Palmer Inspires Swans' Round 1 Win Over Demons

Wednesday, April 4, 2018 - 11:39 AM by Chris Pike

RHYS Palmer made his Swan Districts debut with a stunning best on ground performance while Adam Pickering's coaching tenure made the ideal start as Swans dominated the second half to beat Perth by 45 points at Lathlain Park on Saturday.

Palmer was the summer's big signing at Swan Districts coming into 2018 and he showed all the hype was justified as the former AFL player of 123 games at Fremantle, Greater Western Sydney and Carlton delivered 31 possessions, 19 clearances and three goals.

He received plenty of support too from his new teammates as Swan Districts kicked eight goals to three in the second half on Saturday at Lathlain Park to end up beating Perth 16.16 (112) to 10.7 (67).

It was the ideal way for Swans to begin the new season on the back of last year's finals appearance and to get Adam Pickering's coaching tenure at Bassendean off to a winning start.

While Rhys Palmer was the star for Swan Districts with his 31 touches, 19 clearances, eight inside 50s and three goals, there were plenty more impressive performers for the black-and-whites too.

The return of ruckman Nathan Blakely for the first time since injuring a knee in Round 1, 2016 could prove pivotal to have a second genuine big man in 2018 to support reigning Swan Medallist Corey Gault.

Gault had another strong performance on Saturday in the win over Perth with 17 possessions, five marks, 15 hit outs and two goals while Blakely finished with 16 disposals, four tackles and 28 hit outs.

Jesse Turner racked up 25 possessions too for Swans, Adam Faulkner 23 (six tackles, two goals), Matt Riggio 22, Tobe Watson 17 (six marks) and former East Perth fairest and best winner Steven Payne 17.

There were plenty of options in attack for Swans too with Todd Banfield kicking three goals from 19 possessions and Matthew Rogers two from 19 disposals. Brayden Noble kicked 1.4 from five kicks.

Perth started the game encouragingly to lead by a point at quarter-time with Swan Districts only managing three goals from nine attempts on goal.

Swans did kick five goals to three in the second quarter to lead by nine points at half-time, but the Demons were still right in the contest.

That wouldn’t last much longer with Swan Districts kicking six goals to one in the third quarter to lead by 40 points at three quarter-time and then with two goals apiece in the last term they won by 45 points in front of a solid crowd of 2099 people at Lathlain Park.

Perth's reserves kicked just two goals in the first half at Lathlain Park on Saturday but bounced back strongly in the second half with nine goals to four to end up beating Swan Districts 11.13 (79) to 10.6 (66).

Giles Dent picked up 20 possessions for Swan Districts' reserves, Ben McGillivray 19, Jack O'Sullivan 19, Jacob Coniglio 18, Albert Dean 18 and Callum Garcia 16 to go with seven tackles, seven inside-50 entries and four marks.

Steven Wityk and Dean kicked two goals each for the black-and-whites.

And earlier in the day in the colts contest at Lathlain Park, Swan Districts also came away with the 11.9 (75) to 10.3 (63) victory.

Swans' colts started impressively with four goals to two in the first quarter but Perth hit back with three goals to one in the second term to be within five points at the main break.

It was another four goals to one in the third term from Swan Districts before they held on to win by 12 points despite Perth booting four goals to two in the last quarter.

Atem Deng, Jarred Cameron and Kye Barker all kicked two goals apiece for Swan Districts' colts.

Riley Garcia racked up 32 possessions for Swans, Jackson Beck 26, Mitchell Bain 25, Graydon Wilson 19 (10 tackles), Casey Vandersluys 18 and Brenton Hilton 17.

Harry Edwards was impressive in the ruck for the black-and-whites with 17 disposals, five marks, seven tackles and 17 hit outs.

Swan Districts will look to continue its winning start to the 2018 season in its home-opener against Peel Thunder on Saturday at Steel Blue Oval.


SWAN DISTRICTS                             3.6          8.8          14.9        16.16     (112)

PERTH                                               4.1          7.4           8.5          10.7        (67)


SWAN DISTRICTS – Goals: Palmer, Banfield 3; Faulkner, Rogers, Gault 2; Hackett, Ugle, Noble, Wilson.

Best: Palmer, Faulkner, Gault, Rogers, Banfield, Turner, Blakely, Watson.

PERTH – Goals: White 4; Collard 2; Taylor, Cary, Leggett, Garstone.

Best: Yeo, Leggett, Colledge, Byrne, Taylor, Chester, Giobbi.