No NAIDOC Week glory for Swans against Royals

Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - 6:54 PM by Chris Pike

SWAN Districts produced another impressive first half but couldn’t quite keep it going against East Perth as part of the WAFL NAIDOC Round at Steel Blue Oval on Saturday.

Desperately searching for a third victory of the season and lifted with the presence of some energetic new faces in the team including Dylan Smith and Aidan Clarke, Swan Districts came out playing some tremendous football in the first half.

Swans would go on to lead by 13 points at half-time as well in the game as part of NAIDOC Round in the WAFL. But the Royals went on to kick four goals to one in the second half to claim the 8.17 (65) to 8.9 (57).

It was a fifth successive loss this season at league level for Swan Districts and perhaps most surprisingly, continued the recent troubles at Steel Blue Oval where Swans have lost 12 of their past 13 matches.

George Hampson continued his tremendous form for Swan Districts with another 28 possessions, four tackles and two goals while Dylan Smith came into the side to kick two majors and Leigh Kohlmann booted another two goals to give him 19 for the season.

Matt Riggio worked hard again in the midfield for Swans with 23 possessions while Tony Notte had another 23 disposals and nine marks down back.

Steven Payne finished with 21 disposals and 11 marks with Aidan Clarke picking up 21 touches, Mitch Howlett 19, Callum Garcia 18, Denzel More 18 and Corey Gault 17 to go with 25 hit outs in the ruck in the absence of Nathan Blakely.

The frustrations of Swan Districts continued on Saturday with the black-and-whites once more starting promisingly and dominating the first half against East Perth, but not being able to maintain it with the Royals ending up winning by eight points at Steel Blue Oval.

Swan Districts were back on home turf at Bassendean's Steel Blue Oval on Saturday looking to snap their four-game losing slide and to get off the bottom of the ladder against an East Perth team one game ahead on the table but with an inferior percentage.

Unfortunately for Swan Districts, Saturday's game told a familiar tale for what has happened much of the season with Swans being significantly more competitive than their now 2-10 record suggests.

With Swans having lost four straight and the Royals three in-a-row coming into Saturday's game, both teams were looking for an early shot of confidence and that came the way of the black-and-whites in the opening term.

Swan Districts ended up kicking four goals to one in the first term and that saw them in control of the contest leading by 16 points at quarter-time.

While East Perth kicked three goals in the second quarter in response, Swan Districts maintained control of the contest with three goals themselves to head into the half-time break with a 13-point advantage.

But it had been a familiar for Swan Districts to play well in a first half and be leading at half-time, and unfortunately for the black-and-whites the game followed a familiar path in the second half.

Swans managed just the three behinds in the third quarter and the Royals piled on four goals and seven behinds to have 11 scoring shots to three to turn that 13-point half-time deficit into a 15-point three quarter-time advantage.

There was only one goal between the two teams in the last quarter and that went the way of Swans, but the Royals had done enough to end up winning 8.17 (65) to 8.9 (57).

The win keeps East Perth's slim finals hopes alive with a 4-8 record while Swan Districts is still a game clear on the bottom of the ladder at 2-10.

SWAN DISTRICTS        4.1    7.2    7.5    8.9    (57)
EAST PERTH            1.3    4.7    8.14    8.17    (65)

SWAN DISTRICTS – Goals: Hampson, Smith, Kohlmann 2; Payne, Noble.
Best: Hampson, Notte, More, Howlett, Riggio, Payne, Clarke.
EAST PERTH – Goals: Hille, Simpson, McGuire, Wellingham, Dobson, Ajang, Gorter, Houghton.
Best: Ramsay, Ajang, Waite, Wright, Cahill, Anderson, Gorter.