Falcons down Lions before record crowd

Matt Johnson tackles Subiaco sharpshooter Shane Yarran.       Picture: Dan White
Matt Johnson tackles Subiaco sharpshooter Shane Yarran.       Picture: Dan White

WEST Perth was rewarded for its dedicated promotion of football to the district’s tens of thousands of migrants with a crowd of nearly 7800 at Arena Joondalup for the club’s International Round clash on Saturday.

The home fans were treated to a significant Falcons performance as the hosts broke league leader Subiaco’s eight-game winning streak in an 8.7 (55) to 5.15 (45) triumph.

West Perth president Brett Raponi attributed the club’s biggest attendance at Arena Joondalup since its first game in 1994 to the Falcons’ intensive International Round campaigning over the past four seasons.

“The word is out that this is now a highly anticipated fixture,” he said.

“It certainly helps when you are winning and the majority of our league squad is from the surrounding suburbs.

“The presentation of the ground and the interest from all media outlets is certainly assisting our cause.”

The 7789-strong attendance easily eclipsed the club’s previous International Round record of 6195 set in 2013.

But the successful afternoon was not without its troubles for West Perth, which lost important players Luke Tedesco and Kody Manning to injury in the first quarter.

Co-captain Tedesco is expected to be sidelined for multiple weeks with a torn calf, while Manning is likely to return for the club’s clash against Perth after the upcoming bye.

Raponi said Manning had wanted to return to the field against the Lions, but was kept on the bench as a precaution.

The 10-point win put the Falcons a game clear of Peel in second, meaning they will likely retain their top-two spot despite not playing this weekend.