Storm gets blown away by WA club

THE Western Storm was more like a drizzle during its semi-final Foxtel Cup encounter against West Perth at Patersons Stadium last night, losing by 74 points.

Skill errors, the inability to contain the Falcons' outside run and penetrate its own forward 50 saw the Storm succumb to a 15.7 (97) to 3.5 (23) defeat.

The Storm went goalless in the first quarter as the Falcons dominated possession, but two erroneous set shots at goal kept the away side in touch early on.

The Tasmanians began to find the ball as the clock ticked on with their first score coming after a courageous mark from Jade Child, but he was unable to complete mark-goal double, with the Storm entering the first break 19 points behind.

Storm coach Mitch Hills asked for a  cleaner effort and greater pressure in the second stanza and it seemed to work with both teams going goalless for 13 minutes until Mitch McPhee kicked West Perth's fourth goal.

Falcons forwards Marc Crisp and Brayden Antonio made it three quick goals for the reigning WAFL premiers and extended their advantage to 38 points with three minutes remaining in the half.

With 15 seconds left, Ray Bartholomew produced a major from 50 metres on the run as his side led 7.5 (47) to 0.3 (3) and kept the visitor scoreless for the second set of 18 minutes.

West Perth had 10 more inside 50s (20-10) than the Storm halfway through, with the Falcons' midfielder Aidan Lynch on 14 touches and Storm skipper Jay Blackberry gathering 12 touches to top the ball count.

The lead for West Perth grew to 56 points before Storm crumbing forward Alex Russell kicked his side's opening goal at the 12-minute mark of the third term - only for Shaun Marusic to reply just seconds later.

The Falcons' general play supremacy and their ability to find space continued for the third straight quarter, building a 61-point lead with one term to play.

In the final quarter, it was much of the same with the Falcons piling on four goals to the Storm's two to close out the 13-goal victory.

Will Hanson and Logan Barker kicked late back-to-back goals for the Storm to bolster its scoreline, while Backberry and Matt Hanson toiled hard all night for the Prospect-based club.

``It was clear that there were two different level of teams out there,'' Hills said after the match.

``They were really sharp, good inside the contest and spread really well compared to us - it was completely different to State League that's for sure.''

 Mitch Hills

Mitch Hills

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