Swans' Form Not Ideal But Home Final Still Awaits

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 - 9:19 AM

SWAN Districts didn’t finish the home and away season how it hoped with a 61-point loss to East Fremantle or by losing its past four matches but the good news is Swans host this Sunday's elimination final still.

There was potentially plenty at stake for both teams coming into the final round contest at Steel Blue Oval with Swans facing the prospect of possibly missing the finals with a loss while the Sharks would finish last and claim the wooden spoon with anything but a victory.

In the end it was a disappointing performance from the black-and-whites against a lowly opponent but to East Fremantle's credit, they played some exciting and attacking football which is something that hasn’t always been the case throughout the season.

It was an impressive showing from the Sharks as they were on top virtually from the outset to end up winning 20.10 (130) to 10.9 (69).

East Fremantle finished the game with 71 more possessions than Swan Districts, 53 more marks, 25 extra entries inside the forward 50 and 30 scoring shots to 19 on the way to the 61-point victory.

It was the third win for the season for the Sharks and first against a side other than Perth. The result is they leap above the Demons on the ladder to avoid the wooden spoon for 2017.

Undoubtedly the loss was disappointing for Swan Districts but it didn’t prove fatal or end up seeing them move from fourth position in the finish.

Despite losing their last four matches now heading into the finals, Swans still get to host a home elimination final this Sunday at Steel Blue Oval against West Perth.

One great shining light on a tough day for Swan Districts was the performance of teenage defender Sam Taylor in just his fifth league appearance. He had totalled 33 disposals in his opening four games, but had 27 possessions on Saturday against East Fremantle to go with eight marks.

Matt Riggio never stopped battling in the midfield for Swans finishing with 32 possessions and five inside-50 entries and Adam Faulkner picked up another 26 touches while kicking a goal.

Ricky Cary kicked three goals from eight kicks for Swans with Brayden Noble also booting two majors.

Corey Gault had another strong performance in the ruck for the black-and-whites with 21 possessions, 34 hit outs and a goal while Jesse Turner collected 21 disposals and Tony Notte 18 to go with 10 marks in his 199th appearance for Swan Districts.

East Fremantle made the perfect start in its quest to finish the season on a winning note and get off the bottom of the ladder with a goal after just two minutes to Joel Kalajzic.

Swans did respond soon after thanks to Ricky Cary but the Sharks went into quarter-time seven points in front after Ambrose Ryan's first goal of the day.

East Fremantle started the second term with three goals in the first 15 minutes to Carl Green, Dillon O'Reilly and Cameron Symonds to pull away.

Swans did get a couple of steadiers before half-time from Taryce Stewart and Brayden Noble, but the Sharks ended up with seven goals to two for the term to lead by 38 points at the main break.

Swans were potentially slipping out of the finals with the loss depending on other results, but despite that knowledge they just couldn’t get another going against a determined East Fremantle outside.

After three goals apiece in the third term, things really opened up in the last quarter and East Fremantle piled on eight goals to four from Swans to end up winning by 61 points and it was only fitting that it was the retiring Andrew Stephen who kicked the final goal of the contest.

Swan Districts started the day in the colts with an impressive 8.9 (57) to 7.10 (52) victory over the top-of-the-table East Fremantle.

Sebastian Bright, Malaki Rodoreda and Joseph Hinder all kicked two goals for Swan Districts.

Lochie Huntley racked up 23 possessions for the black-and-whites, Gregory Ottaviano 23, Callum Garcia 19, Jack O'Sullivan 18, William Reidy 18, Thomas Whittle 17 and Rodoreda 17.

The win means that Swan Districts finishes the season in third position with 12 wins, seven losses and a draw. They will take on Claremont in a qualifying final at Steel Blue Oval on Sunday.

Swan Districts reserves were then playing a virtual elimination final against East Fremantle with both teams fighting over fifth position in Saturday's game.

Swans prevailed 16.13 (109) to 10.10 (70) to end up in fifth position ahead of facing Perth in an elimination final at Steel Blue Oval on Sunday.

Levi Ridley was impressive for Swans with four goals from 18 possessions and five marks. Steven Wityk also kicked four goals for the black-and-whites and Tom Smirk two.

Ethan Maguire gathered 25 possessions for Swan Districts, Brayden Hackett 18, David McKay 18, Jacob Ness 18, Jackson Slater 17 and Jesse Manton 17. Troy Yukich had another 57 hit outs in the ruck.

SWAN DISTRICTS  1.3 3.3 6.5 10.9 (69)
EAST FREMANTLE  2.4 9.5 12.7 20.10 (130)

SWAN DISTRICTS – Goals: Cary 3; Noble 2; Ellard, Faulkner, Gault, Stewart, Turner.
Best: Gault, Taylor, Riggio, Faulkner, Notte, Cary, Turner.
EAST FREMANTLE – Goals: Ryan, Watson 3; Green, O'Reilly, Kalajzic, Symonds 2; Eardley, McNamara, Perham, Marsh, Stephen, Anthony.
Best: Eardley, Perham, Schofield, Watson, Henson, Ryan, Kalajzic.

By Chris Pike.