Monday, September 2, 2019 - 10:44 AM

The West Perth League team suffered a heart breaking three-point loss against the West Coast Eagles on Sunday. They trailed for most of the day, hit the lead with a minute to go but were beaten by a goal that was scored with less than twenty seconds remaining. It was a brave effort against a team that had nearly six hundred games of AFL experience opposed to just the thirteen that Andrew Strijk had achieved. “Strijky” played his last game for West Perth. He has been a tremendous player and will be really missed. Congratulations to Kris Shannon who played his hundredth WAFL game. Both players were chaired off after the game and applauded by supporters.

West Coast hit the scoreboard first with a behind before West Perth hit the front courtesy of a Rudy Riddoch goal from fifty after marking. The first half was played in wet and slippery conditions and this made scoring difficult. It was a tight contest but West Coast kicked the next two and as a result they led by eight late in the term. The number of stoppages meant that the quarter went for well over thirty minutes. The only other goal for the term went to Mike Lourey. He finished from the square after a transition from defence following a kick out due to an Eagles behind. At the first change West Perth trailed by two; 2.3 (15) to 2.1 (13).

West Coast dominated the second term but due to a strong Falcons defensive effort they only extended their lead by twelve points. The West Perth defence was under constant pressure as the fifty to fourteen half time inside fifty count would indicate. The only goal for the quarter came at the twenty seven minute mark and it went to West Coast. West Perth did not trouble the scorer but they were still in the game at half time, trailing by only fourteen. The scores were 3.9 (27) to 2.1 (13).

The weather improved in the second half but the tightness of the contest remained. The Eagles extended their lead to sixteen before West Perth scored a major. It went to Keegan Knott who finished from forty after receiving a free and fifty. West Coasts’ reply came shortly after at the sixteen minute mark. These were to be the only two goals for the term. The Falcons had the last three scoring shots but they were behinds. At the three quarter time siren they trailed by thirteen; 4.11 (35) to 3.4 (22). The game was still well and truly alive.

West Coast kicked two behinds early before big man, Ben Delaporte, took the ball off the back of the pack and bounced one through from twenty. At the seventeen minute mark Liam Tedesco was rewarded for s strong tackle. His straight kick from twenty had the Falcons within four. It was well and truly game on. West Perth could have hit the front shortly after but a Shane Nelson snap shaved the post. They grabbed the lead at the twenty three minute mark when Keegan Knott kicked his second. The Falcons led by three. A behind to West Coast followed before a soccer off the ground by Connor West, from close in, also hit the post. At the twenty eight minute mark the Falcons still led by three but heart break was just around the corner. West Coast took the ball forward from the kick in and former Docker, Brady Gray, scored from forty. There was less than thirty seconds remaining. West Perth took the ball out of the centre but the siren beat them and they had lost by three; 5.15 (45) to 6.6 (42). It was a brave effort by the Falcons but it was not to be.

The loss ended the League teams season but there was a lot to like about their performances during the year. It is a young team and a number of players had their first experience of League football. There is a lot to build on in the future. Best players included Blake Wilhelm, Liam Tedesco, Keegan Knott, Tyson Moulton and Tyler Keitel.

The Reserves had a strong 9.4 (58) to 5.9 (39) victory against Subiaco in the Qualifying Final. This has set them up for a second semi-final against ladder leaders Claremont. In wet conditions it was the second and third quarters when the team stamped their authority and broke the game open. Winning the contested ball and clearances and dominating the tackle count the Falcons scored 5 goals to 2 to setup the win. Best players were Brayden Templeton, Michael Ashfield, Tom Boyes, Nathan Murray and Nathan Alexandre.

The Colts also experienced a heartbreaking narrow loss at the hands of Claremont going down 7.4 (46) to 5.11 (41). Best players were Heath Chapman, Ben Johnson, Ryan Hudson, Koopah Todd and Callum Johnson. The team does get the second chance and will play East Perth in next week’s 1st Semi-Final.

Both the Reserves and Colts are capable of going deeper into finals action so please get along and support the boys as they strive for Premiership success.