Donnellan proud yet cautious heading into prelim final

Friday, September 6, 2019 - 2:47 PM by Chris Pike

SWAN Districts is one win away from the inaugural WAFL Women's Grand Final with coach Kara Donnellan delighted with her team's form heading into the preliminary final against Subiaco but wary of their threat.

Swan Districts produced a tremendous performance last Sunday in the first semi-final to beat Claremont at Steel Blue Oval by 41 points.

It was a performance that saw Swans hold Claremont scoreless the entire first half and to go on and dominate the contest with 13 scoring shots to two on the way to ending the season of the Tigers.

The win means that Swan Districts now advances to this Saturday's preliminary final against Subiaco at Leederville Oval with the winner to move into next Saturday's first ever WAFLW Grand Final against East Fremantle at Lathlain's Mineral Resources Park.

After getting the job done on Sunday in tough weather conditions against Claremont, the focus of Donnellan and everyone at Swan Districts quickly turned to the preliminary final.

"We'll regroup and review the game, and then get ourselves ready and prepare for next week in the preliminary final," Donnellan said.

"I'm really proud of the girls for this result, it was a really great win and we are alive for one more week, and we are looking forward to it."

Despite the final scoreline suggesting that Swan Districts dominated the game against Claremont and had it played on their terms, Donnellan always knew in a cut-throat final that the pressure was going to rise.

The tough weather conditions certainly added to challenges, but in the end Donnellan couldn’t have been more proud of what the black-and-whites produced.

"It was an elimination final and there were some really tough conditions out there. I think our early start kicking three or four goals in the first half really helped us before the strong winds and the strong rain came in," Donnellan said.

"It was a credit to our girls, I think they pressured from the get go and were consistent through all four quarters. There were no real standouts for me, I think everyone just played their role and that's all that I asked. 

"It didn’t really matter how we got the win, it was always going to be a bit of a slog fest in those tough conditions. 

"But it was all about just making sure that we stuck to our structures and game plan to play team footy. I'm really proud of each and every player that pulled on the jumper this week."

While Donnellan is happy with the form Swan Districts is in entering this Saturday's preliminary final and she remains upbeat about their chances of winning to advance to the Grand Final, she's fully aware of how difficult Subiaco is going to be to overcome.

"They’re tough, they’re experienced. They’re a bit older than us - we’ve got a really young list, I think the second youngest list in the comp. Subiaco always step up to the challenge, their loss last weekend won’t stop them," Donnellan said. 

"They’ll have a point to prove on their home deck as well. They’re contested ball winners, they’re quick when they get it on the outside, especially with Hayley Miller out there. She’s hard to stop and when they get it forward anything can happen. 

"Our back-line will be under the pump this week but we’re really confident in the way we structure up and set up to be able to counteract that. Hopefully, we can get it forward and give our forwards some really good opportunity to hit the scoreboard as I think that’s our strength up forward."