EAST Fremantle started on fire at Joondalup on Saturday but ultimately left Provident Financial Oval with their hearts broken with West Perth snatching the win thanks to a Nathan Alexandre go-ahead goal just before the siren.
The form of the two teams couldn’t have been more contrasting coming into the game with West Perth the on-fire side of the WAFL on the back of winning four straight matches to now be knocking on the door of a top three position.
Contrasting that, East Fremantle had lost its past two matches and five of the past six so heading up to Joondalup on Saturday afternoon the Sharks needed to come away with the win to keep any finals prospects they still had realistically alive.
East Fremantle came out impressively with a big opening term even without the firepower in attack from Harry Taylor from a week ago. The Sharks still put up six goals to one in the first quarter to put the pressure back on West Perth to respond.
The Falcons certainly did that with the only three goals of the second term but they could have taken the lead had it not been for their six behinds as well.
So that saw East Fremantle still holding onto a seven-point advantage at half-time but Wets Perth continued on with that momentum after the break with six goals to just one from the Sharks in the third term.
That had West Perth in commanding of the contest leading by 28 points at three quarter-time.
East Fremantle wasn’t done with though. The Sharks came out and kicked the first five goals of the last term to take the lead at the 14-minute mark with Lachlan Bailey kicking truly.
West Perth responded through Keegan Knott to regain the lead but then at 27-minute mark the Sharks had every reason to think Bailey had just kicked the winning goal as they went back up by two points.
But there was still time for the Falcons and just before the siren, Nathan Alexandre was able to hold his nerve and kick truly as West Perth snatched the 12.18 (90) to 13.7 (85) win.
The result means that the Falcons have now won five games in-a-row to improve to an 8-4 record on the season while the Sharks slip further from finals calculations with a third consecutive loss to be 4-8.
Tyler Keitel maintained his lead in the race for the Bernie Naylor Medal as the league's leading goalscorer with another four goals from 15 disposals and seven marks for Wet Perth. Keegan Knott also kicked another two goals.
West Perth captain Aaron Black was again brilliant in his 214th game producing another 38 possessions while partner-in-crime Shane Nelson racked up 28 disposals and six tackles for the Falcons.
Tom Boyes also had 22 possessions for West Perth, Tristan Hobley 21, Dean Munns 19, Mitch Peirce 19 and Matthew Lloyd 19 while Zac Guadagnin once again stood out in defence with another 21 possessions and a rare goal.
The ruck battle was a fascinating one and Ben Delaporte did well for West Perth with 20 disposals and 13 hit outs as he limited the influence of Luke Strnadica for East Fremantle who had 15 touches and 38 hit outs.
Lachlan Bailey stood tall in attack for East Fremantle without Harry Taylor or Hugh Dixon down there as a target and kicked four goals from six kicks and four marks.
Alex Montauban and Tom Monaghan also kicked two goals apiece for the Sharks.
Cam Eardley continued his strong season for East Fremantle with another 26 possessions while Blaine Boekhorst gathered 24 disposals, Jarrad Jansen 24, Kyle Baskerville 22, Ryan Lester-Smith 21 and Luke English 19.
West Perth will look to make it six straight wins next Saturday back at home to Peel Thunder while the job for East Fremantle doesn’t get any easier up against Claremont at Revo Fitness Stadium.
OPTUS WAFL PREMIERSHIP SEASON – ROUND 15
WEST PERTH 1.4 4.10 10.15 12.18 (90)
EAST FREMANTLE 6.1 6.5 7.5 13.7 (85)
WEST PERTH: Goals – Keitel 4; Knott 2; Alexandre, Guadagnin, Hobley, Lynch, Peirce, Riddoch.
Best – Black, Nelson, Keitel, Guadagnin, Boyes, Delaporte, Hobley.
EAST FREMANTLE: Goals – Bailey 4; Montauban, Monaghan 2; Murphy, Eardley, Boekhorst, Bockman, English.
Best – Jansen, Baskerville, Eardley, Bailey, Boekhorst, English, Lester-Smith.