A FLYING START TO THE SEASON

Monday, July 20, 2020 - 9:30 AM

 

West Perth had the best possible start to the season with all three teams recording victories. The Colts were in control all day, the Reserves withstood a strong second half revival and the League showed real grit to overcome a twenty point three quarter time deficit. There was a lot to like about the way all of the teams went about their business and this is a credit to all involved at the Footy Club. It really is the time for all Falcons supporters to get behind the Club in a season that is like no other because there is no doubt that players and coaches have committed to giving us something to look forward to.

It would be fair to say that the first half of the League game was a real slog as both teams struggled to find their rhythm. During the first quarter the ball rebounded between the half back lines. The main highlight was a speccy taken by Tyler Keitel at the five-minute mark. It was a terrific grab. His kick forward was marked by Conal Lynch whose kick landed in the square. Dylan Yem pounced on the loose ball to soccer it through to record the only goal for the term. Perth scored a behind at the nine-minute mark but these were to be the only scores for the quarter. At the first change West Perth led 1.0 (6) to 0.1 (1).

The second term started well for Swans with Patrick Farrant scrambling a major at the two-minute mark. This gave the home team the narrowest of leads. The Falcon reply came three minutes later. Some great forward pressure by Mike Lourey resulted in Tom Medhat snapping accurately from thirty. Once again both teams found it hard to hit the score board and as a result the only other score didn’t come until the twenty-two-minute mark. This was the first of two majors to Kris Shannon. He finished from thirty after being rewarded for a strong tackle. At the end of the half the Falcons had increased their lead to eleven: 3.0 (18) to 1.1 (7).

The first half was certainly no indication of what was to follow in the second. Swans dominated the second half of the third term. Points were the order of the day until the fourteen-minute mark when Swans stalwart, Tony Notte, kicked the first of his two for the match. His kick from forty gave the Black Ducks a two-point lead. From here they piled on three quick goals to take the lead out to twenty at the final change. The last major was a beauty by Notte, after the siren, from outside fifty. Swans certainly had all of the momentum going into the last quarter and it was hard to see how the Falcons were going to get back into it. The scores were 6.4 (40) to 3.2 (20).

The calm three quarter time chat by Senior coach, Geoff Valentine, certainly did the trick as West Perth came out firing. Keegan Knott got the ball rolling in the first minute when he ran into an open goal. Two minutes later Kris Shannon scored his second with a great goal from forty out, on the boundary. The margin was just eight in the blink of an eye. It was a battle of the defences for the next eight minutes before Brayden Antonio kicked a point from forty. Shortly after a Swan Districts turnover in the middle of the ground was costly and it ended up with Tyler Keitel finishing from close in. The game was tied up shortly after thanks to a Shane Nelson behind. He was at his prolific best all day. At the eighteen-minute mark the Falcons hit the front thanks to Tyler Keitel’s second. He finished from the top of the square after some terrific forward line pressure that kept the ball locked in for a long period. The West Perth defence was under constant pressure for the next seven minutes but held firm. In what proved to be a long quarter, the next score didn’t come until the twenty-five-minute mark. It went to Trent Manzone who was rewarded for a strong tackle. He also received fifty metres and as a result finished from thirty. Once again Swans attacked consistently but they only managed a behind before the final siren that saw West Perth run out 8.4 (52) to 6.5 (41) victors. It was a wonderful fight back.

Best players for the League team, in what was a very even performance, were Trent Manzone, Aaron Black, Shane Nelson, Tom Medhat and Kris Shannon. There is certainly a lot to like about the start but there are a number of players who are knocking on the door. These include Luke Meadows, Connor West who has completed his one match suspension, Ben King and Noah Pegoraro who played well in the Reserves and Matty Lloyd from the VFL who also impressed in his first hit out for the Falcons. There is a lot to like about what the future holds. The Reserves were dominant early but had to withstand a strong finish from Swans. If they had kicked straighter it would have been a more dominant victory but the reigning premiers got the four points. The scores were 7.17 (59) to 6.8 (44). Players to impress included Ben King, Ryan Hudson, Matthew Lloyd, Henry Ryan, Troy Yukich and Noah Pegoraro. The Colts were most impressive in their 10.11 (71) to 3.6 (24) victory. It appears to be a team with plenty of upside and they could be a real force this year. Best players were Michael Mallard, Callum Johnson, Zachary Fleiner, Saverio Marafioti and Brady Alvaro. A big game against the Bulldogs, at home, next week. Be there to help get the teams over the line.