Monday, September 21, 2020 - 11:48 AM


West Perth recorded a hard fought victory against Perth at Provident Financial Oval on Sunday. The win was just reward for a team that has battled hard all season. West Perth is the only WAFL Club that does not have an ex-AFL listed player on its list. When it knocked Subiaco out of the four the media focus was on the Lions not playing finals football. They then concentrated on Perth in the build-up to the first semi-final (with some justification seeing that it was their first final in twenty-three years). Little recognition is given to the fact that West Perth has produced more one hundred and fifty game players than any other WAFL Club this century, the three coaches of the remaining WAFL finals teams played together in the 1995 premiership side and the coaching staff is comprised of players who donned the red and blue. There is a lot to be proud of at West Perth and this victory just confirms that.

The Falcons won the toss and kicked to the northern end with the aid of a blustery breeze. The wind and scattered showers were to be a factor all game. At the three-minute mark Mitch Peirce hit the scoreboard for West Perth after receiving a free thirty out. It was one of two for the day and a fitting result for his fiftieth game. The move up forward has seen him hit the scoreboard regularly. Two minutes later Tyler Keitel scored from close in after he took the crumbs from a marking contest. The next sixteen minutes saw each team score a behind as they both battled the slippery conditions. Keegan Knott then used the wind to advantage after marking on fifty. His kick from just outside the arc sailed through to give the home team a valuable eighteen-point quarter time lead: 3.1 (19) to 0.1 (1)

It was the Demons turn to take advantage of the breeze and they did so attacking consistently. They narrowed the margin to one straight kick within six minutes. The West Perth defence battled hard to keep their opponents at bay and succeeded until the twenty-five-minute mark when stand in Demons skipper, Michael Sinclair, kicked a major to tie scores up going into the main break. The scores were 3.3 (21) apiece. It was a fitting result for an even half of football.

The third quarter was always going to be vital to the result and the intensity of both teams reflected this. At the twelve-minute mark Aaron Black showed his class to bounce a ripper through from thirty out, on the boundary. It was just reward for his hard work on the day and for the way that he leads the team. Three minutes later this hard work was undone when speedy Demons winger, Brent Edmonds, received a free and finished accurately from twenty out, on an angle. The Falcons appeared to be in real trouble when scores were still tied at the three quarter time siren. Each side was on 4.5 (29) and the job was well and truly in front of West Perth who were kicking into the breeze in the last quarter. 

The first three scoring shots went to Perth and as a result they led by eight after nine minutes. Matt Rogers kicked his second for the visitors to put them in the box seat. The run of play changed when Mitch Peirce received a free thirty out. His accurate kick narrowed the margin to just two and it was the momentum shift needed for the Falcons to really click into gear. They attacked consistently, into the wind, and hit the front at the seventeen-minute mark thanks to a soccered goal by Luke Meadows. His hardness around the footy was a real factor all day. West Perth now led by four. The next five minutes was frenetic with both teams doing their fair share of attacking. The breakthrough came at the twenty-two-minute mark when a scrambled kick forward, under tremendous pressure, by Shane Nelson was marked by Tyler Keitel who kicked his second from the top of the square. In a strong fight back West now led by ten. Just before the siren a behind to Mitch Peirce saw the lead increase by one and give the Falcons a 7.6 (48) to 5.7 (37) victory. They had the last four scoring shots of the game. It was a really good fight back when you take the conditions and what was at stake into account.

West Perth now face South Fremantle in the Preliminary Final at Fremantle Oval next Sunday. Once again it was an even team effort but players to be recognised were Shane Nelson, Noah Pegoraro, Ben Delaporte, Zac Guadagnin and best was Luke Meadows. There is a lot to like about the way that this team goes about it and anything is possible this year.

An inaccurate Colts team went down to East Fremantle: 7.9 (51) to 3.14 (32). It was a disappointing end to a season that promised so much. A number of the Colts are going to be very good players for the Falcons in the future and there is a lot to look forward to. Best players were Callum Johnson, Kellen Johnson, Darcy Dixon and Michael Mallard. Make sure that you are at Fremantle Oval to help get the team over the line next week.