West Perth will need a miracle to qualify for this season’s finals after being crushed by ladder leaders Claremont today.
The Falcons are now two matches and hefty percentage behind fourth-placed East Perth after being thumped by 119 points, the first century result of the season.
The two traditional rivals meet in the final round of the season but the game may now be academic unless West Perth can recover some of the momentum lost at Arena Joondalup today.
Claremont were too strong, too fast and too skilled for the home team who entered the match with high hopes of an upset.
Instead, the ladder-leaders put on a clinic of high tempo four-quarter football before a goal spree in the last term set up their 26.10 (166) to 7.5 (47) win.
Luke Blackwell led the way from the centre while Byron Schammer closed down Mark Hutchings before becoming a significant play-maker.
Prolific ballgetters Kane Mitchell and Jake Murphy also had standout matches while spearhead Chad Jones kicked three goals and was too mobile for Michael Pettigrew who was reported in the opening minutes for a high bump on Alex Silvagni.
West Perth’s lack of defensive pressure was critical with numerous tackles missed while their ill-discipline was punished with half a dozen 50m penalties.
Aaron Black worked hard on his wing for 21 touches while Steven Browne did not stint in his efforts to curtail Claremont’s centurion Ian Richardson.
But West Perth were unable to find any midfield winners while veterans Pettigrew, Brent LeCras and Jason Salecic had negligible impact.
A knee injury to Dion Fleay in the first term unsettled West Perth’s defence.SCOREBOARD
|GOALS – CLAREMONT: Jones, Bradshaw 5; Lee 4; McGovern 3; Richardson; Walton, Blackwell, Crawford, Foster, Handley, Laurie, Morton.|
WEST PERTH: Salecic, Jones, Hutchings, Nelson, LeCras, Rasmussen, Barden.
BEST – CLAREMONT: Blackwell, Schammer, Murphy, Morton, Bradshaw, Thomson, Mitchell. WEST PERTH: Black, Browne, Burns, Nelson.
UMPIRES: J Orr G Parker, G Statham
CROWD: 2000 at Arena Joondalup.
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