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Tuesday, June 7, 2022 - 10:24 AM

By Darrell Kent


West Perth and East Perth played the 9999th WAFL game at Pentanet Stadium on Monday. Going into the encounter the Royals led the Falcons 173 to 172 in the all-time win count. It now stands at 173 each after the home team recorded a fourteen-point victory. They now sit one game clear on top of the table after other results fell their way.


The game was a low scoring, hard slog with little separating the teams all day. The first five scoring shots were behinds. The first goal wasn’t scored until the sixteen-minute mark and it was the first of three to Keegan Knott. He was on the end of a Ben Johnson pass and he finished from forty. An East Perth reply came soon after but it was, once again, Keegan Knott who hit the score board next. He was on the end of some good work by Luke Meadows and Aaron Black and scored from forty, on an angle. Another behind followed but the Royals had the last two scoring shots and as a result only trailed by one at the first change; 2.4 (16) to 2.3 (15). It was a precursor of what was to follow.


The second term was a real arm wrestle with the scorer having little to do. The ball rebounded between half back lines for the entire quarter. East Perth kicked a behind before Sasha Kernutt scored West Perth’s only goal for the quarter. He finished on his left from thirty-five. Midway through the term former Falcon, Tom Medhat, kicked the first of his brace. Scores were all tied up before an East Perth behind saw them hit the lead for the first time. A Tristan Hobley point, just before half time, saw the game all tied up at the first change; 3.5 (23) to 3.5 (23).


The game opened up, a little, in the third quarter with each team kicking three goals. West Perth had the best of it early and raced to a fourteen-point lead. Rudy Riddoch scored first after playing on from a free kick awarded to Anton Hamp. Falcon supporters certainly enjoyed seeing him back in action. A second followed very quickly and it came from Conal Lynch after the ball was taken from the centre bounce. Two more behinds took the lead out to fourteen but East Perth were not to be denied. Tom Medhat scored his second. Another to Royals first gamer, Mitchell Schofield, followed and the margin was just two, as it was at the main break. A great pass by Tyler Keitel set up Keegan Knott for his third and the lead was back to eight. West Perth fought hard to maintain this advantage but that was removed after the siren thanks to Christian Ameduri who marked and finished from forty. Going into the last quarter West Perth held a two-point advantage; 6.7 (43) to 6.5 (41). As it had been all day, it was going to be game on in the last term.


East Perth kicked a behind to open the scoring but it was Tyler Keitel who kicked the first major. He received a free at the top of the square. Another behind followed before some Rudy Riddoch magic set up the next. He weaved between players on the boundary and got the ball to Anton Hamp who scored from close in. The lead was now fourteen and at the twenty-three minute it was out to twenty after Rudy Riddoch kicked his second from the square. He was on the end of a long kick forward by Blake Wilhelm. Falcon supporters could begin to relax for the first time all day. The last score of the day went to the Royals and at the final siren the Falcons had recorded an important, and very hard fought, fourteen-point victory; 9.8 (62) to 7.6 (48).


The win was West Perth’s sixth in a row and has them one game clear on top of the table. The results this year have shown that it is a very tight competition with very little separating a number of teams. Keegan Knott finished with three and Rudy Riddoch two. Best players were Aaron Black, Keegan Knott, Shane Nelson whose pick up at a boundary throw in during the last quarter to send the Falcons forward was as good as you will ever see, Mark Hamilton and Noah Pegoraro.


The Reserves recorded a twenty-point win, 10.12 (72) to 8.4 (52), to entrench themselves in the top five. It too, was a tight contest, but West Perth ran away with it late to score. Mitch Antonio put his hand up for a League recall kicking four while Michael Mallard scored two. Tom Boyes was outstanding and he was ably supported by Mitch Antonio, Nathan Murray, Joshua Munns and Ben Delaporte. A number of players are pushing for League selection. The Colts lost their first one for the year but still sit top of the table. They lost by nineteen; 6.6 (42) to 9.7 (61). Jasper Scaife and Noah Farrow kicked two each. They were amongst the best players along with Luke Michael and Kane Bevan. A top of the table clash against the Sharks at the WACA next Saturday. Be there to help get the teams over the line.