Height of success

West Perth celebrate their premiership display of champagne football. Picture: danwhitephotos.com
West Perth celebrate their premiership display of champagne football. Picture: danwhitephotos.com

And they ended the season with the 128-year-old club’s 19th premiership, a victory driven by superior team synergy.

On a rainy, blustery Sunday at Subiaco oval, West Perth triumphed over archrival East Perth 20.11 (131) to 12.10 (82) with relentless, collaborative football.

That said, the 49-point blowout belied everything the seventh derby grand final offered until the fourth quarter.

The lead had switched nine times by the final change to have the Falcons in front by just 11 points.

But they stormed home with seven majors to one to claim their first flag since 2003 in front of 20,008 rowdy spectators.

Coach Bill Monaghan said the side had taken it up a notch from any other game they’d played all season.

‘They really gelled together as a team,’ he said.

‘We put a big emphasis on winning the stoppages; they’re (East Perth) a really good clearance side.

‘We had a fierce desire for the contest and whether that was to win the ball or to hunt the opposition’: 8pt;”>Former Carlton player Rohan Kerr produced his best performance of the season for West Perth with a superb five goals.

Prolific Falcons ball getter Shane Nelson notched up 36 disposals, six inside-50s and a late major to surely have AFL scouts taking note.

His possession count was bettered only by classy East Perth midfielder Brendan Lee’s 37.

The Royals’ midfield battled hard, but with full back Dan Hunt’s shutdown job on East Perth spearhead Josh Smith, the side lacked fire power.

Simpson Medal favourite Paul Johnson went from 26 touches and two goals in the preliminary final to 10 and one a week later.

West Perth ruckman Chris Keunen did an admirable solo job against Johnson and West Coast-listed Scott Lycett.

Falcons’ forward Matt Fowler (two goals) iced the game with seven minutes left to hand West Perth a five-goal buffer.

Everything after that was pure indulgence.