BITTERSWEET VICTORY

Monday, September 14, 2020 - 11:14 AM

BITTERSWEET VICTORY

West Perth played a wonderful brand of football to beat Subiaco by nineteen points on Saturday. The win was ultimately responsible for knocking the Lions out of the final four but the margin fell just one point short of the Falcons grabbing second spot on percentage. As a result, West Perth will play Perth, who will make their first finals appearance in twenty-two years, after they defeated South Fremantle. The win was fitting as it coincided with Mike Lourey’s two hundredth senior game (including some in Victoria), the double century of skipper, Aaron Black, and the hundredth of key midfielder Luke Meadows.

The Colts overcame some inaccurate kicking to get the best of their opponents. They will play South Fremantle in the first semi while the Reserves failed narrowly to get over the top of Subiaco. They trailed by six goals at the final change but charged home to fall six points short. Victory would have given them a finals berth, with other results going their way, but it was not to be.

Tyler Keitel, who had a great game scoring five goals, kicked the first after five minutes. Shortly after Subi replied with their only major for the term before a second to Tyler Keitel gave the Falcons the lead that they did not relinquish for the rest of the game. At the ten-minute mark Trent Manzone and Tristan Hobley combined to get the ball into the hands of Mike Lourey who marked and finished from thirty. First gamer Sasha Kernutt was involved in the next when a clever handball from the boundary enabled Keegan Knott to bounce one through from outside fifty. At the first change the Falcons had made the ideal start, leading by fifteen: 4.0 (24) to 1.3 (9).

The game tightened up considerably in the second quarter with the first four shots going behind. Three went to the Lions. At the thirteen-minute mark a long kick forward by Tyler Keitel saw Keegan Knott take it off hands to kick his second. The lead was now nineteen. Shortly after, Gregory Clark got one back for Subiaco but the last goal for the quarter went to the Falcons. It went to first gamer Sasha Kernutt who kicked accurately from thirty, on an angle, after a relayed kick down the ground. A really pleasing aspect of this season has been the ability of the new players coming into the side making significant contributions right from the start. At the main break the home team led by twenty: 6.2 (38) to 2.6 (18). It is not often that Subiaco is held to just two goals at half time and this is because of the great job done by the West Perth defenders. For the whole game the visitors had forty-eight inside fifties compared to the Falcons thirty-one. Their efforts went a long way towards setting up the win.

The game was still in the balance at half time but a terrific third term ensured the Falcons victory. They outscored Subiaco five goals to one to lead by forty-six at the final change. Laine Rasmussen, who played a beauty and Mike Lourey combined to get the ball to Tyler Keitel who scored his third from the square. The next ten minutes saw only behinds scored before Tyson Moulton intercepted a kick out of defence on fifty. The forward come backman has always been a beautiful kick and his effort from fifty-five was no exception. The thirty-three-point lead became thirty-nine after a fourth to Tyler Keitel. Conal Lynch then hit the scoreboard before a fifth to Tyler Keitel saw the lead out to fifty-two. It was a dominant period of play by the Falcons. Subiaco got one back just before the siren to narrow the gap. The Falcons led by a commanding 11.5 (71) to 3.7 (25) at the final change.

At the three quarter time break Subiaco obviously got the message that their place in the four was in jeopardy as they steamed home. East Perth were doing the job on Peel and looked likely to grab fourth spot on percentage. They kicked the first of the term before Aaron Black restored the three quarter time lead when he scored from the square. From here it was all the Lions as they attacked consistently to try and save their season. They scored four more but at the final siren West Perth had recorded a terrific nineteen-point victory; 12.5 (77) to 8.10 (58).

Everyone had their calculators out after the game but unfortunately West Perth had fallen 0.24% short of grabbing second spot. East Perth loomed as the likely opponents for a while before Perth got over the top of the Bulldogs to set up next week’s clash. It certainly was an exciting finish to the home and away season. Best players for West Perth were Zac Guadagnin, who has had a very good year, Connor West, he has developed into an excellent midfielder, Shane Nelson who was at his hard working best, Tyler Keitel for his five majors and tough nut Laine Rasmussen was judged best. It is a pleasure to watch him go about his work.

The Reserves narrowly missed out on the chance to defend their title. They steamed home but could not overcome the six goal three quarter time deficit. They lost 10.8 (68) to 9.8 (62). Players to be recognised included Tom Boyes, Brayden Antonio, Kris Shannon, Tom O’Halloran and Lachlan Johns.

A nine-point win to the Colts has set them for their finals campaign. They finished percentage behind their opponents who finished second. They battled hard after missing some chances early. They are capable of giving the premiership a real shake. Best players were Heath Chapman who returned after a sound League debut the week before, Lachlan Rewell, Rohan Scurria, Michael Mallard and Isaac Demarte. There are a number of players in this group who are capable of playing League football in the future. A do or die first semi next week for the League and Colts. Be there to help get them over the line.