Monday, August 20, 2018 - 9:03 AM

By Darrell Kent

Two consecutive defeats, Jay van Berlo, Mike Lourey and Mark Hamilton out, third spot in the bag and as a result not as much to play for as East Perth but the Falcons were still too good for their rivals on Saturday. It is a great tribute to the character of the team that they were able to fight back after being down early and record an eighteen point victory. On top of that Tyler Keitel and Andrew Strijk were tied at the top of the goal kicking going into the game. Both kicked three but in the last quarter Keitel passed off on a couple of occasions when he could have taken the lead on his own. Their nearest opponent is nine behind so let’s hope that these two quality players remain at the top of the standings after the last round next week. West Perth has the bye. Also congratulations to Jacob Turner who scored a goal on his debut.

The Royals had the better of the first term after commencing brightly. They had the first two scores before the Falcons tied things up at the eight minute mark. Tyler Keitel laid a strong tackle; Dylan Yem played on and scored from thirty. He is one of a number of very promising youngsters. East Perth kicked the next before Tyler Keitel scored the first of his three after marking thirty out on an angle. This reduced the margin to just one but the home team controlled the rest of the term and at the first change they had established a comfortable fifteen point lead. Former Falcon and now Eagle, Oscar Allen, was very dangerous up forward. At quarter time the scores were 4.5 (29) to 2.2 (14).

West Perth hit the ground running in the second term and by the twenty minute mark had established an eight point lead. The first of four consecutive majors went to Aaron Black who snapped one out of the pack, Andrew Strijk kicked his first after a strong mark fifteen out and Luke Meadows finished from forty after some fine defensive work by Jacob Turner. The next goal that took the lead out to eight was a ripper from Tyson Moulton. He was running flat out into the right pocket, under pressure, but somehow managed to get the ball onto his left foot and bounce it through from about forty. It would have to be a goal of the year contender. Hamish Brayshaw scored the only East Perth goal towards the end of the term and as a result West Perth led by three at the main break; 6.5 (41) to 5.8 (38). It was a very good fight back by the Falcons.

It was a very busy third quarter with ten goals being scored. West Perth set up their victory by scoring seven of them. Connor West got the ball rolling at the two minute mark finishing from thirty after receiving a free kick. Andrew Strijk then kicked the next two to take his match tally to three and as a result the Falcons led by twenty one at the six minute mark. They were playing really good pressure football. East Perth steadied with the next two and at the twelve minute mark the lead was back to nine. Andrew Strijk and Keegan Knott then combined to get the ball into the hands of Tyson Moulton who scrambled his second from the top of the square. Luke Partington narrowed the margin again before West Perth finished the quarter strongly with the last three goals. Steve Potente kicked the first of his two after receiving a free from a boundary throw in and then Jacob Turner scored his first West Perth league goal. He received a free on the wing and then fifty metres. He calmly went back and scored from forty. It was terrific to see the way that the Falcons players got around him to celebrate. The final goal of the run came at the thirty two minute mark and it was courtesy of Tyler Keitel. He received a free forty out after Aaron Black was pushed after kicking the ball forward. At the final change West Perth had a handy twenty nine point lead; 13.8 (86) to 8.9 (57).

The Falcons continued to press early in the final quarter and kicked the first two to take the lead out to a match winning forty points. At the two minute mark Tyler Keitel squared the goal kicking with “Strijky” when he kicked his third. He was then involved shortly after when he marked close in on an angle. He chose to handball to Steve Potente who kicked his second from the top of the square. Oscar Allen then kicked his second for the home team before Trent Manzone hit the scoreboard. He scored after a great tap on by Keegan Knott. At the eighteen minute mark the lead was forty. East Perth made the scoreboard look respectable by kicking the last four of the game and as a result the final margin was eighteen; 16.10 (106) to 13.10 (88). It was a very good victory and there was a lot to like leading into finals.

The Colts and Reserves were both defeated and as a result the Colts’ season is over. They missed out on finals on the back of some very narrow losses. The Reserves will finish fourth and play in the elimination final. There were many best players for the League team but the most pleasing feature was the efforts of the younger players such as Tyson Moulton, Connor West, Jacob Turner, Zac Guadagnin, Dylan Yem, Mitch Peirce and Nathan Alexandre. There is a lot to look forward to. The leadership of Aaron Black, Luke Meadows and Blake Wilhelm cannot be underestimated either. West Perth received the Polly Farmer shield as a result of their victory. A week off before the qualifying final against South Fremantle in the Port City. We need to hang tough as a Football Club more than ever.