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WAFL: West Perth enhance premiership credentials after defeating East Fremantle in top of the table clash

It was billed as a potential grand final preview and if everything goes to plan for West Perth, they could get the chance to recreate history at their home ground later this year after defeating East Fremantle.

Just like their ladder positions suggested ahead of the top of the table clash, there was little between the two sides for most of the afternoon, the Falcons eventually proving 36-points better.

But the 11.10 (76) to 5.10 (40) point victory enhanced West Perth’s already impressive credentials, moving a game and a half clear of their closest rivals, able to enjoy their bye knowing they can’t be removed from first place.

And with the Western Australian Football Commission to make a decision on a new grand final venue as soon as next week, a Pentanet Stadium decider could give the Falcons even more motivation ahead of their 2022 post-script.

After an afternoon of momentum shifts, the tide turned for good in the final quarter.

The Falcons, shifted into another gear, adding five goals to their tally and stamped their authority on the competition in the process, keeping the Sharks goalless.

Rudy Riddoch was electric for West Perth, kicking a season-high four goals much to the delight of the vocal Falcons crowd.

He had to be considering Sharks captain Matthew Jupp limited the scoreboard prowess of reigning Bernie Naylor Medallist Tyler Keitel in an enthralling battle.

Mitchell Dobson, Anton Hamp and Sasha Kernutt also kicked a couple for the Falcons, ensuring each scorer kicked multiple until Kegan Knott got on the board late in the fourth with a defiant long-range goal.

Luke Meadows (29 touches, six tackles) and Mitchell Peirce (25 touches, 10 tackles) were West Perth’s most productive players.

While the loss of prolific ball winner Blaine Boekhorst to a heavy collision did little to help East Fremantle’s cause, compounding the absence of important utility Jon Marsh (work commitments).

The Sharks kept themselves within touching distance when Jeremy Goddard, who made a productive return from suspension, kicked their sole goal of the third term on the siren.

While debutant Jack Cleaver proved he has a bright future for East Fremantle, finishing with 18 disposals and six marks.

West Perth had the run of the first quarter, kicking three goals from six scoring shots while keeping East Fremantle to just two points.

But the Sharks hit back in the second, kicking 4.6 to improve their position to a two-point lead at half-time.

WEST PERTH: 3.3, 4.4, 6.9, 11.10 (76)

EAST FREMANTLE: 0.2, 4.6, 5.8, 5.10 (40)

Goals – WEST PERTH: R Riddoch 4, M Dobson 2, S Kernutt 2, A Hamp 2, K Knott.

EAST FREMANTLE: L English, C Holmes, J Jansen, C Smith, J Goddard.

Best – WEST PERTH: L Meadows, R Riddoch, M Peirce, T Hobley, A Lynch, M Dobson.

EAST FREMANTLE: K Baskerville, L English, C Eardley, M Jupp, M Murdock.

Injuries – EAST FREMANTLE: B Boekhorst (knee)

Umpires: O Wharton, M Adams, C Jones. Crowd: About 2000 at Pentanet Stadium.

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