FALCONS GRAB GRAND FINAL BERTH

Monday, September 16, 2019 - 7:46 AM

West Perth controlled the Preliminary final against East Fremantle from the first bounce at Fremantle Oval on Sunday. They were never headed and increased their lead at the end of each quarter to run out forty seven point winners. The strong win has set up a Grand Final match with a Claremont side that has been dominant all year. There was a lot to like about the win that was a tribute to the resilience of the team and the enthusiasm of coach, Blake Arnold. The Colts were in the contest all day but, unfortunately, went down to Claremont. They were playing to earn the Colts their first Grand Final appearance since 1992 but all involved would, on reflection, be more than happy with what the team achieved has this year.

West Perth were out of the blocks quickly and led by eighteen midway through the first quarter. Dylan Yem got the ball rolling after marking thirty out, on the boundary. A long kick in by Conal Lynch saw Mitch Antonio mark forty from goal. He kicked the first of his two for the game. A Brayden Antonio pass enabled Terrell McKenzie to mark and split the middle. The Sharks, Jack Perham, kicked one before Liam Tedesco kicked consecutive goals to take the lead out to twenty five. Terrell McKenzie was involved in the first of these and he shows real promise. East Fremantle got one back but West Perth still had a handy twenty point lead at the first change; 5.3 (33) to 2.1 (13).

Scoring was difficult early in the second quarter with the first goal coming at the fourteen minute mark. It went to the Sharks and it reduced the margin to fifteen. A Terrell McKenzie pass enabled Jack Burke to finish from forty and when Tom Medhat marked and scored it allowed West Perth to take a twenty eight point lead into the main break. It was an even quarter of football but the Falcons finished the best to lead 7.6 (48) to 3.2 (20).

The third term followed a similar pattern to the second with goals being hard to come by. West Perth had the better of it kicking two goals to one and extending their lead. East Fremantle narrowed the lead at the twelve minute mark but once again the Falcons finished best to score two majors in time on. A clever snap by Tom Medhat saw him kick his second and Liam Tedesco scored his third. The Falcons countered the Sharks every time that they began to look dangerous. A thirty one point three quarter time lead had the Falcons staring at a Grand Final berth. The scores were 9.8 (62) to 4.7 (31).

Play opened up in the final quarter with eight goals the result. West Perth kicked five to East Fremantle’s three. Early on the teams traded goals but the Falcons looked to have the answers. Mitch Antonio kicked a second and Brayden Antonio his first. The brothers then combined for the next. At the twenty minute mark a big barrel by Liam Tedesco was marked by Mitch Antonio on an acute angle. He passed to Brayden twenty out and he repaid the faith by kicking his second. It was a nice touch towards the end of the game. Troy Yukich got into the action when he took the ball from a throw in and snapped a great goal. He had a very good day in the ruck. Nathan Murray, who played very well, kicked one after the ball was taken straight out of the middle. At the final siren West Perth had prevailed by forty seven; 14.13 (97) to 7.8 (50). It was a win full of merit.

Best players for West Perth included Tom Boyes, Liam Tedesco, Nathan Murray, Brayden Antonio, Conal Lynch and Troy Yukich. The Colts battled hard all day and it was a close contest until Claremont kicked a couple late to secure a twenty one point victory; 9.12 (66) to 6.9 (45). They had a good season and Ryan Lasscock has uncovered a number of players who are draft possibilities and/or will play League football for the Falcons. Although the side did not make the Grand Final there was a lot to like about their season. Best players were Koopah Todd, Henry Ryan, Callum Johnson, Tyron Hindmarsh and Zac Patterson. The Reserves play at 8.30 next Sunday at Optus Stadium. Be there to see if the Falcons can add a Reserves premiership to the one from 2014 which was the first one achieved since the team has been in Joondalup. The previous one was in 1960 so Falcons’ supporters should be proud of this achievement.