EAST Perth rebounded from their loss to West Perth to resume their season-best form of 2021 to overpower Perth by eight points at Mineral Resources Park on Saturday.
The Royals had won consecutive matches for the first time of the season before last week's five-goal derby loss to the Falcons.
But East Perth did kick the only five goals of the last quarter in that loss and brought that momentum with them to Lathlain on Saturday in a game both teams needed to win to keep their slim finals prospects alive.
After a tight opening quarter with two goals apiece, East Perth took over in the second quarter with five goals to one and that was enough to set up the eventual 11.12 (78) to 10.9 (69) victory despite the late charge from Perth that provided a fright.
The result means that East Perth has now won three of its past four matches to improve to a 4-8 record on the season while the Demons hold the same record but with a lower percentage and to now be on a concerning five-match losing streak.
It was a tight contest from the get-go, with the teams both sitting on 2.3 by quarter-time.
It was the Royals who commanded the game, though, coming out with strength and intensity laying several tackles in the opening term, a statistic they sit bottom of the league for.
Pushing numbers forward, the side kicked truly to ensure a brief 11-point lead that was soon responded to by the Redlegs proving the game to be in anyone’s hands.
Heavy pressure continued into the second term, as an end to end game saw teams scoring one for one leaving neither side with a chance to breathe.
The Royals proved the late beneficiaries, with a soccer punt goal off the boot of ruckman Scott Jones who proved his versatility around the field, leading the hit-outs 22-12.
The lucky score was backed by two unanswered majors from Shayne Hille and Angus Schumacher, leaving Perth under the pump with a 25-point deficit heading into the second half.
The Royals reign continued in the third term with another three goals to extend their lead, the Demons attempting to bridge the gap with two goals of their own and a dominant run in possession but it was a late snap from Jackson Ramsay that ensured East Perth claimed the quarter.
Despite the sizeable difference heading into the final term, it was a redeeming quarter for the Demons who won the scoring with five goals.
The late flurry of goals tightened the gap to just seven points the difference, in what many considered a write-off win for the Royals at the beginning of the quarter.
Try as they might it was the few spare behinds the Royals kept in their back pocket that cleared them for the win, beating out the home side by nine points spurring themselves on to face the Eagles Reserves next week.
SEA OF BLUE
East Perth dominated as the ultimate ball winners of the day with players taking the top five disposal getters of the match. Rohan Kerr led the pack with an impressive 41 disposals followed closely by Schumacher and Angus Scott (33), Jackson Ramsay (30) and Aidan Lynch (28).
'MACHER MAKES THE MATCH
There is no doubt Angus Schumacher pushed the Royals to victory in what was a standout performance of the day. The half-back made a statement kicking his first two majors of the season along with 33 disposals, 18 kicks and five marks.
OPTUS WAFL PREMIERSHIP SEASON – ROUND 15
PERTH 2.3 3.5 5.7 10.9 (69)
EAST PERTH 2.3 7.6 10.7 11.12 (78)
PERTH: Goals – Sinclair, Clark 2; Byrne, Browne, Cary, Rogers, Davis, Giblett.
Best – Taylor, Grey, Davis, Browne, Byrne, Reid, Avery, Coniglio.
EAST PERTH: Goals – Schumacher, Simpson 2; Ramsay, Hille, Young, Lynch, Edwards-Baldwin, Robertson, Jones.
Best – Schumacher, Kerr, Scott, Ramsay, Lynch, Jones, Ameduri, Willcocks.