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Round 22 report

Tuesday, September 7, 2021 - 9:31 AM by Charlie McCormack

WEST Perth overcame an early scare to deliver a dominant second half to beat a plucky Perth for the 20th time in the last 21 attempts by 50 points at Mineral Resources Park.

It has been a season to forget for Perth on the back of their drought breaking finals appearance of 2020, ironically which was ended at the hands of West Perth.

The highlight of the season for the Demons was the end of their 19-game losing streak against West Perth, but they hadn’t won since having lost 10 in-a-row coming into their last game of 2021 on Saturday against West Perth.

The Falcons had found brilliant form since that last loss to Perth and were even still an outside chance of a top three finish to earn a finals double chance going into Saturday's clash should either Claremont or South Fremantle lose.

But West Perth had to win themselves and that didn’t look to be a formality with Perth starting the contest in encouraging fashion.

Perth kicked the first two goals of the game and were again up by 16 points midway through the second term. But West Perth was able to start kicking accurately and turned the tide to kick the game's next 12 goals to set up the 17.13 (115) to 10.5 (65).

The loss ends Perht's season at 4-14 with 11 straight losses while West Perth finishes fourth at 12-6 to now host Swan Districts in an elimination final next Sunday at Provident Financial Oval.

With club stalwarts Christian Eyres and Brant Colledge playing their final league games, the Demons played with plenty of pride but were ultimately outclassed by a West Perth side that will have their sights set on a big finals campaign. 

West Perth skipper Aaron Black led from the front with 33 disposals and 10 marks, while Trent Manzone (34 disposals) and Shane Nelson (25, two goals) were also prolific, with the latter working through a tag from Brodie Gray to have another excellent game.

Up forward, Sasha Kernutt booted four goals in a career-best display to show he can be another threat in the Falcons forward-line which already includes stars like Tyler Keitel, Keegan Knott and Rudy Riddoch. 

For Perth, Brady Grey worked hard to gather 26 disposals while Austin Davis (23 disposals and a goal) capped off his impressive season with another strong game.

Perth came into the clash with nothing to lose and made a strong start, moving the ball well to kick the first two majors through Fraser McInnes and Clayton Giblett as they went to quarter-time with a four-point lead.

The game opened up in a free-flowing second term, with the Demons stretching out to a 16-point advantage midway through the quarter after responding to two Falcons majors with a four-goal burst.

That was headlined by a remarkable goal from Mitchell Browne, who somehow managed to thread a left foot snap from deep in the pocket despite there being no daylight between the goals. 

But the Falcons quickly quelled the Perth momentum, and found some for themselves as they booted three goals before half-time to wrestle back the lead at the main break. 

The scoring dried up to start the second half as the Falcons began to edge on top in the midfield battle and the young Demons defence held on grimly.

The pressure would finally tell after 15 minutes when Shane Nelson profited from a defensive turnover to kick his second goal before the Falcons piled on three more majors to establish a commanding 31-point buffer at the final change. 

That margin would prove far too great for the Demons to overcome, as the Falcons ran away with the contest in the final term to secure the victory that will lock in a home elimination final for them against Swan Districts. 


In a glimpse to the future for Perth supporters, coach Garry Moss gave some of his inexperienced players some huge jobs on some West Perth stars and the youngsters performed admirably. Teenage defender Jack Avery had the matchup on Bernie Naylor Medallist Tyler Keitel and battled manfully all afternoon, keeping Keitel to just two goals while contributing with 15 disposals himself. Fifth gamer Tarkyn Brogan Henry was tasked on crafty small forward Keegan Knott and accounted himself well while Brodie Gray was tagging four-time fairest and best Shane Nelson, and despite Nelson’s influence, he stuck to the job, laying nine tackles. Despite an 11th successive loss, the experience playing on some of the competition’s best players should hold the young Demons players in good stead for future years.


PERTH                3.3    7.4    7.5    10.5 (65)
WEST PERTH            2.5    7.7    11.12    17.13 (115)

PERTH: Goals – Cary, Giblett, Steel 2; Browne, Stubbs, Davis, McInnes.
Best – Grey, McInnes, Davis, Byrne, Cary, Avery, Sinclair.
WEST PERTH: Goals – Kernutt 4; Knott, Shane Nelson, Lynch, Keitel 2; Antonio, O'Donnell, Potente, Riddoch, Hamilton.
Best – Manzone, Shane Nelson, Black, Kernutt, Lynch, Wilhelm, Potente, Hobley.