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FALCONS WIN SHOOT OUT

Monday, May 6, 2013 - 12:09 AM

Falcons supporters witnessed a terrific game of football at Shark Park on Saturday.

All of the skills that make Aussie Rules such a great game were on display and it was highlighted by a total of forty five goals being kicked. Amazingly there were only eleven behinds kicked for the game. West Perth played a high standard of football all day and thoroughly deserved their twenty three point victory. Final scores were West Perth 24.8 (152) to East Fremantle 21.3 (129).

The Sharks were quickly out of the blocks and it looked ominous for the Falcons when they raced to a twenty point lead after ten minutes. East Fremantle only kicked one more behind for the game from this point in time. Brad Dick kicked two of his eight up to this point. The Falcons steadied and goals to Ray Bartholomew, Nick Rodda and Marc Crisp saw the margin reduced to just one within nine minutes. Marc Crisp went on to kick four for the game and was a dangerous forward along with the high flying and hard leading Anthony Tsalikis. A third to Brad Dick followed before Josh Mellington scored after reading the ball off hands from a throw in. The frenetic goal scoring continued with the Sharks extending their lead by scoring the next two including a fourth to the will of the wisp Brad Dick. Matt Johnson then passed the ball to Nic Rodda who kicked his second from thirty. At the end of a terrific first term of footy the Sharks led 6.2 (38) to 5.1 (31).

It could be expected that the tempo of the game would ease in the second quarter but this was not the case. Brad Dick continued on where he had left off and kicked his fifth before a precise pass from Jordan Jones set up Anthony Tsalikis for the first of his five. ”Jordie” has been in tremendous form off half back. At the eighteen minute mark Matt Johnson showed his class after taking the ball off hands to kick a major. He then combined with Nick Rodda shortly after to kick his second and give West Perth a seven point lead.

It was out to thirteen after some fine team work saw Mark Hutchings mark and goal from forty five. As you would expect the Sharks hit back with one from Aidan Tropiano before consecutive goals to the Falcons saw them take the lead out to nineteen at the twenty six minute mark. The first went to Anton Saylor who soccered from the square after a kick from Anthony Tsalikis when he took a strong pack mark and the next to Rohan Kerr after he received a left foot pass from Anton Saylor. Not to be outdone East Fremantle kicked the last three of the term in short time to make it a one point game at half time. The Falcons led 11.3 (69) to 11.2 (68).

The Sharks kicked two of the first three goals of the term to regain the lead. These were punctuated by a third to Matt Johnson who continues to impress. West Perth then kicked four behinds in a row to trail by one at the ten minute mark. Goals to Steven Browne and a second and third to “Slick” saw the Falcons jump to a seventeen point lead before Brad Dick once again popped up for his seventh.

Not to be outdone Rohan Kerr was involved as he set up Marc Crisp for his second. As per the trend all day the Sharks replied shortly after before West Perth piled on three goals in time on to take a twenty nine point lead into the last change. Rohan Kerr kicked his second, Marc Crisp his third and Anthony Tsalikis his fourth. The goals were all the result of precise use of the football and hard running. Scores were; 19.7 (121) to 15.2 (92).

By the twelve minute mark of the final term the Sharks had reduced the lead to just five as they kicked the first four in quick time. Falcons’ supporters were concerned at this stage but “Slick” eased the concern to a degree when he took his fourteenth mark for the game and scored from forty. East Fremantle hit back quickly though thanks to a second to Jayden Schofield. There wasn’t a score for the next five minutes and the game was in the balance.

It was at this point that Josh Mellington kicked his second after marking forty out, Andrew Strijk scored from the same distance after some good work from Shane Nelson and a Josh Mellington pass set up Marc Crisp for his fourth. The lead was now twenty three and the game appeared to be in the bag. This was confirmed when the hard working Jay Van Berlo snapped a major from thirty. The final margin of twenty three resulted after a strong pack mark to Andrew Strijk was disallowed and the resultant free kick saw East Fremantle kick the last goal of the game. Final scores were West Perth 24.8 (152) to East Fremantle 21.3 (129).

It was a wonderful result for the Falcons who now take a five-two record into the State game and Club bye over the next two weeks. The game was played in a different manner to the pervious games this year but West Perth showed their versatility by getting the four points. Players to receive awards included Mark Hutchings, Marc Crisp, Rohan Kerr, Jordan Jones and best was Anthony Tsalikis.

It was a great team effort but the aerial work and kicking of Andrew Strijk off half back is a delight to watch. The Reserves went down but their percentage of ninety two reflects how close they have been this year. Best players were Shaun Marusic, Jack Thrum, Jordan Mills and Brayden Antonio. There are a number of players ready to take the step up into the League team. Unfortunately the Colts were soundly beaten. The next game is against Perth at the Arena on May 25 and it should be a beauty when you consider how well the Demons are going.

BY DARRELL KENT

PHOTOS BY BELINDA TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY

FALCONS HIT BACK IN SHOOT OUT AT SHARK PARK

Sunday, May 5, 2013 - 10:24 AM

WEST Perth has returned to the winner's list in impressive fashion ahead of a double bye with a terrific 23-point win over East Fremantle at East Fremantle Oval in a game that saw 45 goals kicked.
West Perth was coming off losing its first two games of the season the last two weeks to Claremont and Swan Districts, and then conceded the first three goals of the game against East Fremantle on Saturday in a far from ideal start.
However, the Falcons hit back quickly and had closed the gap to just seven points by quarter-time with the goal-scoring spree in full swing at Shark Park.
West Perth then had the better of the majority of the second quarter kicking six of the first nine goals to hold a two-goal plus advantage, but the quarter went well in excess of 35 minutes and the Sharks got two goals late to restrict the Falcons' lead to just a point at half-time.
The Falcons were discouraged by the Sharks getting those late second half goals, though, and in fact went up another notch after half-time booting eight goals to four in a terrific and attacking third quarter.
That saw West Perth turn for home with a 29-point advantage and even though East Fremantle kicked six final term goals to five from the Falcons, West Perth had done enough to record the impressive 24.8 (152) to 21.3 (129) victory and improve to a 5-2 record.
The win was the ideal way for West Perth to enter a double bye with the State game next week and then the bye in Round 9 before the next clash on Saturday May 25 against Perth at Arena Joondalup.
The 24.8 (152) score was West Perth's second highest score ever at East Fremantle Oval and the win likely could have been by a greater margin had it not been for East Fremantle kicking 21.3. It was the Sharks' most accurate ever kicking at goal in the club's history.
Anthony Tsalikis was outstanding up forward for West Perth booting five goals from 19 possessions and 14 marks. It's the first time that the five-time leading goalkicker has kicked five goals in a match since he did so in Round 13, 2011 in a loss to Peel Thunder.
Tsalikis was far from the only Falcon to shine in front of goal, though, with Marc Crisp continuing his breakout season with four goals while Matt Johnson kicked three, Rohan Kerr three, Nick Rodda two and Josh Mellington two.
Kerr was outstanding finishing with 29 possessions, six marks and five inside-50 entries as he continued to make a strong case to represent WA against Victoria next Saturday in Northam.
West Perth's midfield also worked its way on top of East Fremantle's talented and experienced on-ball brigade. Ruckman Chris Keunen was a massive reason for that finishing with 15 possessions, five marks and 42 hit outs up against two young and athletic opponents.
Mark Hutchings continued his outstanding form for the Falcons finishing with 33 possessions while Aaron Black also picked up 32 disposals while taking 14 marks as he found endless amounts of space on the wide expanses of East Fremantle Oval.
Steven Browne also gathered 30 disposals, took 10 marks and kicked a goal while Shane Nelson compiled 23 possessions, Jay van Berlo 22, Ray Bartholomew 22, Jordan Jones 20 and veteran Matt Guadagnin 20.
Meanwhile earlier in the day, the reserves went down to East Fremantle by 31 points despite four goals from Matt Fowler and three from Mitch McPhee. Frank Stockley had a big game with 40 hit outs while Jack Thrum was impressive with 34 possessions.
Brayden Antonio also picked up 25 disposals, Shaun Marusic 23 and Swan Districts recruit Steve Potente had 11 in his first appearance for West Perth after an injury-interrupted start to the season.
Things didn’t quite go to plan for the colts with East Fremantle winning by 70 points. Blake Acres was a tireless worker for the Falcons finishing with 27 possessions and a goal while Luke Meadows had 22 touches, Jesse Kirwen 23 and William Michell 21 and the Falcons' other goal for the game.
WEST PERTH 5.1 11.3 19.7 24.8 (152)
EAST FREMANTLE 6.2 11.2 15.2 21.3 (129)
WEST PERTH – Goals: Tsalikis 5; Crisp 4; Kerr, Johnson 3; Rodda, Mellington 2; Strijk, Browne, Hutchings, van Berlo, Bartholomew.
Best: Hutchings, Tsalikis, Kerr, Black, Browne, Keunen.
EAST FREMANTLE – Goals: Dick 8; Lester-Smith, Boyle, Schofield 2; McGough, Tropiano, O'Brien, Henson, Peake, Dodd, Sheppard.
Best: Dick, McGough, O'Brien, Dodd, Stephen, Tropiano.
BY CHRIS PIKE

WEST Perth has returned to the winner's list in impressive fashion ahead of a double bye with a terrific 23-point win over East Fremantle at East Fremantle Oval in a game that saw 45 goals kicked.

West Perth was coming off losing its first two games of the season the last two weeks to Claremont and Swan Districts, and then conceded the first three goals of the game against East Fremantle on Saturday in a far from ideal start.

However, the Falcons hit back quickly and had closed the gap to just seven points by quarter-time with the goal-scoring spree in full swing at Shark Park.

West Perth then had the better of the majority of the second quarter kicking six of the first nine goals to hold a two-goal plus advantage, but the quarter went well in excess of 35 minutes and the Sharks got two goals late to restrict the Falcons' lead to just a point at half-time.

The Falcons were discouraged by the Sharks getting those late second half goals, though, and in fact went up another notch after half-time booting eight goals to four in a terrific and attacking third quarter.

That saw West Perth turn for home with a 29-point advantage and even though East Fremantle kicked six final term goals to five from the Falcons, West Perth had done enough to record the impressive 24.8 (152) to 21.3 (129) victory and improve to a 5-2 record.

The win was the ideal way for West Perth to enter a double bye with the State game next week and then the bye in Round 9 before the next clash on Saturday May 25 against Perth at Arena Joondalup.

The 24.8 (152) score was West Perth's second highest score ever at East Fremantle Oval and the win likely could have been by a greater margin had it not been for East Fremantle kicking 21.3. It was the Sharks' most accurate ever kicking at goal in the club's history.

Anthony Tsalikis was outstanding up forward for West Perth booting five goals from 19 possessions and 14 marks. It's the first time that the five-time leading goalkicker has kicked five goals in a match since he did so in Round 13, 2011 in a loss to Peel Thunder.

Tsalikis was far from the only Falcon to shine in front of goal, though, with Marc Crisp continuing his breakout season with four goals while Matt Johnson kicked three, Rohan Kerr three, Nick Rodda two and Josh Mellington two.

Kerr was outstanding finishing with 29 possessions, six marks and five inside-50 entries as he continued to make a strong case to represent WA against Victoria next Saturday in Northam.

West Perth's midfield also worked its way on top of East Fremantle's talented and experienced on-ball brigade. Ruckman Chris Keunen was a massive reason for that finishing with 15 possessions, five marks and 42 hit outs up against two young and athletic opponents.

Mark Hutchings continued his outstanding form for the Falcons finishing with 33 possessions while Aaron Black also picked up 32 disposals while taking 14 marks as he found endless amounts of space on the wide expanses of East Fremantle Oval.

Steven Browne also gathered 30 disposals, took 10 marks and kicked a goal while Shane Nelson compiled 23 possessions, Jay van Berlo 22, Ray Bartholomew 22, Jordan Jones 20 and veteran Matt Guadagnin 20.

Meanwhile earlier in the day, the reserves went down to East Fremantle by 31 points despite four goals from Matt Fowler and three from Mitch McPhee. Frank Stockley had a big game with 40 hit outs while Jack Thrum was impressive with 34 possessions.

Brayden Antonio also picked up 25 disposals, Shaun Marusic 23 and Swan Districts recruit Steve Potente had 11 in his first appearance for West Perth after an injury-interrupted start to the season.

Things didn’t quite go to plan for the colts with East Fremantle winning by 70 points. Blake Acres was a tireless worker for the Falcons finishing with 27 possessions and a goal while Luke Meadows had 22 touches, Jesse Kirwen 23 and William Michell 21 and the Falcons' other goal for the game.

WEST PERTH 5.1 11.3 19.7 24.8 (152)

EAST FREMANTLE 6.2 11.2 15.2 21.3 (129)

WEST PERTH – Goals: Tsalikis 5; Crisp 4; Kerr, Johnson 3; Rodda, Mellington 2; Strijk, Browne, Hutchings, van Berlo, Bartholomew.

Best: Hutchings, Tsalikis, Kerr, Black, Browne, Keunen.

EAST FREMANTLE – Goals: Dick 8; Lester-Smith, Boyle, Schofield 2; McGough, Tropiano, O'Brien, Henson, Peake, Dodd, Sheppard.

Best: Dick, McGough, O'Brien, Dodd, Stephen, Tropiano.

BY CHRIS PIKE

ROUND 8 PREVIEW V EAST FREMANTLE

Friday, May 3, 2013 - 12:45 AM

WEST Perth takes on last year's grand finalist East Fremantle at East Fremantle Oval this Saturday with the Falcons out to win for the first time in three weeks in what will be their last game for three weeks.

The Falcons started the season so impressively with wins over East Perth, Subiaco, South Fremantle and Peel Thunder before the last two weeks losing hotly contested battles to reigning premiers Claremont and last year's preliminary finalists Swan Districts.

That has seen the Falcons fall from being 4-0 to 4-2 and now they will be desperate to enter a two-week break 5-2 rather than 4-3.

West Perth will not play again until taking on the improved Perth at Arena Joondalup on Saturday May 25 thanks to next week's state game and then the bye the following week.

This week's opponent East Fremantle is also on a 4-2 record making Saturday's clash take on even greater significance.

The Falcons lose Kody Manning to a season-ending knee injury that happened this week at training with James Batterham, James Embley and Trent Manzone pushing for a call up in the line-up.

Veteran defender Michael Pettigrew will return to strengthen the back-line further, though, after missing last week due to work commitments in the Pilbara.

West Perth coach Bill Monaghan is in his fifth year in charge and has enjoyed some mixed results at East Fremantle Oval over that time.

There was a 25-point loss in Round 5, 2009, a terrific 34-point win in Round 12, 2010, a 23-point win in Round 4, 2011 and then a forgettable 103-point hammering in Round 22 last year with the Sharks heading for the finals and the Falcons just out of the race.

Monaghan knows that East Fremantle will be a huge challenge this Saturday, but is fully aware that it's a crucial game in the context of the Falcons' season and despite the losses the last two weeks, still has seen enough good signs from his side to suggest they can get the job done.

"We've had mixed success down at East Fremantle Oval but it doesn’t hold any fears for us. We have played some really good footy there and the one that sticks out was Jason's 150th there when we were outstanding, but last year we had a terrible game there," Monaghan said.

"We don't think it's an issue playing East Fremantle at East Fremantle Oval. We just believe that if we can put 100 per cent of effort 100 per cent of the time that we can match it with any side. We showed that against Claremont who are still the trendsetters and Swans are around the money too.

"To be competitive against three and-a-half quarters is disappointing, but most sides are competitive and I would expect Swans to push for a spot in the four.

"The two losses we've had haven’t been against poor position, we have lost to quality teams and we have done well enough to be in both games and a winning chance. We are confident that what we are doing is right, we just need to finish off better especially with our foot skills."

BY CHRIS PIKE

BILL'S GRILL – ROUND 7

Thursday, May 2, 2013 - 12:02 PM

IT IS a big game for us this Saturday against East Fremantle at East Fremantle Oval with huge ramifications. We lost a game last week against a side who we are fighting for a final four position with and this week is no different.
We are both at 4-2 and it's a huge difference from being 5-2 or 4-3. We have to sit back and then watch another round of footy after the state with the bye and we could potentially overtaken by a couple of teams. If we don’t win this week, I would expect that by the time we play again we could be out of the four depending on other results.
Going back to our loss to Swan Districts on Anzac Day, our kicking was terrible all day both at goals and across the field. We kicked the ball poorly at times going in the forward 50 as well.
The game was in the balance at three quarter-time and I felt we had controlled large parts of the game. The patterns were fairly clear that we seemed to be doing a pretty good job in the first 15 minutes of the quarters and then they would chime in and kick a couple to even it up again. We were confident that we would run the game out and we probably had the first five or six of the first seven scoring shots of the last quarter and kicked 1.6 for the quarter.
If we took our opportunities we could have skipped out to a three or four-goal lead and you just don’t know what happens from there, but Swans kicked a couple of quick goals midway through the quarter and then our last 10 minutes was really disappointing. They kicked five goals in the last 15 minutes of the game to take us from being in front to a 28-point loss. We finished with 54 inside 50s to 44 for the game and I'm guessing that seeing as they kicked the last five goals, it was probably something like 53 to 37 at one stage so we had a significant differential there.
To not take advantage of that was not a good reward for our effort and in the end it took its toll. We are disappointed with the last 10 minutes in terms of our effort, but it probably didn’t deserve to be a 28-point ball game. I thought it was a pretty good game across the board. Both sides threw a lot at each other and it was fast-paced and entertaining. It was just disappointing that we went down in the end.
Matt Johnson was basically out of commission for us about 10 minutes into the game and whilst he came on for three or four bursts of a couple of minutes, he did that purely to give someone a rest. From about the 10-minute mark to half-time he didn’t go on at all and then played 10 or 15 minutes in total. Rasmussen went off for a little bit as well and those things don't help, but it's not like the old days where if you lost two you were down to 17 or 18 fit men. We have still been down to 19 or 20 men the last two weeks and whether that takes a toll two weeks in-a-row who knows, but it's not an excuse. It happened and we just need to deal with it. We don’t think that cost us the game. What cost us the game was not taking our opportunities to get further in front and then Swans went forward and kicked a lot better on goal.
Now looking to this Saturday, Petters should be back. He's been away with work and he gets back on Thursday. He has been up training with a side in Karratha and doing a running program. He is on a modified program anyway because of his knee issues so we don’t think that is a huge issue for him to be away for about a week and-a-half. We've known for ages he would have to go away for work and we planned his program accordingly. He should be back this week. Rasmussen just had a hyper-extension of his elbow so he should get up and Johnson being a cork with a nine-day break I will be really surprised if he doesn’t play.
As for our team this week against East Fremantle, we are still waiting to hear on Hutchy if he is playing or not. He would have to at least be in consideration at West Coast and then we have a few others we will look at. James Embley has been in good form, Mitch McPhee has been playing well in the twos and so has Batterham. Trent Manzone has played some good footy and was unlucky to be squeezed out last week so we think we have three or four blokes we can bring in if required. At this stage we don’t think there'll be wholesale changes. There might be a couple or possibly a third if we don’t have Hutchy.
BY BILL MONAGHAN

IT IS a big game for us this Saturday against East Fremantle at East Fremantle Oval with huge ramifications. We lost a game last week against a side who we are fighting for a final four position with and this week is no different.

We are both at 4-2 and it's a huge difference from being 5-2 or 4-3. We have to sit back and then watch another round of footy after the state with the bye and we could potentially overtaken by a couple of teams. If we don’t win this week, I would expect that by the time we play again we could be out of the four depending on other results.

Going back to our loss to Swan Districts on Anzac Day, our kicking was terrible all day both at goals and across the field. We kicked the ball poorly at times going in the forward 50 as well.

The game was in the balance at three quarter-time and I felt we had controlled large parts of the game. The patterns were fairly clear that we seemed to be doing a pretty good job in the first 15 minutes of the quarters and then they would chime in and kick a couple to even it up again. We were confident that we would run the game out and we probably had the first five or six of the first seven scoring shots of the last quarter and kicked 1.6 for the quarter.

If we took our opportunities we could have skipped out to a three or four-goal lead and you just don’t know what happens from there, but Swans kicked a couple of quick goals midway through the quarter and then our last 10 minutes was really disappointing. They kicked five goals in the last 15 minutes of the game to take us from being in front to a 28-point loss. We finished with 54 inside 50s to 44 for the game and I'm guessing that seeing as they kicked the last five goals, it was probably something like 53 to 37 at one stage so we had a significant differential there.

To not take advantage of that was not a good reward for our effort and in the end it took its toll. We are disappointed with the last 10 minutes in terms of our effort, but it probably didn’t deserve to be a 28-point ball game. I thought it was a pretty good game across the board. Both sides threw a lot at each other and it was fast-paced and entertaining. It was just disappointing that we went down in the end.

Matt Johnson was basically out of commission for us about 10 minutes into the game and whilst he came on for three or four bursts of a couple of minutes, he did that purely to give someone a rest. From about the 10-minute mark to half-time he didn’t go on at all and then played 10 or 15 minutes in total. Rasmussen went off for a little bit as well and those things don't help, but it's not like the old days where if you lost two you were down to 17 or 18 fit men. We have still been down to 19 or 20 men the last two weeks and whether that takes a toll two weeks in-a-row who knows, but it's not an excuse. It happened and we just need to deal with it. We don’t think that cost us the game. What cost us the game was not taking our opportunities to get further in front and then Swans went forward and kicked a lot better on goal.

Now looking to this Saturday, Petters should be back. He's been away with work and he gets back on Thursday. He has been up training with a side in Karratha and doing a running program. He is on a modified program anyway because of his knee issues so we don’t think that is a huge issue for him to be away for about a week and-a-half. We've known for ages he would have to go away for work and we planned his program accordingly. He should be back this week. Rasmussen just had a hyper-extension of his elbow so he should get up and Johnson being a cork with a nine-day break I will be really surprised if he doesn’t play.

As for our team this week against East Fremantle, we are still waiting to hear on Hutchy if he is playing or not. He would have to at least be in consideration at West Coast and then we have a few others we will look at. James Embley has been in good form, Mitch McPhee has been playing well in the twos and so has Batterham. Trent Manzone has played some good footy and was unlucky to be squeezed out last week so we think we have three or four blokes we can bring in if required. At this stage we don’t think there'll be wholesale changes. There might be a couple or possibly a third if we don’t have Hutchy.

BY BILL MONAGHAN

FALCONS LOSE MANNING TO KNEE INJURY

Thursday, May 2, 2013 - 6:13 AM

THE DEVASTATING run of serious knee injuries in the game has struck West Perth with versatile 21-year-old Kody Manning rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament at training this week cruelling ending his 2013 season.

Manning was involved in a relatively innocuous contest at training on Tuesday night with West Perth getting ready to take on East Fremantle at East Fremantle Oval this Saturday following the club's first two losses of 2013, but then he felt something go in his knee and scans have revealed the worst.

Manning has now played 29 games for the Falcons and was currently enjoying his best and most consistent season in a new role up forward where his primary job was to put on enormous pressure, but he also has bobbed up to kick five goals.

Coach Bill Monaghan has been delighted with how Manning was performing and was tremendously disappointed for him when the news came through that his season was over, but knows that anytime one door closes another one opens.

"He is still a young man, though, and I'm sure he will come back bigger and stronger from it. I'm really disappointed for him," Monaghan said.

"He has been playing his role extremely well and it's a really important role as that pressuring forward so we need to find someone else to jump up and do that for us this week.

"He will be sorely missed but it provides opportunity for other people and we will support Kody through as much as we can to make sure he gets all the right information and does all the right rehab to hopefully be ready to go for close to the start of next season."

Monaghan and most others out on the track at Arena Joondalup didn’t think that anything too serious was wrong when Manning did the damage to his knee at training.

There was no horrible twist or bend or motion to suggest that his ACL gave way, but once he got into the rooms the medical staff feared the worst and the coach and Manning's teammates knew once they saw him on crutches after training that the news was unlikely to be too positive.

"I didn’t see exactly what happened because I didn’t actually know he went off the track when he did that's how innocuous it was," Monaghan said.

"There was a bit of a ground ball he was going for with Anton Saylor I think it was and he turned sharply when he won possession of it, kicked the ball forward and then basically limped off. He said it didn’t feel right by the time he got to the change rooms and it blew up.

"By the time I came in he was on crutches and bandaged up with the physio and training staff pretty certain that it was going to be an ACL. It's really disappointing and it happened in nothing more than just a semi-competitive drill.

"He didn’t buckle to the ground or fall over or writhe in pain or all of that stuff. It was a really strange and a bit of a shock for us to see him limping around on crutches when we got off the track."

BY CHRIS PIKE

FALCONS WIN THE BATTLES BUT NOT THE WAR

Monday, April 29, 2013 - 2:23 AM

West Perth won most of the battles but not the war in the match against Swan Districts at the Arena on ANZAC Day.

The pattern of play for each quarter saw the Falcons control the early part of each term but not take advantage of their opportunities. Swans would then make the most of their chances late in the term to stay in the game and eventually run away with it in the last quarter.

The Falcons were quickly out of the blocks and led by eight after four minutes. The goal went to exciting youngster Matthew Johnson who goaled on the run from fifty. Unfortunately he was injured shortly after and had little game time from this point on. Swans hit back with the next two including one to promising youngster Nathan Blakely and key forward Tim Geappen. West Perth regained the lead when Anthony Tsalikis finished from the square after some good work from Marc Crisp. Tim Geappen hit back shortly after with his second before Kody Manning intercepted a kick out of defence to score from thirty. This gave the Falcons back the lead and at the first change they led 3.5 (23) to 3.3 (21).

The second quarter was a tight and physical contest. West Perth took their lead out to fifteen after six minutes by scoring the first two goals. These were to be their only goals for the quarter. The first went to Jay Van Berlo who finished from forty five after receiving a Chris Keunen pass. Steven Browne and Jay Van Berlo then combined to get the ball into the hands of Frank Stockley who marked and goaled from fifty. There wasn’t another score for twelve minutes but it was Swans who finished the term with three majors and at the main change they led by two points; 6.3 (39) to 5.7 (37).

The game trend continued in the third quarter and the Falcons controlled play to lead by eleven at the eighteen minute mark. Swans had only one scoring shot in this time so it was fair to say that West Perth did not make the most of their opportunities. The two goals went to “Slick” who kicked his second and busy forward Josh Mellington who scored from forty five after receiving a free kick. As was the case all game the hard work was undone when Swans kicked the last two goals of the quarter to take a one point lead into the final change. It was hard to fathom how West Perth could trail after controlling so much of the play. Delivery into the forward line was a problem. Scores were Swans 9.5 (59) to West Perth 8.10 (58).

Once again West Perth were into stride quickly having the first four scoring shots of the quarter but they only managed to take their lead to eight. When Josh Mellington kicked his third after one minute of the final quarter West Perth supporters would not have expected it to be their last for the game, but it was. The Black Ducks piled on six goals to run out twenty eight point winners; 15.8 (98) to 9.16 (70). It was an uncharacteristic finish to the game by West Perth who have finished all games strongly this year. The run of Swans young gun, Dayle Garlett, was a turning point of the game.

The game against East Fremantle next week has now become crucial in the context of the season. There is no doubt that at their best West Perth are capable of beating the premiership fancy. The intensity has been there but the finishing has not. Best for West Perth were Andrew Strijk, Mark Hutchings, Kody Manning, Jordan Jones and best was Jay Van Berlo. The Reserves suffered a disappointing loss after being five goals in front at half time. Best players included Kris Shannon, Brayden Antonio, Trent Manzone and James Batterham. Congratulations to the Colts who gutsed out a one goal victory against their opposition. See you at Shark Park next week.


BY DARRELL KENT

PHOTOS BY BELINDA TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY

FALCONS CAN'T QUITE FINISH JOB ON ANZAC DAY

Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 12:51 PM

WEST Perth couldn’t quite finish the job on Anzac Day against Swan Districts with the black-and-whites running over the top winning by 28 points at Arena Joondalup.

A healthy crowd of 2695 turned out to watch the Falcons and Swans commemorate Anzac Day and despite the Falcons leading by eight points at the 10-minute mark of the last quarter, Swan Districts showed no signs of fatigue after playing in the wet in Mandurah on Sunday and losing.

Swans kicked the last six goals of the game to end up winning 15.8 (98) to 9.16 (70).

The result means that West Perth has now lost two straight games after starting the season with four consecutive victories heading into next Saturday's clash with the also 4-2 East Fremantle at East Fremantle Oval.

West Perth had its chances, but kicked 1.6 in the last quarter while Swans capitalised on their opportunities in front of goal. The Falcons finished with 25 scoring shots to 23 and 54 inside-50 entries to 44, but it didn’t quite pay off on the scoreboard.

Fremantle's Josh Mellington kicked three goals for West Perth after he missed last week's game against Claremont. Anthony Tsalikis was the only other multiple goal scorer with two.

Emerging Falcons midfielder Shane Nelson continued his outstanding form finishing with 35 possessions, nine marks, four tackles and four inside-50 entries.

Jay van Berlo also worked tirelessly for the Falcons with 30 disposals, seven marks, four inside 50s and a goal.

Mark Hutchings also picked up 28 possessions, Aaron Black 26, Steven Browne 23, Jordan Jones 22, Andrew Strijk 20, Matt Guadagnin 17, Ray Bartholomew 17 and Kody Manning 17.

Frank Stockley made a solid contribution in his first league game of the season as well finishing with 12 touches, 11 hit outs and a goal.

Following the league game, the colts took to Arena Joondalup with West Perth hitting back from last week's annihilation at the hands of Claremont to beat Swan Districts 11.11 (77) to 10.11 (71) in a terrific performance.

Blake Acres kicked three goals for the Falcons with Tyson Moulton and Kyle Egan adding two apiece. Acres also picked up 28 possessions to top off his best on ground display with William Michell finishing with 23 disposals, Tom Shadbolt 17, Luke Meadows 17 and Tom Wells 16.

Meanwhile earlier, Swan Districts reserves prevailed over West Perth 16.10 (106) to 12.6 (78). 

Corey Chalmers kicked three goals for the Falcons with Mitchell McPhee, Matt Fowler and Trent Manzone all booting two apiece. Manzone also picked up 25 disposals, Brayden Antonio 25, Kris Shannon 20, Jack Thrum 19, Alex Elisseou 17, James Batterham 16 and James Embley 16.

WEST PERTH                                                      3.5          5.7          8.10        9.16        (70)

SWAN DISTRICTS                                             3.3          6.3          9.5          15.8        (98)

WEST PERTH – Goals: Mellington 3; Tsalikis 2; Manning, Stockley, van Berlo, Johnson.

Best: Nelson, van Berlo, Black, Hutchings, Jones, Browne, Mellington.

SWAN DISTRICTS – Goals: Geappen, Notte, Blakely 3; Garlett 2; Miles, Ugle, Davis, Cameron.

Best: Garlett, Hildebrandt, Hams, Jetta, Twomey, Simpson, Robinson, Lammie.

BY CHRIS PIKE

ROUND 7 ANZAC DAY PREVIEW V SWAN DISTRICTS

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 8:12 PM

WEST Perth hosts perhaps its fiercest recent rival on ANZAC Day when Swan Districts comes to Arena Joondalup on Thursday with both teams desperate to return to the winner's list.
West Perth and Swan Districts have played off in some incredible battles in recent years and on the occasion of ANZAC Day, this week's first meeting of the 2013 season could very well produce something special as well.
The Falcons started the season so impressively with four straight wins over East Perth, Subiaco, South Fremantle and Peel Thunder before going down narrowly by 19 points in last week's top-of-the-table clash against Claremont at Claremont Oval.
However, West Perth went into that game without captain Jason Salecic, experienced defender Dan Hunt, Fremantle's Josh Mellington and young forward Matt Johnson while losing Joe Morrow (ankle) and Laine Rasmussen (concussion) in the first half as well.
This week to take on Swan Districts, Salecic isn’t right to return after re-injuring his hamstring as the runner last week but Hunt, Mellington and Johnson are all back for the Falcons.
Midfielder James Embley is a chance to make his debut for West Perth against his former side after crossing to the Falcons from Swan Districts, where he played 17 games, over summer.
Shaun Marusic is also a chance to make his debut after some impressive form in the reserves for the Falcons.
Frank Stockley looks set to make his first appearance in the league side for the season to help out Chris Keunen in the ruck.
While Hunt returns to add further experience to the Falcons' defensive unit, another experienced player goes out in Michael Pettigrew while Morrow is out as well with his ankle injury.
The West Perth Football Club will also be doing a tremendous job of commemorating ANZAC Day at Arena Joondalup.
West Perth's oldest living member Doug Lind will be on hand to toss the coin between the two captains while Len Harman will read the Ode in the pre-match ceremony with all war veterans in attendance.
Other premiership players attending include Simpson Medallist Christian Kelly, Ron Skender, Glen Britten and Wally Price.
The president's lunch is sold out with John Duckworth to speak and with in excess of 3000 people expected to attend Arena Joondalup, make sure you get there early.
BY CHRIS PIKE

WEST Perth hosts perhaps its fiercest recent rival on ANZAC Day when Swan Districts comes to Arena Joondalup on Thursday with both teams desperate to return to the winner's list.

West Perth and Swan Districts have played off in some incredible battles in recent years and on the occasion of ANZAC Day, this week's first meeting of the 2013 season could very well produce something special as well.

The Falcons started the season so impressively with four straight wins over East Perth, Subiaco, South Fremantle and Peel Thunder before going down narrowly by 19 points in last week's top-of-the-table clash against Claremont at Claremont Oval.

However, West Perth went into that game without captain Jason Salecic, experienced defender Dan Hunt, Fremantle's Josh Mellington and young forward Matt Johnson while losing Joe Morrow (ankle) and Laine Rasmussen (concussion) in the first half as well.

This week to take on Swan Districts, Salecic isn’t right to return after re-injuring his hamstring as the runner last week but Hunt, Mellington and Johnson are all back for the Falcons.

Midfielder James Embley is a chance to make his debut for West Perth against his former side after crossing to the Falcons from Swan Districts, where he played 17 games, over summer.

Shaun Marusic is also a chance to make his debut after some impressive form in the reserves for the Falcons.

Frank Stockley looks set to make his first appearance in the league side for the season to help out Chris Keunen in the ruck.

While Hunt returns to add further experience to the Falcons' defensive unit, another experienced player goes out in Michael Pettigrew while Morrow is out as well with his ankle injury.

The West Perth Football Club will also be doing a tremendous job of commemorating ANZAC Day at Arena Joondalup.

West Perth's oldest living member Doug Lind will be on hand to toss the coin between the two captains while Len Harman will read the Ode in the pre-match ceremony with all war veterans in attendance.

Other premiership players attending include Simpson Medallist Christian Kelly, Ron Skender, Glen Britten and Wally Price.

The president's lunch is sold out with John Duckworth to speak and with in excess of 3000 people expected to attend Arena Joondalup, make sure you get there early.

BY CHRIS PIKE

HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY VERA

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 - 11:53 PM

THE West Perth Football Club recently acknowledged the 100th birthday of perhaps the Falcons' longest-serving supporter, Vera Rosich.

To celebrate her 100th birthday, Vera was treated to lunch at Parliament House and the following letter from West Perth President Brett Raponi was read and presented:

Dear Vera,

Happy Birthday, 100 years old yesterday.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, Administration, Coaches and Players at West Perth Football Club, I congratulate you on achieving this significant milestone.

This is a great achievement from one of our staunchest and quite possibly our oldest living supporter.

Vera you have seen many things in your lifetime but I am sure the pleasure of seeing West Perth win 14 of our 18 premierships has given you as much pleasure as anything else in your wonderful life.

Your heart really must beat true because I am sure this is what has sustained you for 100 years.

Remember 'It's a Grand Old Flag' and we wish you and your family well on this wonderful occasion.

Yours faithfully

Brett Raponi

President



PRICE IS RIGHT FOR CARDINALS

Monday, April 22, 2013 - 4:15 AM

By his initials it would seem that Wally Price was born to play with West Perth. In fact, he was born of £10 English immigrants at Margaret River in 1926.

Given his ancestry, it is little wonder the 86-year-old Price last year came out in strong support of West Perth’s controversial decision to incorporate the UK flag into its jumper for the WAFL’s international round.

Price was a back-pocket expert. Scrupulously fair, he nevertheless relished the big occasion games in which physical clashes were more common.

He was not one to let the heat of the moment distract him from his essential duties: stopping his direct opponent from scoring and clearing the ball from danger.

To the amazement of commentators, he was not selected for WA in the 1948 ANFC carnival. It was not until the 1952 season that the state selectors agreed with every other WA football fan.

Thereafter Price was a fixture in the state side where he was called on to mind the likes of Charlie Sutton and Bill Hutchison, declaring the latter his most elusive opponent.

Price’s combination with full-back Ray Schofield, both for West Perth and for WA, was almost psychic.

Price claimed it was instinct, based on knowing each other’s game rather than any deliberate planning.

One of their finest efforts was in the 1951 Grand Final. West Perth (then the Cardinals, now the Falcons) led by 17 points at three-quarter time, but a strong wind favoured its opponent, South Fremantle, in the last quarter.

As South Fremantle mounted attack after attack, Price and Schofield led the resistance, but they could not repel them all and South crept closer and closer.

With two minutes left, West Perth was just three points ahead. In a furious finish, the defensive skills of Price and others saw the Cardinals hang on for the flag.

If you saw Price once or twice a year, you would think him a lucky player; he was always where the ball was and the bounce always seemed to favour him.

If you saw him every game, you realised the sublime skills of anticipation, reading the play and fast reactions were underpinning his possessions.

Football was not Price’s only sporting skill. Like several other WA footballers, he loved the water. In 1945-46, he was the senior surf champion at the Scarborough Surf Club.

Price played 256 games for West Perth and was selected in its Team of the Century.

COURTESY OF THE AFL RECORD