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LIONS HOLD OFF FALCONS IN WET INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL FESTIVAL

Monday, July 3, 2017 - 6:58 PM by Chris Pike
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THE weather might have put a halt on a lot of the International Football Festival celebrations but it created a tough and brutal affair between West Perth and Subiaco at HBF Arena with the Lions prevailing by 11 points.
 
The conditions that greeted both clubs at HBF Arena might have dampened the attendance and the celebrations for the annual International Football Festival, but it did set the scene for what was always going to be a tight, physical and tense affair between two strong rivals.
 
With rain constantly falling throughout the game and large puddles taking up chunks of the HBF Arena surface, playing any sort of attacking and free-flowing football became impossible. Winning the contested ball and gaining territory any way possible became the name of the game.
 
Subiaco did open an 18-point lead by early in the third quarter and was on top for virtually all the last three quarters, but West Perth never gave up and was within five points late in the contest.
 
But the Lions held strong to come away with the 6.11 (47) to 4.12 (36) victory.
 
Subiaco has now won 12 straight matches since losing to South Fremantle in Round 1 with the Lions moving further clear in top spot.
 
It's a third consecutive loss for West Perth but the Falcons remain in fifth position with a 7-6 record.
 
Luke Meadows worked tirelessly in the midfield for West Perth collecting an equal game-high 28 possessions to go with six tackles.
 
Aidan Lynch made the most of his recall to the league side with an impressive 20 disposals, 12 tackles and an important goal.
 
Kody Manning had a fascinating duel at full-back on Liam Ryan. Manning finished with 19 possessions and six tackles with Ryan kicking two goals from his 10 disposals.
 
Trent Manzone also picked up 21 possessions for the Falcons, Blake Wilhelm 20 and Scott Simpson 17 to go with 31 hit outs and six entries inside the forward 50.
 
Andrew Strijk kicked two of West Perth's four goals for the game to go with 14 possessions and five tackles.
 
Scott Nelson had a strong game down back holding his former colts teammate Liam Baker scoreless and to four kicks while having eight kicks himself including the first goal of his league career.
 
West Perth started strongly in the torrential conditions with the opening five scoring shots of the game. Four of those were behinds before Strijk kicked truly with a clever snap out of congestion to the put the Falcons 10 points up after 12 minutes.
 
Subiaco responded just three minutes later with a goal to Ryan and that would be the last of the goals for the opening term with West Perth up by three points at quarter-time.
 
The conditions certainly were making it difficult for any team to get momentum and with the puddles throughout the ground, even gaining territory was increasingly challenging with the ball going nowhere.
 
But Subiaco managed the only two goals of the second quarter, both courtesy of Corey Adamson who got forward from half-back. The state representative from earlier this year ensured the Lions went into half-time with a 12-point advantage having held West Perth to one goal.
 
Subiaco's lead then appeared a match-winning one in the conditions with a goal to Ben Sokol to open the third term with the Lions leading by 18 points. 
 
But when Strijk added his second, West Perth was back in the contest within two goals and when Scott Nelson earned a holding the ball free-kick against Baker, and he went back to kick his first career goal, the Falcons were within four points.
 
Subiaco's lead was back to seven points by three quarter-time and then 14 when big man Adam Creeper kicked truly eight minutes into the last quarter. 
 
West Perth wouldn’t go away, though, and despite kicking towards the end that was carrying the most water, the Falcons did get back within five points at one stage shortly after a terrific goal from Aidan Lynch that somehow carried almost 50m despite being a rushed effort out of congestion.
 
The quarter went well past 30 minutes and West Perth kept attacking, but it just wasn’t to be and then Subiaco locked away the victory with the game's last goal with Ryan booting his second.
 
It was an early start for the colts for the International Football Festival at HBF Arena on Saturday with Subiaco claiming a 9.6 (60) to 4.8 (32) victory against West Perth.
 
Lane Sedgwick kicked two goals for West Perth with Lachlan Johns and Alec Johnson booting one apiece.
 
Baylee James gathered 25 possessions for the Falcons, Johns 21, Dylan Yem 20, Thomas Boyes 19, Tyrese Miller 17 and Thomas Medhat 17.
 
The reserves clash at HBF Arena on Saturday saw Subiaco kick the only two goals of the last quarter in the atrocious conditions to beat West Perth 6.14 (50) to 6.6 (42).
 
Brayden Antonio kicked two of the six goals for the game for West Perth.
 
Mitch Peirce gathered 24 possessions for the Falcons, Riley Hutchinson 20, Nathan Alexandre 18 and Dylan Campbell 14 to go with 12 tackles. Michael Ashfield had 21 hit outs as well.
 
West Perth is back at HBF Arena next Saturday needing to beat the reigning premiers Peel Thunder to remain in the top five. But Peel will come into the contest on a three-match winning streak.
 
WEST PERTH 1.5 1.6 3.8 4.12 (36)
SUBIACO 1.2 3.6 4.9 6.11 (47)
 
WEST PERTH – Goals: Strijk 2; Scott Nelson, A Lynch.
Best: Meadows, A Lynch, Manning, Strijk, Simpson, Scott Nelson, Manzone.
SUBIACO – Goals: Ryan, Adamson 2; Creeper, Sokol.
Best: Horsley, Creeper, Kitchin, Adamson, Hancock, Cockie, Hoskins.