Round 3 Match Report – West Perth v South FremantleTuesday, April 17, 2018 - 10:08 AM - by Chris Pike
WEST Perth started strongly against South Fremantle at HBF Arena on Sunday but couldn't quite keep it going with the Bulldogs continuing their recent dominance of the Falcons claiming the eight-point victory.
West Perth was attempting to snap a six-game losing run against South Fremantle and got off to the ideal start with five goals to one in the opening quarter to be 24 points to the good by quarter-time.
But the Bulldogs kicked four goals in the opening nine minutes of the second quarter to claim the lead and from there it was a seesawing contest the rest of the way.
South Fremantle led by a point by half-time and then there were seven lead changes alone in the third quarter before West Perth finished it with an eight-point lead.
The Falcons were still nine points up when Tyler Keitel kicked his third goal at the nine-minute of the final quarter. But the Bulldogs kicked the game's last three goals, including Haiden Schloithe's fourth on the siren, to claim the 15.6 (96) to 13.10 (88) victory.
South Fremantle has now won seven straight matches against West Perth as a result of the win.
The Bulldogs also continued to enjoy their trips to HBF Arena. They have now won 18 of their 27 appearances at the Joondalup venue including seven of the last eight as a result of the eight-point victory.
West Perth has now lost its past two matches since beating Claremont at home in the opening round.
South Fremantle had the bye in Round 1 before losing to Subiaco by 58 points at Fremantle Community Bank Oval in Round 2 so after making the past two preliminary finals, they are now on the board in 2018.
Sandover Medallist Haiden Schloithe proved the difference between the two teams with his ability to handle the ball cleanly, avoid being tackled and then his use of the ball was a class above than just about all the other 43 players on the field.
Schloithe finished with 28 possessions, five marks, five tackles, three inside-50 entries and four goals in a performance reminiscent of what he delivered in 2017 on the way to the Sandover Medal and club fairest and best award.
Ashton Hams spent most of his time forward for South Fremantle and kicked three goals to go with 18 touches and six marks while Ben Saunders also kicked three goals from seven kicks in a good battle with West Perth's Jordan Mills.
Blaine Johnson and Matthew Parker had their moments in attack for the Bulldogs too, booting two goals each.
Shane Hockey racked up 29 possessions to go with nine marks in the midfield for South Fremantle with Nick Suban gathering 22 disposals, Ryan Cook 22 and captain Dylan Main 18 to go with eight marks and four tackles.
Steven Edwards gave good drive for the Bulldogs off half-back with 18 possessions and eight marks with Blayne Wilson finishing with 18 disposals, five marks and five tackles.
South Fremantle was down a man early when Jarrod Parry injured an ankle while Tom Vandeleur struggled through the second half too.
Tyler Keitel had made a slow start in attack for West Perth with just the one goal in the opening two games but he had a better performance on Sunday with three goals from 18 possessions and eight marks.
Former skipper Jay van Berlo also kicked two goals to go with 17 disposals and five marks with Rudy Riddoch kicking two majors as well.
Triple Breckler Medal winner Shane Nelson continued his prolific ball winning form with another 41 possessions and seven marks for West Perth with captain Aaron Black also compiling 32 disposals and 10 marks.
Andrew Strijk was important again off half-back for the Falcons with 25 possessions and eight marks while Mark Hamilton had a good duel with Mason Shaw at centre half-back, ending the day with 18 touches and eight marks.
Corey Chalmers picked up 19 possessions for the Falcons, Trent Manzone 17, Luke Meadows 16 and ruckman Chris Keunen 16 to go with six marks and 24 hit outs.
It was a hot start by the Falcons started with a goal to Rudy Riddoch to get the ball rolling. By the time Tyler Keitel also kicked truly and Riddoch added a second using the outside of his right boot to checkside it home, the Falcons were up by those three goals.
South Fremantle got its only major of the first term thanks to Blaine Johnson, but West Perth responded through Keegan Knott and then Kody Manning to lead by 24 points at the first change.
Knott's effort was a spectacular snap from the boundary after having to jump the fence following taking the mark while Manning delivered a trademark effort bursting through defenders to kick truly on the run.
South Fremantle had some work to do by quarter-time but responded in the best possible way with goals to Ashton Hams, Haiden Schloithe, Hams again and then Matthew Parker in the opening minutes of the second term to claim a one-point lead.
The Bulldogs still managed to lead by a point heading into half-time before West Perth regained the lead to open the second half when Trent Manzone kicked truly inside 45 seconds. The Falcons' advantage was then 12 points when Luke Meadows goaled as well.
But South Fremantle answered with three goals in five minutes to Ben Saunders, Parker and Schloithe to be up by five points again at the 13-minute mark.
It was then goal for goal the rest of the third term as the lead continued to change hands. Conal Lynch, Jay van Berlo and Keitel all put West Perth back in front after South Fremantle goals to Johnson and Saunders.
But a goal on the siren for the Falcons to van Berlo put the home team eight points up. They regained a nine-point advantage with Keitel kicking his third at the nine-minute mark of the last quarter too.
But South Fremantle responded with goals to Saunders and Mason Shaw, before Schloithe sealed the win on the siren with the Sandover Medallist booting his fourth of the day.
The day started on Sunday at HBF Arena with a thrilling reserves contest with West Perth ending up winning 12.6 (78) to 10.16 (76).
South Fremantle got on top through the second and third quarters before appearing to have opened up a match-winning lead halfway through the final quarter.
But West Perth kept coming and with a five-goal last term capped off with Mitch Antonio goaling after the siren when he marked in the goal square, they stormed home for the two-point victory.
Michael Lourey kicked four goals for West Perth to go with 18 possessions and eight marks. Mitch Antonio finished with three goals and Kurt Hindmarsh two.
Connor West continued to put his hand up for a league debut with the Falcons with 29 possessions and eight marks.
Brayden Antonio also gathered 24 disposals, Max Alexander 24, Mitch Peirce 22, Baylee James 21 and Scott Nelson 21.
Brandon Donaldson kicked two goals for South Fremantle to go with 22 possessions and five marks.
Kyle Russell finished with 23 disposals as well for the Bulldogs, Jake Florenca 23, Zac Dent 21, Trent Reed 21, Josh Collard 20, Travis Abbott 19 and Daniel Cabassi 19.
West Perth will now try to bounce back on Saturday in the now annual fixture to commemorate Anzac Day against Swan Districts at Steel Blue Oval. That's a Swans team who won their opening two games of 2018 before a 96-loss at the hands of Subiaco.
South Fremantle will try to string consecutive wins together against East Fremantle at East Fremantle Oval in the now annual Anzac Day Derby. The Bulldogs have won on their last eight appearances at Shark Park.
WEST PERTH 5.2 6.3 12.7 13.10 (88)
SOUTH FREMANTLE 1.2 6.4 11.5 15.6 (96)
WEST PERTH – Goals: Keitel 3; van Berlo, Riddoch 2; Meadows, Manzone, Lynch, Knott, Moulton, Manning.
Best: Nelson, Black, Strijk, Hamilton, Keunen, Keitel, Shannon.
SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Schloithe 4; Saunders, Hams 3; Johnson, Parker 2; Shaw.
Best: Schloithe, Hockey, Suban, Cook, Hams, Parker, Edwards, Wilson.