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Tuesday, April 26, 2022 - 9:14 AM


By Darrell Kent

West Perth left Mandurah with three hard fought victories on Sunday. The Falcons battled against the odds to record victories that have set the tone for a season that promises a great deal of enjoyment for supporters. The League team had a number of players who were unavailable but the focus should be more on the 100 game achievement of Mark Hamilton and the two goal haul, on debut, by last year’s Colts fairest and best, Luke Reilly.

West Perth were off to a flier and completely dominated the first quarter. Keegan Knott kicked the first of his four after three minutes. He finished from the square after weaving his way through opposition from the boundary. Trent Manzone followed up shortly after when he scored from forty out, close to the boundary. One of the highlights of the game came at the nine-minute mark when debutant, Luke Reilly, scored his first League major after snapping from twenty out. It was great to see all players get around him to acknowledge the achievement. The fourth goal came courtesy of the very capable Tristan Hobley who scored from forty after great passes from Keegan Knott and Sasha Kernutt. The lead was out to twenty-eight when the Falcons took the ball out of the middle and Sasha Kernutt handballed to Keegan Knott who kicked his second. Docker, Josh Treacy, then scored the first of his three for the game. This was to be Peels’ only goal for the quarter. But West Perth were not done with and they finished strongly with Sam Rotham scoring the first of his three and Anton Hamp hitting the scoreboard. A terrific quarter of run on footy saw West Perth lead by thirty-five at the first change: 7.2 (44) to 1.3 (9).

As you would expect from a team containing nine AFL listed players, Peel hit the ground running in the second term. They kicked two in quick succession before Mitch Antonio steadied the ship after marking and finishing from forty. Jye Amiss then scored the second of his five for the game. He was a huge challenge for the West Perth defence all day. Midway through the term Sasha Kernutt took the ball off hands and showed his class to finish from forty. The margin was back out to twenty-nine but Peel controlled the last half of the quarter to reduce the margin to just twelve at the main break: 9.3 (57) to 7.3 (45). It was game on and the second half promised to be a beauty.

The home team continued their strong run and Jye Amiss kicked his third and Sam Sturt his first to tie up the scored in the blink of an eye. The challenge was well and truly in front of the Falcons. Sam Rotham replied with his second but Peel kicked the next two to lead by seven at the eighteen-minute mark. Things were certainly looking a bit grim, but West Perth rallied strongly. They scored three behinds before Mitch Antonio gave them the lead back with his second. Luke Reilly then kicked his second with a fine finish from thirty. He took the ball off hands from a kick into play after a behind. The visitors had done a great job to rally and take a nine-point lead into the final break: 12.8 (80) to 11.5 (71). A terrific final quarter lay ahead.

It took six minutes but the first score of the last quarter went to the Falcons. Keegan Knott kicked his third after a snap from the square. It followed an Anton Hamp pass to Mitch Peirce whose forty-five metre kick from the boundary was pounced on by Keegan. He really is a mercurial player. Peel had the next three shots and reduced the margin to seven before Keegan Knott bobbed up again. He scored his fourth after taking the ball off hands thirty out. The thirteen-point lead was once again reduced to five as a result of Peel scoring three times in a row. Jye Amiss was a real threat up forward for the home team. As a result, at the twenty-four-minute mark it was well and truly game on. The Falcons got a bit more breathing space when Mitch Dobson soccered a clever goal from about twenty out. The margin was now eleven but at the thirty-three-minute mark Amiss kicked another so it was still a hot contest. Big man Sam Rotham then marked strongly thirty out after West Perth took it out of the middle. He went back and slotted his third, after the siren, to give the Falcons a hard fought and well deserved 16.8 (104) to 14.9 (3) victory. The last quarter was a ripper and a credit to both teams.

The result was certainly an important win in the context of working into the season. Best players included Trent Manzone, Shane Nelson, Tristan Hobley, Keegan Knott, Conal Lynch, Troy Yukich and Sam Rotham. All of the players who came into the team played good footy so selection will be an interesting experience for the match against Subiaco. It is a great position for the Club to be in. Keegan Knott finished with four, Sam Rotham three and Mitch Antonio, Tristan Hobley and Luke Reilly two each.

The Reserves also had a strong victory. They won by twenty-three; 12.9 (81) to 8.10 (58). It too was an even contest with the team withstanding a number of comebacks from the home team. It is also an important win for them to kick start their season. Best players were Alec Johnson, Logan Foley, Saverio Marafioti, Rudy Riddoch and Callum Johnson. It was great to see Dylan Yem back playing footy. The multiple goal scorers were Lochlan Paton with three and Darcy Dixon with two.

The Colts made it two from two. They took control in the second term to run out comprehensive thirty-nine point winners; 10.16 (76) to 5.7 (37). Coach, Ryan Lasscock, would have to be happy with the brand of football that they are playing. Best players were Aiden Nelson, Jasper Scaife, Jesse Taylor, Riley Sprigg and Jack Demarte. Jasper Scaife finished with four and Jack Demarte three. A big game against Subiaco next week who will be looking to rebound after starting the season with two losses. See you at Leederville Oval on Saturday.