Swans take it right up to undefeated Lions

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - 6:49 PM by Chris Pike

FOR three quarters Swan Districts looked a legitimate chance to hand Subiaco its first WAFL loss since the 2017 Grand Final and while the Lions responded to find a way to win the game, there was plenty to like from a Black Ducks perspective.

Swan Districts were coming off its first win of the season against West Perth and were ready for the challenge of the reigning premiers Subiaco at Steel Blue Oval on Saturday afternoon.

Swans found themselves 16 points up at three quarter-time to throw down the gauntlet to the Lions, but Subiaco responded with the only five goals of the last quarter to end up winning 11.13 (79) to 9.7 (61).

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While Swan Districts had 90 fewer possessions than Subiaco while taking 34 fewer marks, eight less inside-50 entries and eight less scoring shots, heart can count for a lot and it was a tremendous fighting effort from the Black Ducks.

Brayden Noble kicked two goals for Swan Districts as did Leigh Kohlmann and Josh Simpson.

George Hampson had another 23 possessions, six tackles, six inside 50s and a goal for Swans with Steven Payne collecting 21 disposals, Tony Notte 20, Jesse Turner 19, Matt Riggio 18, Corey Gault 15, Warrick Wilson 15 and Nathan Blakely 15 along with 25 hit outs.

Subiaco came into the game having still not lost since the 2017 Grand Final and having won 24 straight matches since then including last year's Grand Final and also having beaten Swan Districts on the past eight occasions.

So that meant the job was ahead of the Black Ducks but Swans' season had been better than their 1-3 record suggested with narrow defeats at the hands of South Fremantle, East Perth and Perth.

But Swans were coming off a morale-boosting 44-point win over West Perth and weren’t daunted by the task of taking on the might of Subiaco.

Despite Subiaco kicking two goals to one in the opening quarter and leading by seven points at quarter-time, it had been an encouraging start from Swan Districts with their goal courtesy of Leigh Kohlmann.

Swans then took the lead to start the second quarter with a second goal to Kohlmann who is working nicely into being a key forward in the WAFL. 

Subiaco responded in trademark fashion with quick goals to Ben Sokol and Simon Moore but Swans finished the half strongly with two goals to Brayden Noble as the home side was just a point down at the major break.

Swan Districts then took the lead within two minutes of the third quarter with a goal to George Hampson against the team he played in a premiership with and won a fairest and best award at.

Chad Daniels gave the black-and-whites a 10-point lead shortly after and suddenly the upset was on the cards when Swans went 22 points to the good thanks to two goals from Josh Simpson, and another to Warrick Wilson.

Rowen Powell got one goal back late for Subiaco but Swan Districts still led by 16 points at the last change.

Subiaco's winning run was in real jeopardy but the Lions responded with the only five goals of the last quarter courtesy of Sokol, Kyal Horsley, debutant Jack Mayo, Moore and then Josh Deluca as they pulled one out of the fire to win by 18 points.

Swan Districts' reserves started slowly against Subiaco at Steel Blue Oval. The Lions kicked three goals to nil in the opening quarter but Swans responded with six goals to nil in the second term to be up by 23 points at half-time.

Swans maintained their control of the contest in the second half with eight goals to five to claim the 14.14 (98) to 8.8 (56) victory.

Trohne Ugle kicked four goals for Swan Districts' reserves and Patrick Italiano two.

Albert Dean racked up 25 possessions for the Black Ducks, Jackson Beck 22, Freddie Clutterbuck 21, Jackson Slater 20, Lachlan Riley 19 and Mitchell Bain 18 to go with 13 tackles.

It was a Colts Grand Final rematch at Steel Blue Oval on Saturday morning and Swan Districts continued its undefeated start to the new season with a 43-point victory against Subiaco.

Swans came into the game having opened the new season with wins against South Fremantle, East Perth, Perth and West Perth while the Lions have had significant player turnover since last year's premiership and lost their first three games of 2019.

While Swans were undefeated and the Lions winless coming into the contest, it was Subiaco who started the better with the only goal of the first quarter.

Subiaco then kicked three goals to one in the second quarter to head into half-time in control of the contest leading by 22 points to appear on track for their first win of the season.

Whatever Swan Districts coach Simon Bergin said to his group at half-time worked a treat with Swans coming out and holding Subiaco scoreless in the third quarter while piling on six goals themselves to take a 16-point lead into three quarter-time.

The Black Ducks continued that momentum in the last term as well kicking another seven goals to one to end up winning 14.10 (94) to 7.9 (51) on the back of 13 goals to three after half-time.

Jermarl Daly kicked four goals for Swan Districts with Jamison Ugle and Atem Deng also booting two majors.

Riley Garcia showed that he's benefited from his taste of league football already in 2019 by returning the colts for Swans and collecting 26 possessions.

Jake Pasini also picked up 22 disposals for the black-and-whites, Kade Screaigh 20, Ethan Nordahl 19, Seb Bright 18, Ashley Brockbernd 14, Deng 14 and Dylan Brockbernd 14.

SWAN DISTRICTS        1.3    4.4    9.5    9.7    (61)
SUBIACO            2.4    4.5    6.7    11.13    (79)

SWAN DISTRICTS – Goals: Noble, Kohlmann, Simpson 2; Hampson, Daniels, Wilson.
Best: Notte, Hampson, Payne, Turner, Blakely, Riggio.
SUBIACO – Goals: Moore, Sokol 3; Powell, Deluca, Horsley, Mayo, Lawrence.
Best: Deluca, Delahunty, Sokol, Kennedy, Horsley, Clark, Walters.