Select grade below


Tuesday, August 24, 2021 - 9:47 AM


BY Darrell Kent

West Perth had beaten South Fremantle only once in their last fifteen encounters and trailed by as much as twenty-six in the encounter at Provident Financial Oval on Sunday, but it didn’t stop them from recording a remarkable come from behind victory. They battled hard to stay in the contest and this was rewarded when they won by six points. The Falcons outscored the Bulldogs five goals to two in a last quarter that had supporters on the edge of their seats until the final siren.

The tackling pressure was immense in the first quarter. Both sides tackled hard but the Bulldogs had the better of it. The ball spent a lot of time in the West Perth defensive area, but as has been the case all year, they hung tough to limit the visitors to three goals. The only Falcon goal for the term came at the sixteen-minute mark and it went to Conal Lynch. He was on the end of a Dean Munns pass thirty out. At the end of a tough first quarter West Perth trailed by thirteen: 1.2 (8) to 3.3 (21).

South Fremantle extended their lead early in the second with a major but West Perth steadied to fight their way back into the game. The first was the result of some great run and carry by Sasha Kernutt. He got the ball into the hands of Keegan Knott who hand balled to Tyler Keitel. Tyler finished from the square for the first of his four. Sasha Kernutt was an important link player all day and is going to be a very good footballer for West Perth. He was again involved, shortly after, when he passed to Rudy Riddoch forty out. Rudy kicked the first of his three. Two absolute rippers were to come later in the game. Scores were all tied up at the twenty-two-minute mark when Tyler Keitel passed to Keegan Knott who scored from forty. They are a wonderful forward line combination. South Fremantle steadied to take a seven-point lead into half time. The goal was a second to Zac Strom. He was amongst the Bulldogs best all day.

The hard tackling and pressure continued in the third quarter. South Fremantle had the best of it and by the fifteen-minute mark led by twenty-six. West Perth needed a spark and it came in the form of Rudy Riddoch. He is a player of immense talent and he showed that with a miracle goal from deep in the pocket, under a lot of pressure. Towards the end of the term a great tap on by Tom O’Donnell enabled Keegan Knott to put the ball in front of Steve Potente who bounced it through. At three quarter time the margin was a manageable thirteen points: 6.4 (40) to 8.5 (53).

West Perth took control of the game in the first seven minutes of the last quarter to grab the lead for the first time in the game. Tyler Keitel kicked his second from a tight angle thirty out. He then showed his strength at a throw up fifteen out from goal to take possession and snap accurately. Scores were all tied up before Conal Lynch took possession off hands to kick his second from the square. The Falcons now led by six. After five minutes of hard football the Bulldogs squared it up, again, thanks to a Hayden Schloithe major. The next ten minutes belonged to South Fremantle as they extended their lead to eight going into time on. It appeared that they had overcome the Falcon challenge but this was not the case. West Perth kicked two behinds before Rudy Riddoch turned it on again. He kicked a goal that will be a challenge for Keegan Knott’s goal of the year at Yanchep. He somehow manufactured a goal from thirty out, on the boundary and under immense pressure. It was a beauty. At the twenty-five-minute mark the scores were, once again, deadlocked. West Perth continued to attack and the pressure resulted in a free to Tyler Keitel twenty out after he was legged. He kicked his fourth and the Falcons then hung on to record a terrific six-point victory: 11.7 (73) to 10.7 (67).

I know that it is a cliché but it was a real never say die performance by West Perth. The team battles right to the end. Tyler Keitel and Keegan Knott have now kicked nearly one hundred goals between them; sixty and thirty-four respectively. Best players included Aaron Black, Rudy Riddoch, Sasha Kernutt, Tyler Keitel, Mark Hamilton, Noah Pegoraro, Tyson Moulton and Dean Munns. They sit in third spot on the ladder, only one game behind League leaders Subiaco.

The Reserves went down by twelve in a hard fought encounter: 8.10 (58) to 6.10 (46). They sit in fifth spot, just in front of Subiaco on percentage. Zac Patterson kicked two and best players were Kris Shannon, Matthew Mant, Dylan Yem, Tom Medhat and Sam Rotham. It was great to see Trent Manzone running around after a lengthy three month spell due to injury.

The Colts had a big forty-seven-point win: 14.9 (93) to 6.10 (46). The win sees them in fifth spot, a game and a hefty percentage in front of South Fremantle. One win in their next two games will see them safely through. Darcy Dixon and Zarne Robis kicked two each. Best players included Kane Bevan, Griffith Julian, Noah Farrow, Jack Demarte and Mitchell Lonnie. All of the games at Shark Park next Saturday are important. Be there to get the teams over the line.