Monday, April 8, 2019 - 9:50 AM by Darrell Kent

There was a lot to like about the Falcons’ performance on Saturday but it wasn’t enough to get the four points against Peel. West Perth didn’t lead all day and trailed by forty four early in the final quarter. They charged home to go down by just three points after putting themselves in the position to grab a last gasp win. The visitors had seven more scoring shots in the 14.4 (88) to 12.13 (85) loss. It was a meritorious effort when you consider the first quarter loss of Scott Nelson with a dislocated shoulder injury leaving the Falcons a man down for the remainder of the contest. There was also a lot to like about the performances of debutants Troy Yukich, Kael Coleman and Noah Pegoraro. All contributed but the marking and kicking of Pegoraro was a feature.

The home team won the toss and kicked with the breeze. They had two majors on the board in quick time to lead by twelve. A rushed behind and then a major to Corey Chalmers narrowed the margin. Chalmers finished from the square after some good work by Mike Lourey and Rudy Riddoch. Unfortunately it was to be the only Falcon goal for the quarter as the they struggled to control the run and carry of Peel. The home side kicked two more and as a result led by nineteen at quarter time; 4.3 (27) to 1.2 (8).

It was the Falcons turn with the breeze in the second quarter and they hit the scoreboard early. Andrew Strijk kicked the first of his four at the three minute mark after marking forty out. He was on the end of some precise passing from Kris Shannon and Aaron Black. Peel’s, Jason Carter, got one back for Peel shortly after to take the lead out to seventeen. For the next twelve minutes, West Perth attacked consistently but didn’t get reward for effort as Peel’s defence held. The only major was a second to “Strijky” who took a strong mark and played on to finish accurately. Against the run of play Thunder got one back courtesy of Gerald Ugle. He kicked four opportunist goals on the day and really hurt the Falcons.

Once again West Perth dominated play and when Aaron Black finished from the square the margin had been reduced to just eight. He was on the end of a top pass from Andrew Strijk. The hard run of “Blacky” is a terrific feature of his game. Peel steadied, however, and kicked the next two from close in. This twenty point lead was reduced to the fourteen half time margin when Mike Lourey scored from forty. Both sides kicked four for the quarter but the five points kicked by West Perth would prove costly. The half time scores were Peel 8.3 (51) to the Falcons 5.7 (12).

The Falcons did their fair share of attacking in the third term but scored only one behind. The West Perth defence did a wonderful job limiting the Peel scoring as the home team attacked consistently. The damage was done late in the quarter when Peel scored two goals to take the tally to four for the quarter. At the final change they had established a very handy thirty seven point lead; 12.3 (75) to 5.8 (38). Their accurate kicking was going to be a match winning factor.

The home team kicked the first two scores of the final quarter to extend their lead to forty four points and the game looked well and truly done. No-one could have predicted the way that West Perth was going to storm home. The effort was a credit to their fitness and desire to win. From the three minute mark they scored seven goals five to one straight. Rudy Riddoch started the run with a classy finish, Andrew Strijk bounced one through from well outside of fifty and Liam Tedesco snapped one from thirty. At the fourteen minute mark the lead had been reduced to twenty four. A minute later, the goal that the Falcons could not afford occurred. Gerald Ugle kicked his fourth after a fifty metre penalty. At this point in time West Perth could be excused for giving it up but this was not to be the case. In fact they lifted their intensity. Mitch Peirce snapped from thirty and “Strijky” kicked his fourth. At the twenty nine minute mark, Rudy Riddoch scored his second after taking possession at the back of the pack. The margin was now just nine and it was further reduced a minute later when the hard-running Shane Nelson finished on the run from forty.

Unfortunately, the siren sounded leaving the Falcons three points short; 14.4 (88) to 12.13 (85). It was a really disappointing loss, but the effort and endeavour could not be questioned as there were a number of occasions during the game that they could have thrown in the towel but didn’t. Nathan Alexandre was outstanding in defence as too was first gamer Noah Pegoraro. The mid-field was well served by skipper Aaron Black and Shane Nelson while up forward Andrew Strijk and Rudy Riddoch both had solid contributions.

The Reserves had a terrific start to the season with an emphatic 63-point win over the Thunder; 16.12 (108) to 6.9(49). In a dominant display the Lynch brothers were outstanding, while Tyson Moulton was solid as he continues his recovery from an injury interrupted pre-season. Forwards Alec Johnson, Brayden Templeton and Fraser Foley all competed well and impacted the scoreboard while in defence Tom O’Donnell, Ben King and Jake Turner held tight.

The Colts were defeated by 17 points against the home side; 8.8 (56) to 11.7 (73). In a tight contest across four quarters there were some pleasing signs and spirit shown with Jaxon Prior, Ben Johnson, Koopah Todd and Heath Chapman being in the best.

We look forward to seeing all our members and supporters at our first home game of 2019 when we take on Claremont at Joondalup this week in Round 2 in what will be an enthralling battle. Make sure you get along and support the red & blue.