Swans Lose To Royals But Remain In Fourth Spot

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - 9:59 AM

SWAN Districts might have gone down to East Perth at Leederville Oval on Saturday but the black-and-whites remain in fourth position with two rounds to go and the reserves and colts both won to solidify spots in the top five.

Plenty went on the line at Leederville Oval between the fifth placed East Perth and fourth placed Swan Districts on Saturday.

The Royals were looking for a third straight victory to not only remain in fifth spot but to maintain hopes of finishing higher up on the ladder come finals time.

Swans needed to win to guarantee they would play finals in 2017 and to also maintain hope of finishing in third position to earn a finals double chance.

But East Perth soon asserted its authority and continued its outstanding recent form to kick the only five goals of the first quarter. By three quarter-time, the Royals were 72 points in front before going on to record the 17.8 (110) to 8.8 (56) victory.

It's a third straight win for East Perth who improves to a 9-9 record and while the Royals remain in fifth position, they are percentage ahead of the sixth placed West Perth and just a game out of fourth position a game behind Swan Districts but with a superior percentage.

East Perth has won its last three games against Claremont, West Perth and Swan Districts by an average of 47.3 points having averaged a score of 107.7 points themselves and conceding just 60.3. That compares to 83.1 points for and 77.6 points against on the season as a whole.

Swan Districts remains in fourth position despite the loss with a 10-8 record but with a percentage less than East Perth's and only just better than West Perth's, Swans do need to win one of their last two games against Claremont and East Fremantle to ensure a finals position.

Winning both would mean Swan Districts stays at least fourth and could potentially third. With either of those finishing positions guaranteeing the black-and-whites a home final at Steel Blue Oval.

Swan Districts' cause wasn’t helped with the continued absence of Matt Riggio, David Ellard and Xavier Ellis with Ricky Cary also joining them out of the team against the Royals.

Adam Faulkner still worked tirelessly in the midfield for Swans with another 26 possessions while Corey Gault was tremendous in the ruck with 27 disposals, seven marks, 22 hit outs and a goal up against West Coast pair Jonathan Giles and Fraser McInnes.

Kirk Ugle continued his strong form as a small defender and had another 16 possessions and a goal for Swans with Alex Howard having another good performance in particular down back.

Ryan Crowley finished with 27 possessions for the black-and-whites, Jesse Turner 24, Jarrad Blight 20, Warrick Wilson 20, Freddie Clutterbuck 19 and Jamie Bennell 19.

Todd Banfield worked hard to kick two goals from 15 possessions and four tackles for Swan Districts.

East Perth came into the game in impressive form following wins against West Perth and Claremont to move into the top five, and the Royals dominated the first term to set up the win against Swan Districts on Saturday at Leederville Oval.

It took 10 minutes for the first goal courtesy of Shayne Hill before Fraser McInnes, Scott Jones, Julian Ameduri and Patrick McGinnity all kicked truly in opening quarter as the Royals took a 30-point advantage into quarter-time.

East Perth then made it the opening eight goals of the game when Nathan Blee, Callum Hart and Jake Waterman all kicked truly to start the second quarter to see the Royals lead grow to 49 points.

Swan Districts eventually stopped the run and kicked a goal through Tony Notte 16 minutes into the second term. But immediately East Perth responded thanks to Waterman.

But a couple of late first half goals for Swans to Kirk Ugle and Ryan Crowley at least gave them a glimmer of hope cutting East Perth's half-time advantage to 34 points.

Any hopes Swan Districts had of getting right back into the game to start the second half were shattered with two early East Perth goals from Willie Rioli and Ameduri.

The Royals then kicked away further with McGinnity's second goal before Swans did get a steadier thanks to Brayden Noble.

It didn’t stop the Royals momentum, though, with Maginness kicking another and then Rioli two more before three quarter-time that saw them lead by 72 points.

To Swans' credit they did finish the game strongly with four goals to one in the last quarter but all that managed to do was bring the final margin to 54 points by the siren.

Meanwhile, Swan Districts' colts started the day well at Leederville Oval beating East Perth 10.11 (71) to 8.6 (54). The win sees Swans move up into second position on the colts ladder.

Aidan Clarke was impressive for Swans in the colts kicking four goals from 15 possessions and six marks.

Atem Deng and Patrick Farrant also booted two goals each for the black-and-whites.

Lochie Huntley amassed 30 possessions for Swans, Greg Ottaviano 27, Callum Garcia 20, Riley Garcia 19 and ruckman Oskar Matthews 10 to go with 32 hit outs.

Then in the reserves contest at Leederville Oval, Swan Districts scored an impressive 16.8 (104) to 8.8 (56) victory against East Perth. As a result of the win, Swans sit in fifth position on the ladder a game and percentage ahead of East Fremantle.

Steven Wityk didn’t get the call up to provide a forward target in the league side despite the absence of Ricky Cary, but he put his hand up to come in this week by kicking six goals from 19 possessions and seven marks against his old team.

Usual defender Laurence Grescos also kicked two goals for Swans to go with 26 disposals and eight marks.

Tom Smirk and Brody Sutton also kicked two goals while Tobe Watson gathered 24 touches, Chad Daniels 22, Jacob Ness 21, Jackson Slater 19 and David McKay 17. Troy Yukich had 48 hit outs in the ruck.

Swan Districts faces a must-win battle with Claremont this Saturday at Steel Blue Oval to guarantee their place in the WAFL top five. A loss and the Swans will be in real danger of missing out on playing finals in 2017 and sitting in sixth position come Saturday night.

SWAN DISTRICTS  0.1 3.4 4.5 8.8 (56)
EAST PERTH   5.1 9.2 16.5 17.8 (110)

SWAN DISTRICTS – Goals: Banfield 2; Bennell, Ugle, Gault, Crowley, Notte, Noble.
Best: Gault, Crowley, Ugle, Faulkner, Banfield, Turner, Wilson, Blight.
EAST PERTH – Goals: Rioli 4; Waterman, Ameduri, McGinnity 2; Lamb, Jones, McInnes, Hart, Blee, Maginness, Hille.
Best: Wright, Blee, McGinnity, Rioli, Lamb, Ameduri, Masten, Snadden.

By Chris Pike.