keegan Knott, Keitel and then Mills' first of his league career the Falcons went into half-time leading by 38 points.
 
It was more of the same to start the second half with West Perth having the opening five scoring shots including a goal for Strijk. Corey Chalmers, Strijk, Jay van Berlo and Mills then also added goals heading into three quarter-time with the Falcons well in control with a 73-point advantage.
 
Things really opened up for both teams in the final term with West Perth kicking 5.6 and Swan Districts 3.1 as the Falcons cruised to the 90-point victory that shot them to second spot on the WAFL ladder.
 
It was a thrilling contest in the reserves on Saturday at Joondalup Arena with Swan Districts ending up winning by the solitary point against West Perth.
 
West Perth did kick the only goal of the first quarter and the Falcons still managed to lead by two points at half-time in difficult conditions with the rain falling, and wind gathering momentum.
 
West Perth then kicked two more goals to one in the third quarter to lead by 10 points at the last change before Swan Districts finished strongly with three goals to one in the final term to win 6.5 (41) to 5.10 (40).
 
Max Alexander, Conal Lynch, Dylan Yem, Aidan Lynch and Lachlan Johns were the goal scorers for West Perth.
 
Aidan Lynch finished with 27 disposals for the Falcons, Nathan Murray 23, Rudy Riddoch 20, Johns 20, Yem 18 (11 tackles), Scott Nelson 17 and Connor West 16.
 
It was a crucial colts contest to open the day at Joondalup Arena on Saturday with West Perth trying to stay in the finals hunt and Swan Districts trying to hold on to a top three position to secure a finals double chance.
 
West Perth made an impressive start during the cold and wet of the early morning kicking the only two goals of the first quarter.
 
Things then opened up in the second term for both teams with the Falcons and Swans kicking four goals apiece with West Perth head into half-time leading by 13 points.
 
Swan Districts took over in the third quarter looking strong kicking the only three goals of the term to heading into three quarter-time with a four-point advantage.
 
But West Perth responded well in the last quarter kicking five goals to two to come away with the 11.10 (76) to 9.6 (60) victory to improve to a 5-9 record to be just a game outside of the top five while Swans slip to 8-6 in fourth spot.
 
Tom Medhat kicked three goals for West Perth from nine kicks. Noah Clune also booted two goals for the Falcons, Logan Foley two and Daniel Rowe two to go with 21 possessions, five marks and four tackles.
 
Tyron Hindmarsh also racked up 28 possessions for the Falcons, Jaxon Prior 26, Ben Johnson 23, Jack Burke 16, Jamie Dowen 16 and Zak Patterson 16 to go with 21 hit outs.
 
West Perth now remains at home to take on reigning premiers Peel Thunder on Saturday at Joondalup Arena. 
 
That gives the Falcons the chance to move a game clear in second position and they could all but then lock away that top two finish the following week with a win as well over South Fremantle.
 
WEST PERTH 3.7 6.10 11.16 16.22 (118)
SWAN DISTRICTS 0.0 1.2 1.3 4.4 (28)
 
WEST PERTH – Goals: Strijk, Keitel 4; Mills 3; van Berlo 2; Chalmers, Nelson, Knott.
Best: Black, Nelson, Meadows, Strijk, Manzone, Keitel, Wilhelm, Keunen.
SWAN DISTRICTS – Goals: Noble, Cipro, Riggio, Payne.
Best: T Watson, Turner, Blakely, Rogers, Payne, Palmer.