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Monday, July 19, 2021 - 8:00 AM


By Darrell Kent

West Perth overcame a slow start to defeat East Fremantle in a cliff-hanger at Provident Financial Oval on Saturday. They trailed by twenty-seven at the first change, led by twenty-eight at three quarter time, were headed twice in the last quarter but rallied to record a five-point victory. It was a game of great fluctuation with both teams having periods of dominance. The win capped a great day for the Club as the Reserves and Colts also scored victories.

East Fremantle hit the score board first courtesy of Cameron Eardley. The Falcon reply came from an unlikely source. Zac Guadagnin had followed his man down from the backline. The ball fell his way and he finished from forty. The celebrations that followed would suggest that it was his first League goal in his fifty-six games. That was the only highlight for the quarter, though, as the Sharks dominated to kick another five and take a twenty-seven-point lead into quarter time: 6.1 (37) to 1.4 (10).

The first eight scores of the second term were behinds. During this time West Perth narrowed the margin to twenty-five. It wasn’t until the seventeen-minute mark that the first major was scored. It went to Tristan Hobley who finished on the run. The Falcons were gaining control and Tyler Keitel kicked the first of his four shortly after. He received a free at a boundary throw in and finished from thirty. Just before the siren West Perth scored again. Tyler Keitel and Rudy Riddoch combined to get the ball to Keegan Knott who finished from the square. It was a great team goal and reduced the margin to just seven at the main break. The Falcons held the Sharks goalless and the scores were 4.10(34) to 6.5 (41).

West Perth then set up what looked likely to be a relatively easy win in the third quarter. They outscored East Fremantle six goals to one to establish a twenty-eight point three quarter time lead. Tom O’Donnell passed to Rudy Riddoch just inside fifty and he kicked accurately.  The Falcons then grabbed the lead at the three-minute mark after the home team took the ball out of the middle and Rudy Riddoch marked. He put the ball in front of Mitch Peirce who ran onto the ball and scored. Rudy’s use of the football was exceptional all day. A great pass from Conal Lynch resulted in a second to Tyler Keitel. The lead was out to twenty midway through the term after Kris Shannon, Tyson Moulton and Rudy Riddoch moved the ball forward to Tyler Keitel who marked forty out, played on and kicked his third. East Fremantle replied but the last four shots went to West Perth. Conal Lynch finished from forty and a strong run from defence by Noah Pegoraro helped Tyler Keitel kick his fourth. The 10.15 (75) to 7.5 (47) lead appeared to be enough to see the Falcons comfortably home.

This could not have been further from the truth. East Fremantle kicked five unanswered goals in eighteen minutes to grab the lead. They controlled play and key forward, Lachlan Bailey, became a real danger up forward. His third major gave East Fremantle the lead and they had all the momentum. It was reminiscent of West Perth’s last quarter against East Perth which is most unusual as the West Perth last quarters are normally very good. At the twenty-six-minute mark Keegan Knott received a free fifteen metres out, on the boundary. He bananaed it through to give West Perth back the lead. This was short-lived, however, as the Sharks took it out of the middle, Lachlan Bailey received a free twenty out and he scored his fourth to put the visitors back in front. After the bounce some good work by Noah Pegoraro got the ball into the hands of Tyson Moulton who took possession fifty out on the boundary. His wonderful pass hit Nathan Alexandre on the chest twenty out, dead in front. The youngster took his time and split the middle to give the lead back to West Perth. It was a pressure kick. The ball went back to the middle and the siren went shortly after the bounce and as a result West Perth had well and truly earned a five-point win: 12.18 (90) to 13.7 (85).

It was a game that had the fans involved until the last second. The victory helps consolidate West Perth’s position in the top five. Best players included Aaron Black, Dean Munns, Noah Pegoraro, Rudy Riddoch, Tyler Keitel and Zac Guadagnin. You cannot overestimate the impact that Aaron Black has by the way that the captain leads by example.

The Reserves are now only percentage out of the five after their 13.12 (90) to 5.3 (33) win. They led clearly all day and have set themselves up for a strong finish to the season. It was great to see Dylan Yem return to football after overcoming his wrist injury and Tom Medhat continues his strong form and kicked four. Rohan Scurria finished with three and Michael Mallard two. They were amongst the Falcons best along with Henry Ryan and veterans Jason Salecic and Steve Potente.

The Colts had a strong last quarter and ran out seventeen point winners. Up until this time it was a tight contest. The win now sees them only one game out of the five. The final scores were 11.9 (75) to 8.8 (56). Zarne Robis finished with three and Saverio Marafioti two. Best players were Luke Michael, Luke Reilly, Connor Klemke, Ryan Gallen and Riley Sprigg.

Another big set of fixtures against Peel at Provident Financial Oval on Saturday. Be there to get the teams over the line.