Round 22 Match Report v East Perth

Monday, August 21, 2017 - 12:07 PM by Chris Pike
Perth showed some brilliant fight and character to kick the last 3.5 of the game on Saturday at Lathlain Park to stun East Perth with a five-point victory to end its season on the highest of highs and seriously dent the Royals' finals aspirations.
It was a remarkable finish to the game at Lathlain Park with Perth playing its last match of what has been a forgettable 2017 season.
They looked set to bow out of 2017 with the wooden spoon and a 12-game losing streak as well when trailing by 18 points at the 11-minute mark of the final quarter.
With East Perth needing to win to guarantee its finals position as well everything was set up for the Royals to come away with the comfortable win, particularly with Perth's habit throughout the whole season of starting game's well and fading.
But nobody told this Perth line-up that on Saturday. The fightback began with three consecutive behinds before Brent Latch, Corey Byrne and Cody Ninyette all kicked goals. That was Ninyette's seventh of the day in a stunning career-best outing.
That was enough to put the Demons in front and they held on to shock the Royals with the 14.14 (98) to 13.15 (93) victory.
The win was Perth's third of the season and first since beating Claremont in Round 9, ending an 11-game losing slide. It also gets the Demons off the bottom of the ladder at 3-17 and they will stay off it unless East Fremantle beats Swan Districts on Saturday at Steel Blue Oval.
It could prove to a fatal loss to East Perth's hopes this season too. The Royals came into the game on an impressive three-game winning streak and just needed to win to lock in a finals spot. But now they must beat Subiaco on Saturday or else their season is done.
Cody Ninyette was the undoubted star of the day for Perth with the exciting young small forward having a game to remember and savour kicking seven goals from 22 possessions, nine marks and four tackles, including the one that put the Demons in front.
Captain Clint Jones finished off his outstanding season against the odds with another 38 possessions and five tackles.
Liam McKenna regained some of his form of last year prior to injury curtailing him early in 2017 ending up with 25 disposals and seven tackles with Aidan Tropiano also finishing with 24 touches and 12 tackles.
Corey Byrne capped off his breakout season with another strong game too with 18 touches, 12 tackles and two goals for the Demons. Blake Johnson returned to the team to kick two majors.
Kurtis Chester also had 20 possessions for Perth, Callum Marshall 15, Brad McPhail 15 and Devin McFarlane 15 as he provided strong run out of defence.
East Perth co-captain Patrick McGinnity continued his outstanding form both in the midfield and when going forward kicking three goals to go with 27 possessions and 10 marks. Fellow co-captain Kyle Anderson was strong in defence for the Royals in his 100th game for the club.
Fraser McInnes was also celebrating his 100th WAFL game up against his former team and he ended up with 21 touches, six marks and 18 hit outs.
Speaking of hit outs, Jonathan Giles racked up 55 of them in the ruck for the Royals to go with 13 possessions.
Sharrod Wellingham showed that he's not giving up on a return for West Coast in the AFL compiling 34 disposals and eight marks for the Royals while Jordan Snadden ended the game with 27 touches, Nathan Blee 23, Willie Rioli 20, Chris Masten 19 and Will Maginness 18.
Jake Waterman also kicked three goals for East Perth with debutant Tarir Bayok and Will Schofield booting two apiece.
Simon Tunbridge's first league game back from a knee reconstruction didn’t go to plan with him suffering a hamstring injury after kicking a goal and having 10 possessions.
The day began how it would end for Perth with Cody Ninyette kicking the first of his seven majors at the four-minute mark of the opening term.
He added a second soon after with Corey Byrne then ensuring the Demons made a flying start with the game's first three goals.
But East Perth hit back before quarter-time with goals to debutant Tarir Bayok, Jake Waterman and Patrick McGinnity to take a one-point lead into quarter-time.
East Perth then went seven points in front when Jordan Snadden kicked truly seven minutes into the second term but Perth ended that four-goal run with Ninyette booting his third soon after.
But the Royals had worked their way on top and with Bayok adding his second in the first opening half of league football in his career, they led comfortably enough by 15 points at the main break.
Perth gained the advantage of the breeze in the third quarter and made the most of it with six goals to three to enter the last term four points in front.
But East Perth's season was potentially on the line and as a result the Royals kicked the first three goals of the last term thanks to Waterman, Waterman again and then McGinnity to lead by 18 points at the 11-minute mark.
It would have been easy for Perth to put the game in the too hard basket. But that wasn’t the case and they ended up with the last eight scoring shots of the game including the goals to Brent Latch, Byrne and Ninyette to claim the remarkable five-point victory.
Perth's season is now over but finishes on a great high while East Perth must beat Subiaco on Saturday at Leederville Oval to play finals in 2017.
PERTH             3.3 5.6    11.9    14.14 (98)
EAST PERTH  3.4    7.9    10.11   13.15 (93)
PERTH – Goals: Ninyette 7; Byrne, Johnson 2; Latch, Scotney, Henderson.
Best: Ninyette, Jones, Byrne, McKenna, Tropiano, Chester, McFarlane.
EAST PERTH – Goals: Waterman, McGinnity 3; Schofield, Bayok 2; Hille, Tunbridge, Snadden.
Best: McGinnity, Wellingham, Anderson, Waterman, Blee, Giles, Snadden.