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Monday, July 11, 2022 - 9:50 AM

By Darrell Kent

The rain started at the first bounce and didn’t stop until after the final siren. This resulted in a game that was a real slog with both teams trying their guts out, all day, to get the four points. West Perth hit the front for the first time at the eight-minute mark of the final quarter but had the lead snatched back a minute later. They then dug deep to regain the lead midway through the term. The Falcons managed to hang on and record one of the most hard fought victories you could hope to see. At the final siren they had won by three points: 7.5 (47) to 6.8 (44).

Peel dominated for the greater part of the first quarter. They had the first seven scoring shots and led by seventeen at the twenty-minute mark. They adapted to the terrible footy conditions best and could have led by more. Aaron Black hit the scoreboard first for the home team. He received a free for a strong tackle and converted from twenty. Tyler Keitel then showed his class by kicking the first of his three. He received a free fifty out, went back and slotted it as if it was a fine day. The Falcons had only the two scoring shots but trailed by just five at the first change; 2.0 (12) to 2.5 (17).

The conditions didn’t improve in the second and the two teams continued to slog it out. The Falcons scored a behind before big Docker, Josh Treacy, scored from the square after receiving fifty. Tyler Keitel got it back with a great snap around his body, forty out. Peel attacked consistently and extended their lead to eleven before Mitch Antonio hit the scoreboard and reduced the margin to five. He was on the end of a long kick forward by Nathan Alexandre and kicked from forty-five. Peel hit back, though, courtesy of Lloyd Meek. He was a threat all day and ended up with two majors. At the half time siren Peel had extended their lead to twelve; 4.1 (25) to 5.7 (37). In the sloppy conditions the challenge lay well and truly ahead of the Falcons.

It may sound hard to believe but the rain increased in the third quarter. The impact of the weather was highlighted by the fact that only one goal was scored. This occurred at the eighteen-minute mark and it went to the hard working Mitch Peirce. He took possession outside fifty and bombed it forward. It went over the back and skidded through. There was a bit of luck involved but it was deserved as the ball had spent much of the quarter in the West Perth fifty. The conditions made it difficult to get reward for effort. The Falcon endeavour was highlighted by the skipper, Aaron Black, who smothered the ball twice in a matter of seconds as Peel endeavoured to go forward. At the final change the Peel lead was just five: 5.3 (33) to 5.8 (38).

Heavy rain continued to fall in the final quarter onto the water logged oval. This was highlighted by the first goal of the term. It went to Tyler Keitel who soccered the ball through a number of puddles before a third soccer saw the ball go through for his third. West Perth now led by one and were in front for the first time all day. This lasted for only a minute, though, as the visitors took the ball out of the middle and scrambled one home. They had regained their five-point lead. At the seventeen-minute mark the Falcons snatched back their one-point advantage. This time it was Anton Hamp who soccered the ball three times from outside fifty, through the puddles, until the ball went over the goal line. Both teams had their chance to score in the last minutes of the game. West Perth added two behinds while Peel struggled to take their opportunities. Falcon supporters heaved a huge, if not damp, sigh of relief when the siren finally went. West Perth had achieved a wonderful, gutsy, three-point victory; 7.5 (47) to 6.8 (44).

The win leaves West Perth one game clear on top of the table. Tyler Keitel kicked three and was amongst the best players along with Tristan Hobley, Conal Lynch, Luke Meadows, Aaron Black, Mark Hutchings and Mitch Peirce. It was a really good win in very difficult conditions. Darren Harris, Steve Trewhella and the entire coaching staff are doing a wonderful job at getting the team to play consistent, hard footy. Forty-two players on the West Perth list have played at least one game of Senior footy so picking a team each week is a difficult task.

The Reserves consolidated second place on the ladder with a 13.10 (88) to 9.8 (62) victory. Rudy Riddoch pushed his claims for a League recall with three goals. Logan Foley finished with two, as did Jack Burke. Rudy was amongst the best as was Aidan Lynch, Kellen Johnson, Ben Delaporte and Luke Reilly. The Colts were missing their five State representatives and went down 6.4 (40) to 14.11 (95). They still sit on top of the ladder. Jack Demarte kicked two. Best players were Ashton Waters, Jesse Taylor, Harry Cabalzar, Blake Garraway and Mitch Lonnie. It seems to be the case every week but a big game against Claremont at their home ground on Saturday. Be there to get the teams over the line.