Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - 9:43 AM

By Darrell Kent

Subiaco has been the best team all year and they confirmed it with an eighty one point victory at Optus Stadium on Sunday. The result was never in doubt as the Lions controlled play all day but it does not take away from the wonderful achievement by all involved at West Perth. No one would have expected the team to play in a Grand Final but they achieved it and all Falcons supporters should be proud of the way that they have represented the red and blue this year.

The Falcons attacked early in the game but weren’t able to find the big opening. They led at the one minute mark after an Andrew Strijk behind. This was to be the only time they were in front and would trouble the scorer for the term. Subiaco, on the other hand, kicked four. Ben Sokol and Kyle Halligan both hit the scoreboard for what was to be a big day for them. They kicked five each. At the first change the Lions led 4.4 (28) to 0.1 (1). It was an ominous start to the game for the favourites and the Falcons had their work cut out.

Mitch Peirce continued his break out season when he scored the first Falcon major after two minutes. He snapped accurately from twenty five to narrow the margin to twenty one. Whatever hope this may have given West Perth supporters was quickly snuffed out, however, as Subiaco kicked three more and as a result led by forty three midway through the term. The ball was constantly in the Lions forward line and as a result the defence was under tremendous pressure. Despite their best efforts they were unable to stem the tide. The second West Perth goal came from the skipper, Aaron Black, who scored from thirty. He led the way all day with his hard work and he ended with twenty seven possessions. At the main break the game was out of West Perth’s grasp as they trailed by forty seven; 9.8 (62) to 2.3 (15).

The third quarter was Subiaco’s most productive as they kicked six to the Falcons two. The Lions scored the first of the quarter thanks to Simpson Medallist Kyal Horsley and at the ten minute mark the lead was out to sixty thanks to a Zac Clarke major. The two goals to the Falcons came late in the term and they went to Corey Chalmers after he received a free in the square and to Andrew Strijk who bounced one through. Subiaco were running on top of the ground and West Perth was under constant pressure. At the final change the Premiership Cup was heading to Subiaco as they led by seventy four; 15.11 (101) to 4.3 (27).

It was a long last quarter and it must be difficult, as a player, to get through it when you know that the result is not in doubt and there is only pride to play for. The Falcons scored three for the term. Corey Chalmers kicked his second at the thirteen minute mark. This reduced the margin to eighty two. Aaron Black got his second going into time on and at the twenty eight minute mark “Millsy”, who had been moved forward, marked and finished from thirty. At the final siren Subiaco had prevailed by eighty one; 19.13 (127) to 7.4 (46).

The Falcons earned the right to play in the first WAFL Grand Final at Optus Stadium, a great achievement, but the reality is that the class of Subiaco was too much to overcome. The Lions went premiers in all three grades and were deserved winners. West Perth supporters should be proud of what the side has achieved. Great credit must go to the players, the coaching group led by Bill Monaghan and the Football Department. We certainly got a great run for our money. We say farewell to Chris Keunen who has been a tremendous player for the Club. Matt Guadagnin has also hung up the boots after a wonderful career that has been plagued by injury in recent years. It is a possibility that others such as Jay van Berlo will follow. No one should underestimate the contribution that players of this ilk have made to West Perth. All the very best to those players who decide to call it quits or move on. Your efforts have been enjoyed and appreciated by us all. See you next year.