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Perth snaps Falcons Hoodoo

Monday, May 31, 2021 - 9:37 AM by Charlie McCormack

THE longest losing streak by one club against another in the WAFL is over after Perth snapped a 19-game run of outs to West Perth at Provident Financial Oval on Saturday with a 10-point win over the Falcons.

The Demons travelled north after upsetting reigning premiers South Fremantle last week despite the absence of a bevy of key, experienced players, and played with the same grit and intensity to record a gutsy 7.6 (48) to 5.8 (38) victory to break the hoodoo and leapfrog the Falcons on the ladder.

Perth was still without those experienced players once again and even lost Clayton Giblett for the trip to take on West Perth who would have been the match up for State full-forward Tyler Keitel, but still the Demons wouldn’t be denied.

Perth had plenty of contributors across the ground, with midfielder Corey Byrne superb with 30 disposals and a goal, while Matthew Taylor continued his prolific form with another 29 disposals off half back. 

For the Falcons, skipper Aaron Black lead from the front with 32 disposals while Noah Pegoraro and Zac Guadagnin were solid in the back-line.

It was a tight opening quarter in Joondalup, with the hosts managing to eke out a slender four-point advantage as both sides grappled for the ascendancy. 

Kristian Cary continued his excellent form for the Demons, playing as the major focal point up forward and registering all of Perth’s score in the first quarter.  

The arm-wrestle would continue in the second term, with Perth gaining an advantage in territory from which they would hit the front midway through the quarter through an excellent contested mark and goal from Byrne. 

But the Falcons would snatch the lead back just before the long break when crafty small forward Keegan Knott got on the end of a Rudy Riddoch torpedo to nab his first goal and give the home side a three-point advantage. 

The sides traded goals to open the second half, before a quick snap out of the pack from Sam Stubbs gave the Demons a nine-point lead midway through the quarter. 

Knott would reply with a crumbing goal, but the visitors would head to the final change leading by six points after stand-in skipper Matthew Rogers goaded in the shadows of three quarter-time. 

Regan Clarke would kick the crucial first goal of the last term with a polished finish on the run to give Perth a 10-point buffer before a torrential downpour set in, making any chance of a Falcons comeback all the more difficult. 

After the sudden shower, the Demons would never be seriously threatened as they held West Perth goalless for the quarter to round out a plucky victory on the road.

It may not have been the highest scoring of games at Provident Financial Oval, but the football purist would have relished the intensity and contested nature of the clash. Every disposal was hard earned in the slippery conditions as bodies flew in and around the contest in a match where the margin never exceeded 10 points. 

Coming into the round, no player had recorded more disposals in the WAFL then West Perth gun Shane Nelson, who entered the match averaging more than 33 touches per game. But the triple fairest and best was unusually subdued, managing just 18 disposals after being closely watched by 19 year-old Demon Regan Clarke. The negating of Nelson was pivotal in Perth edging the midfield battle, with the Demons winning the inside 50 count 48-39 and giving their forwards enough supply to kick a winning score. 


WEST PERTH        2.0    3.2    5.6    5.8 (38)
PERTH            1.2    2.5    6.6    7.6 (48)

WEST PERTH: Goals – Knott 2; Antonio, Peirce, Keitel.
Best – Hobley, Guadagnin, Black, Pegoraro, West.
PERTH: Goals – Cary 2; Byrne, Clarke, McPartland, Rogers, Stubbs.
Best – Taylor, Byrne, Clarke, Fisher, Browne, Edmonds, Cary, Eyres