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West Perth have record-breaking day … but one to forget

Tuesday, May 7, 2024 - 2:46 PM
West Perth have record-breaking day … but one to forget
Connor West has been a rare shining light for West Perth in the past month.
The energetic ball-winner returned to the Falcons this year after an industrious stint at West Coast and has rapidly become the centrepiece of the team’s midfield.
West maintained his form as one of the league’s most influential players in a match against Peel on Saturday that became memorable for all the wrong reasons.
West Perth have an excellent record at Bendigo Bank Stadium but there was little reason to relish the trip to Mandurah which started with high hopes and ended with a record thrashing.
Peel entered the WAFL record books with their biggest win (113 points), their first 25-goal score and an intimidating performance that suggests their best is as good as any team in the league.
West Perth made several entries into their own record book and will hope plenty of dust piles up before they have to open it again after the 25.14 (164) to 7.9 (51) result.
The massive loss was their 10th biggest in a history that extends back to 1891, their first 100-point defeat in 12 seasons and just the fourth this century, and obviously their worst returns against Peel and in Mandurah.
And until Ben Johnson toed the ball over the goal-line halfway through the third term, it appeared that Tyler Keitel’s time-on strike in the first quarter might be the team’s only goal.
West did his best to keep the swarming Thunder at bay, with Fremantle ruckman Liam Reidy, prolific midfielder Will Brodie and former Docker Brady Grey having a profound say, but he was swimming against the tide for much of the match.
He had to fight exceptionally hard to win the ball 28 times, 15 of them contested possessions, while his eight tackles and seven clearances were team highs.
Peel were armed with just 10 AFL listed players but the ones that were there had significantly more power, muscle and impact than their opponents.
Dean Munns, who kept Nathan Wilson to one goal, and likely State defender Zac Guadagnin were among the few Falcons to square their positions as West Perth were outclassed across all lines.
West Perth’s decline in recent weeks has been of significant concern.
The Subiaco match could have gone either way before the Lions got over the line by four points, the margin of the 18-point defeat to South Fremantle last week probably flattered the home team but this loss was the most damaging.
Peel kicked the first six goals of the game before Keitel landed his first while the Thunder squandered several opportunities in the second term but had the game wrapped up at half-time after keeping the visitors goalless in the quarter.
West Perth had their moments in the second half but they were powerless to stop Peel who racked up another record with their highest return in a half after landing 96 points in the period.
The best signs occurred in the reserves match earlier in the day when Tyson Moulton got through unscathed, Nathan Murray and Sasha Kernutt put their hands up for selection and Joe Hinder demonstrated the pace that makes him a potential point of difference in the league team.
WEST PERTH 1.2 1.7 4.7 7.9 51
PEEL 6.7 10.8 18.11 25.14 164
GOALS - WEST PERTH: Keitel, Demarte 2; Johnson, Knott, Rundle.
PEEL: Sturt 4; Delean, Tregenza, Sears 3; Grey, Tuia, Wyburg, Wemm 2; Wilson, Bell, Erasmus, Hancock.
BEST - WEST PERTH: West, Munns, Guadagnin, Bevan.
PEEL: Reidy, Erasmus, Brodie, Sturt, Grey.