Fal­cons’ stun­ning turn­around

Wanneroo Times - - WAFL -

WEST Perth staged a re­mark­able turn­around against South Fre­man­tle at Fre­man­tle Oval to progress to the WAFL Grand Fi­nal against Su­bi­aco this week­end.

The 26-point vic­tory comes just two weeks af­ter a hu­mil­i­at­ing 98-point loss to South Fre­man­tle at the same ground in the Qual­i­fy­ing Fi­nal.

An­drew Strijk (four goals), mid­field­ers Luke Mead­ows, Aaron Black, Shane Nel­son and key for­ward Tyler Kei­tel all stepped up to pro­duce one of the most stun­ning form­re­ver­sals in the game.

West Perth now faces the daunt­ing chal­lenge of tack­ling the un­beaten Su­bi­aco in the grand fi­nal on Sun­day at Op­tus Sta­dium.

South Fre­man­tle faces some soul-search­ing af­ter be­ing bun­dled out of the premier­ship race in three con­sec­u­tive pre­lim­i­nary fi­nals.

West Perth clearly hurt at the loss two weeks ago, but learnt some im­por­tant lessons on how to mod­ify their per­for­mance to shut down the run of the Bull­dogs.

The 15.7 (97) to 9.17 (71) vic­tory came as a re­sult of a greatly im­proved sys­tem into at­tack and des­per­ate tack­ling pres­sure from the Fal­cons.

A four goal to one open­ing term and ex­treme pres­sure when­ever the Bull­dogs got near the ball set the tone for the Fal­cons and stunned the home side, giv­ing the vis­i­tors a 19-point lead at quar­ter-time.

An im­pres­sive se­cond quar­ter fol­lowed, with another five goals while man­ag­ing to keep the shell­shocked Bull­dogs to another soli­tary goal for the term, ex­tend­ing the mar­gin to 41 points at the main break.

South Fre­man­tle came hard at West Perth af­ter the break and man­aged to outscore them in the third term and re­duce the mar­gin to 29 points at the fi­nal change, but it was al­ways go­ing to be dif­fi­cult from there.

The Bull­dogs threw ev­ery­thing at West Perth in the fi­nal term but in­ac­cu­racy hurt them as they missed many op­por­tu­ni­ties, scor­ing three goals and nine points for the term while West Perth man­aged four goals straight.

The Fal­cons’ win and pro­gres­sion to the grand fi­nal is all the more mer­i­to­ri­ous given the sig­nif­i­cant off-field pres­sures of the past few months which saw the club en­ter ad­min­is­tra­tion.

In the Re­serves, Su­bi­aco en­sured a clean sweep of ap­pear­ances with an em­phatic seven-goal vic­tory over Clare­mont, set­ting up a se­cond semi-fi­nal re­play next week against East Perth.

Outscor­ing Clare­mont in every quar­ter af­ter a four-goal open­ing term, Su­bi­aco dom­i­nated pro­ceed­ings with their 11.14 (80) to 5.8 (38) win.

Swan Dis­tricts Colts have also pro­gressed to the grand fi­nal to face Su­bi­aco fol­low­ing a hard-fought 22point vic­tory over Peel Thun­der, 10.12 (72) to 7.8 (50).

Swans led all day and even­tu­ally pulled away in an im­pres­sive third quar­ter, with a clin­i­cal and con­sis­tent per­for­mance all game.

All three grand fi­nals can be heard live on the Footy Ra­dio Face­book page from 9am Sun­day.

A rap­tur­ous West Perth were too tena­cious for South Fre­man­tle.

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