TOUGH DAY AT THE OFFICE

Monday, September 7, 2020 - 9:51 AM

TOUGH DAY AT THE OFFICE

The trip to Claremont Oval brought very little joy for the Falcons on Saturday. For the first time this year all three sides lost and as a result the last week of fixtures has become even more important. The Colts and Reserves were beaten by twelve and six points respectively. Both were down by five goals going into the last quarter. They finished strongly but failed to get over the line.

The League match presented an opportunity for Heath Chapman, our Colts Captain to make his League debut. Chapman became the sixth debutant for this season and the forth player that has come through the Joondalup-Kinross JFC.

The home side had the better of starts and for most of the first term the Falcons struggled to get into the game. They had as many inside fifties as Claremont but were unable to finish as effectively. Alec Waterman hit the scoreboard first for Claremont after three minutes. It was the first of four and he was the dominant forward for the game. The Falcons then steadied to kick the next two. They both went to Mitch Peirce who spent time up forward. The first he kicked from the square after a long kick forward by Keegan Knott and the second after he took possession from a boundary throw in. At the eleven-minute mark West Perth led by seven but the Tigers steadied to kick four unanswered and lead by twenty at the first change: 5.4 (34) to 2.2 (14).

The second term started with what looked to be a serious ankle injury to tough small forward, Dylan Yem. He had to be stretchered off and I am sure all supporters hope that he will be up and about as soon as possible. Claremont extended their lead to twenty-eight at the eleven-minute mark before, as has been the case all year, West Perth rallied. They controlled play for the rest of the quarter to bridge the gap to eleven at the main change. A highlight was the goal to Tristan Hobley. He snapped after taking the ball off hands to kick his first League goal. He was one of the Falcons best on the day. West Perth scored two behinds before a Conal Lynch soccer from the square narrowed the margin to thirteen after twenty-one minutes. They continued to control the play but could only manage two more behinds but they had done a great job to put themselves back into the game. At half time Claremont led 6.6 (42) to 4.7 (31).

The third quarter was a real slog with both teams struggling for fluency but the Tigers had the best of it kicking two goals four to the Falcons one behind. Claremont moved the ball more precisely and led by twenty-six going into the final quarter: 8.10 (59) to 4.8 (32). The job was well and truly in front of the visitors but they have shown all year that they are capable of fighting their way back into the contest.

Keegan Knott got the ball rolling at the eight-minute mark when he finished from forty. Two behinds followed to reduce the margin to eighteen as West Perth fought hard to close the gap. But it was not to be as Claremont kicked the last two. One of them was a miracle snap from deep in the pocket by Alec Waterman to give him his fourth. At the final siren the Tigers had recorded a 10.12 (72) to 5.11 (41) victory.

The result sees West Perth drop out of the top two for the first time this year. They can take second back if they beat Subiaco by a couple of goals in the last qualifying game of the year as Claremont have the bye. Best players were Laine Rasmussen, Connor West, Tristan Hobley, Heath Chapman and Mitch Peirce.

The Reserves have the job ahead to defend their crown as they now sit a game and percentage out of the top four. They have struggled to find their rhythm in the second half of the year. They stormed home after being thirty-one points down early in the last quarter but fell just short. Best players were Tom Boyes, Sasha Kernutt, Nathan Alexandre, Zak Patterson and Liam Tedesco. The last three are key players who were returning from injury and will be much better for the run.

The Colts dropped to third after their loss. They were also five goals down but finished strongly to go down by twelve. It was a meritorious effort when you consider that two of their best players, Callum Johnson and Heath Chapman, played Reserves and League respectively. At their best they are still a live chance. Best players were Kane Bevan, Kellen Johnson, Darcy Dixon, Jordan Berry and Corey Rundle. A crucial set of matches for the last qualifying round of fixtures at Provident Financial Oval on Saturday. Be there to get the teams over the line.