FALCONS GET OFF THE CANVAS

Monday, August 24, 2020 - 10:28 AM

FALCONS GET OFF THE CANVAS

West Perth looked in all sorts of trouble when they trailed East Fremantle by twenty-nine points midway through the third quarter. Up until this point in time they had only scored two goals and the victory needed to secure a finals berth seemed a long way away. But to their great credit they rallied to record a hard fought four-point victory by kicking six of the last seven goals. The Colts suffered a surprise loss and the Reserves premiership defence is in big trouble after losing a third straight game. Having said that there is a terrific positive vibe around the Football Club at the moment and there is a lot to look forward to for the rest of the season.

Aaron Black played his 200th game and was one of the Falcons best. He will go down as one of West Perth’s best players since the move north. Keegan Knott got the ball rolling with only a goal that he could kick. He turned a number of opponents inside out to score from twenty. It was to be the only real highlight for the quarter as the Sharks controlled the play from here to kick three unanswered. Their tall forwards were proving a real handful for the West Perth defence. As a result, they led by eleven at the first change: 3.1 (19) to 1.2 (8).

The second term was similar to the first with the Falcons kicking the first courtesy of Tyler Keitel. A long kick forward by Trent Manzone saw Tyler Keitel finish from the pocket twenty out. As was the case in the first quarter East Fremantle settled to kick the only other two goals of the quarter. West Perth had a lot of trouble penetrating the Shark defence but the backline held up well under constant pressure. At the main break the visitors had extended their advantage to seventeen: 5.4 (34) to 2.5 (17).

The first ten minutes of the third quarter was very even with both teams trading behinds. East Fremantle then really piled on the pressure and scored two majors to take the lead out to twenty-nine at the fourteen-minute mark. Even the keenest West Perth supporter was struggling to see them get up from here as the Sharks were doing much the better. But a ten-minute burst turned the game on its head. A Kris Shannon pass to Conal Lynch twenty out got the ball rolling. Shane Nelson then took the ball out of the middle and it was marked by Lachlan Johns fifty out. He went back and slotted his first League goal. It was a great effort as he had been playing under duress after dislocating his shoulder in the second quarter. Aaron Black and Mitch Peirce were then instrumental in getting the ball moving from the restart and this saw Tyler Keitel score his second after marking forty out. In a three-minute period of play West Perth had reduced the deficit to eleven and the game was back on. The final goal in the run came at the twenty-three-minute mark and it went to an unlikely hero. Dean Munns ran hard from the backline to be on the end of a long kick forward. He ran into an open goal to kick his third career goal. It was a fitting reward for his hard work. At the final change it was well and truly game on with West Perth trailing by just six: 7.7 (49) to 6.7 (43).

As you would expect it was a really tight final term. At the five-minute mark Cameron Eardley scored from thirty to take the Sharks advantage to eleven. The West Perth reply came quickly and it went to Mike Lourey. He marked twenty out, on a sharp angle, and finished accurately. His celebration was much enjoyed by the Falcons’ supporters on the balcony. At the nine-minute mark Keegan Knott kicked his second after taking the ball off hands forty out. This gave West Perth a one-point lead and was to be the last goal of the game. As you would imagine the result was that all supporters were on the edge of their seats for the last fifteen minutes. The Falcons had a number of opportunities to extend the margin but only managed three behinds. When the siren blew the ball was deep in the West Perth defence as the Sharks tried to kick the match winner. The Falcons had recorded an 8.11 (59) to 8.7 (55) come from behind victory.

Best players for the League were debutant, Tristan Hobley, Dean Munns, Lachlan Johns, Aaron Black, Shane Nelson and best was Laine Rasmussen. A pleasing aspect of the way that the team is going is the way that new players such as Tristan Hobley and Lachlan Johns have grasped their opportunity and been real contributors. The Reserves struggled to build momentum during the game. In the last quarter they surged to hit the lead by five points but East Fremantle steadied to win by thirteen: 12.8 (80) to 10.7 (67). A finals berth from here will be a real challenge. Best players were Troy Yukich, Ben King, Alec Johnson, Sasha Kernutt and best was Matty Lloyd. The Colts were brought undone by an East Fremantle side that had only won one game. They had a number of outs including leading goal kicker, Corey Rundle, and ball magnet Callum Johnson, who played Reserves. They went down 12.6 (78) to 8.7 (55). There is no doubt that this very good side will regroup to get their season back on track. Best players were Kane Bevan, Tommy Taylor-Shreeve, Heath Chapman, Cooper Blackburn and Darcy Dixon who kicked three. A week off for the bye before another game against fellow finals aspirants, Claremont. Be there to help get the teams over the line.