Season Over For Swan Districts But Plenty To Be Proud Of

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 - 10:41 AM

SWAN Districts didn’t enjoy first semi-final day at Fremantle Community Bank Oval too much on Sunday and despite the colts, reserves and league teams all losing it must be a 2017 season everyone at the club is tremendously proud of.

After having such an impressive home and away season ending with a nine-game winning streak for a 16-4 record and to be in second position, the pressure was back on South Fremantle to beat Swan Districts on Sunday in the first semi-final on home turf.

The Bulldogs had lost by 18 points in the qualifying final last Saturday while Swans were coming in off the high of a strong performance to beat West Perth in the elimination final at Steel Blue Oval last Sunday setting up an intriguing cut-throat contest.

Swans came out and threw everything at the Bulldogs early as well and with Ryan Crowley and David Ellard particularly prominent through the middle, they were able to hold a nine-point advantage early in the second quarter.

But from there South Fremantle regained some of its most impressive form kicking 17 of the game's last 20 goals to end up winning 20.16 (136) to 8.8 (56).

That means the Bulldogs advance to the preliminary final on Sunday against Subiaco at Leederville Oval with the winner to move into the Grand Final for 2017 against Peel Thunder.

The season is over for Swan Districts as are the careers of Tallan Ames, Ryan Crowley and Jamie Bennell along with the coaching tenure of Greg Harding who has been at the helm since 2011.

It was a tough afternoon in the finish for Swan Districts but the 2017 season was outstanding for the black-and-whites considering they won just two games to claim the wooden spoon in 2016. 

To go on and win 10 games in 2017, win an elimination final and have the club moving forward in encouraging fashion even with the departures of Ames, Crowley, Bennell and Harding, it is a season everyone at Swans can look back on with tremendous pride.

In his last WAFL appearance to end his season at Swan Districts after his AFL career with Fremantle and Essendon, and his initial time with Subiaco where he played in the 2004 premiership, Crowley was terrific for the black-and-whites.

He ran with South Fremantle's Tim Kelly for a lot of the game and limited his influence as well as anyone could given the final margin and then himself finished with 29 possessions, seven marks and three goals.

Captain David Ellard was also tremendous for Swans with 34 disposals and eight marks while Matt Riggio compiled 24 touches, Jesse Turner 22 and Adam Faulkner 18.

Kirk Ugle had a good battle down back with South Fremantle's Cory Dell'Olio and ended up with 18 possessions and five tackles while Sam Taylor was impressive once more holding Mason Shaw goalless.

Todd Banfield again worked hard in the forward-line with his pressure ending the afternoon with two goals, 12 possessions and five tackles.

It took just two minutes for the Bulldogs to start brightly with an early goal to Ben Saunders after he was part of the quiet forward-line a week ago. But Swans had again come out a determined outfit and kicked the next two goals from Brayden Noble and Ryan Crowley.

South Fremantle regained the lead through Cory Dell'Olio before Todd Banfield put Swans back in front after two 50m penalties. 

The lead changes continued with a Bulldogs goal to Dylan Main but the black-and-whites went into quarter-time three points up thanks to a late opportunist snap from Jamie Bennell that cleared Shaun Bewick who slipped in the goal square.

Swans threatened to really build some momentum with the opening goal of the second term to Crowley to put the pressure right back on the highly-favoured South Fremantle.

But the Bulldogs responded impressively kicking the next five goals in the space of 13 minutes as their pressure in the forward half went up a cog to create a host of chances.

Crowley's third steadied things briefly for the black-and-whites before South Fremantle again kicked three more before half-time to Blaine Johnson, Schloithe and Main to be 35 points up at the long break.

Swans did keep somewhat in touch to start the second half with the opening goal courtesy of Banfield. It took South Fremantle until the 17-minute to get a goal but they had been missing a host of chances before Saunders kicked truly with his third major.

Bewick then marked his return with a terrific goal from 50 and when Johnson added a second just before three quarter-time, the Bulldogs were on the way to the preliminary final with 49 points.

South Fremantle's lead grew to 56 points to start the last term with a goal to Ryan Cook before Swans responded through Ricky Cary who had just four kicks for the day.

But it was all South Fremantle from there as the Bulldogs enjoyed themselves and built up the confidence ahead of the preliminary final with Subiaco. South Fremantle finished the game with goals to Kelly, Johnson, Tom Vandeleur, Kelly again and Johnson again to end up winning by 80 points.

There was a nice moment late when Swan Districts orchestrated for Tallan Ames to try and finish his career with his 54th goal but unfortunately his left boot wasn’t quite on target.

The day began at Fremantle Community Bank Oval with the colts first semi-final with East Perth proving too strong for Swan Districts winning 16.15 (111) to 2.11 (23).

Gregory Humphries and Malaki Rodoreda were the two goal scorers for Swan Districts.

Gregory Ottaviano racked up 24 possessions to go with 11 tackles while Callum Garcia finished with 24 disposals, Lochie Huntley 20, Riley Garcia 19, Graydon Wilson 18, William Reidy 18, Humphries 17 and Jack O'Sullivan 17.

Then it was time for the reserves first semi-final at Fremantle Community Bank Oval with Claremont proving too strong for Swan Districts winning 12.12 (84) to 9.5 (59).

Swans did kick six goals to two in a supremely impressive second quarter before Claremont dominated the third term with the only five goals. Swans did get back to within two goals in the last term but the Tigers steadied for the 25-point victory.

Roderick Manton, Tom Smirk and Steven Wityk all kicked two goals each for Swan Districts.

Chad Daniels picked up 21 possessions while laying 10 tackles with Troy Yukich amassing 57 hit outs.

SWAN DISTRICTS 4.1 6.2 7.5 8.8 (56)
SOUTH FREMANTLE 3.4 11.7 14.13 20.16 (136)

SWAN DISTRICS – Goals: Crowley 3; Banfield 2; Bennell, Cary, Noble.
Best: Crowley, Ellard, Taylor, Ugle, Riggio, Banfield.
SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Johnson 4; Saunders, Kelly 3; Schloithe, Main 2; Dell'Olio, Bewick, Vandeleur, Parker, Hams, Cook.
Best: Higgins, Hockey, Schloithe, Kelly, Strom, Vandeleur, Cook, Kelly.

By Chris Pike.