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Monday, June 20, 2022 - 10:07 AM


By Darrell Kent

The evenness of the 2022 WAFL competition was once again on display at Pentanet Stadium on Saturday. West Perth had the better of Swan Districts to record an eighteen-point victory; 10.8 (68) to 7.8 (50). As has been the case in recent games the result wasn’t finalised until the dying minutes of the game. The win was a fitting tribute to Trent Manzone who played his 150th game and became a life member of the West Perth Football Club.


The Falcon defence took a hit before the game with Mark Hamilton withdrawing because of illness. The ever reliable defender was a big out for a defence that was already missing Tyson Moulton and Zac Guadagnin. As a result, Anton Hamp went back. He and the other defenders did a great job to limit the Swans scoring. As was the case all day, scoring was at a premium as the teams battled blustery conditions. Fortunately, the rain stayed away. The Black Ducks hit the score board first at the eight-minute mark, but Tyler Keitel replied shortly after when he marked thirty out. Behinds were the order of the day until the twenty-minute mark when Nathan Alexandre marked a Swans kick out of defence. He finished from thirty to take the lead out to eight. Conal Lynch, who had a very good game, then slotted one.  The now fifteen-point lead was whittled away by the visitors in the final minutes of the term.  As a result, West Perth had a six-point quarter time lead; 3.3 (21) to 2.3 (15).


The second quarter was a goal fest with nine being scored. It certainly didn’t prepare fans for a second half that only saw three majors scored in total. Brayden Noble narrowed the margin for Swans before West Perth went on a three goal run. A long kick forward by Sam Rotham saw the ball carry the pack to Conal Lynch who scored his second. The Falcons scored another almost straight away after a long, Aaron Black, kick out of the middle was shepherded through by Mitch Antonio. The goal of the day came at the seventeen-minute mark and it was a second to Tyler Keitel. A Nathan Murray kick to Tyler Keitel, and his opponent, saw a tough tussle on the boundary before Tyler took possession and bounced it through from forty. It was a ripper and a real team lifter. Swans weren’t to be out done though, and Jesse Turner got one back with a forty metre kick from the boundary.  But, once again, the Falcons hit back quickly. Aaron Black took the ball out of the middle and got it to Mitch Antonio who kicked the first of his three, on the run, from thirty. The lead was out to twenty-five just after time on thanks to a desperate soccer on the line by big man, Michael Mallard. He is a player with plenty of upside. Swans were not done with, though, and they finished the quarter strongly with two of their own. The game was still well and truly on at half time with West Perth leading by thirteen; 8.6 (54) to 6.5 (41)


After such a high scoring second quarter it was hard to understand the third during which only two behinds were scored, and this didn’t happen until after the twenty-minute mark. The defences were clearly on top. It would be a long time since a low score had occurred in a quarter of a WAFL game. Both points went to Swans and as a result they only trailed by eleven at the final change: 8.6 (54) to 6.7 (43).


It was well and truly game on when Swans soccered a major from the goal square in the first minute. The breeze was fluctuating but they seemed to be going to the scoring end. Two minutes later the Falcons got their eleven-point advantage back after Conal Lynch passed to Mitch Antonio, thirty out on an angle. But once again the scoring dried up. Both teams had opportunities but were unable to take them until the twenty-seven-minute mark. A long kick forward by Tyler Keitel saw Mitch Antonio get a favourable bounce and kick his third. The lead was now eighteen and for the first time all day Falcon supporters were able to relax. At the final siren they had recorded a 10.8 (68) to 7.8 (50) victory.


The game, once again, highlighted the tightness of the WAFL competition. There are a number of premiership chances. Mitch Antonio scored three, Conal Lynch and Tyler Keitel two each. Luke Meadows and Aaron Black were fantastic around the ground all day and they were well supported by Conal Lynch, Noah Pegoraro, whose intercept marking is outstanding, Anton Hamp and Nathan Alexandre.


The Reserves continued their excellent form and recorded a 10.5 (65) to 7.8 (50) victory. A very similar score line to the League. Luke Foley kicked three, Lochlan Paton and Jack Burke two apiece. Best players were Zac Patterson, Lochlan Paton, Aidan Lynch, Rohan Scurria and Logan Foley. They are firmly entrenched in the top three. The Colts suffered their second defeat, but still sit one game clear on top. They had a number of outs including five involved with the State Eighteens. They lost by eighteen; 7.3 (45) to 9.9 (63). Noah Farrow did a great job kicking four of the seven. He was amongst the best along with Jack Demarte, Mitchell Lonnie and Aiden Nelson. A trip to Mineral Resources Park to take on the Demons next week. Be there to help get the teams over the line.