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Falcons prevail in cliffhanger

Monday, May 30, 2022 - 10:14 AM

By Darrell Kent

West Perth won a nail biter against the Perth Demons on Saturday. It was a game of fluctuating fortunes that was decided by a kick after the siren. A Mitch Dobson diving mark at the top of the square took place seconds before the final whistle. His second for the game saw the Falcons home by six points: 7.12 to 7.6. It completed another really good day for the Footy Club with all three grades recording victories.

The Falcons dominated the first quarter having nineteen inside fifties to three. They held Perth scoreless but didn’t take full advantage kicking two goals five behinds. The ball hardly left the West Perth forward line but a dogged Demons defence and some wayward finishing ensured a close contest. The first score was a major to the Falcons. Keegan Knott kicked it after Sasha Kernutt was awarded a free in the square. He played on to finish from the goal line. Three behinds followed before Tristan Hobley scored.  This was also after the result of a free kick and fifty, after Tyler Keitel was thrown to the ground. The fifteen-point lead was extended to seventeen courtesy of two more behinds and as a result the home team led 2.5 (17) to 0.0 (0) at the first change. It wasn’t a great reward for effort.

West Perth went behind early in the second but from here it was all Perth. In a complete turnaround they kicked three unanswered goals. Because of this, midway through the quarter, they led by one. A snap from Anton Hamp got the lead back for the Falcons but the reply was almost instantaneous. The Demons took the ball out of the centre and Mitchell Browne finished on the run from fifty. They then scored three behinds to take a three-point lead into half time: 3.7 (25) to 4.4 (28). The visitors certainly had the best of the quarter and they took full advantage of the breeze.

The Falcons had the scoring end in the third and, once again, had most of the play. They held Perth to one behind but only kicked two three themselves. Rain and a strong wind had an impact in the early part of the quarter. Mitch Dobson kicked a very good, and telling goal, at the nine-minute mark. He was on the end of a Keegan Knott pass, forty out, on the boundary. His very good kick gave West Perth back the lead. The other goal for the quarter came from Sasha Kernutt who scored from twenty after receiving a free. At the end of the third West Perth led by eleven: 5.10 (40) to 4.5 (29). It set up the game for a heart stopping final quarter and that certainly proved to be the case.

The Demons had a dream start to the quarter when they narrowed the margin to five in the first couple of minutes. It was a second to Mitch Browne. West Perth kicked two behinds to take the lead out to seven but that was narrowed to just one after another to Perth. Tension was certainly building amongst the supporters of both teams. An unlikely hero kicked the Falcons next. Co-captain and backman, Dean Munns, took possession of a Perth kick out of defence and slotted it from fifty. It was a team lifter. Perth scored a behind before Kristian Cary slotted the goal of the game. He kicked his second, under great pressure, from deep in the pocket. At the twenty-three-minute mark scores were all tied up. It was then a battle of defences, but at the twenty-eight-minute mark, Trent Manzone took possession and kicked long into the forward line. Mitch Dobson dived and took the grab at the end of the square. As he got up the siren went and any score was going to be enough to get the Falcons home. He calmly slotted it to give West Perth a very hard fought 7.12 (54) to 7.6 (48) victory. Perth were brave when you take into account that they had a number of players out through Health and Safety protocols.

The win keeps West Perth in equal top spot on the ladder with five wins from six games. Best players were Shane Nelson whose smothers and work around the ground was outstanding, Mitch Dobson, Trent Manzone, Mitch Peirce, Aaron Black and Zac Guadagnin. Mitch Dobson was the only multiple goal scorer in a low scoring game. A big congratulations to Aidan Lynch who played his 100th WAFL game.

The Reserves won by thirty-seven: 14.14 (98) to 9.7 (61). They sit third on the ladder with three wins. Best players were Callum Johnson, Luke Foley, Lochlan Paton, Brock Lewis and Tom Boyes. Luke Foley kicked three, Callum Johnson and Lochlan Paton two apiece. There are a number of players pushing for a League game. The Colts maintained their two game lead at the top of the table. They are playing top footy. Best were Griffith Julian, Riley Sprigg, Camden Pires, Aiden Nelson, and Noah Farrow. Jasper Scaife finished with three, Jack Demarte, Noah Vanderwiel and Noah Farrow two apiece. A huge set of games next week, against the old enemy, East Perth, in the WA Day game on Monday. Be there to help get the teams over the line.