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The Swan Districts WAFLW 2021 Round 4 Wrap-Up

Monday, March 15, 2021 - 12:39 PM by Matthew Ogg

Round 4 saw all Swan Districts women’s sides travel to Shark Park in East Fremantle to end their streak of three straight away games.

With a 2020 season that saw the home side beat the Swans on each occasion they met, Sunday was bound to be a day full of grudge matches for the two sides.

Check out the breakdown for each game below…


WAFLW Rogers Cup

In a tough day for the young Swans, goals were hard to come by for our Rogers Cup girls. Putting only 3 points on the scoreboard heading into halftime, the 6 goal deficit did not accurately reflecting their efforts on field.

To their credit, they did not drop their heads in the second half, following their coach’s instructions, kicking two goals and working hard all day before going down; EF 10.9 (69) to SD 2.5 (17).

With another powerful showing across the backline, Tahlia Lough was adjudged best on ground, along with Abbygail Bushby, Sarah Price, Tyla Fitzgerald and Aisling Pettit.

Bushby and Tisha Lemoal were the goal scorers for the Swans.


WAFLW Development

The Development side came into the game not having beaten East Fremantle since Round 15, 2018. The Sharks would’ve also been confident coming up against the Development Swans, knowing they had beaten the black and whites last season by a combined total of 120 points.

The Swans started the game well, holding the home side scoreless in the first quarter, but rushed their opportunities in front of goals, going into the first break with only 3 points to their name.

It was the Sharks that were first to kick truly in the second, with inaccuracy plaguing the black and whites in front of goals. The halftime score line of 6 points to 5 points reflecting the pressure showed around the ground from both sides in the first half.

It was the Swans that settled first in the third, finally able to put the ball through the big sticks on three occasions to take a narrow 10 point lead into the final term.

Holding the home side scoreless again in the last quarter, it was the black ducks that were able to come away with the EF 2.2 (14) to SD 4.7 (31) victory.

Shannon Matthews kicked 2 goals, with one apiece to Chanel Jetta and Sophie De Gasperis.

De Gasperis took home the best on ground honours, with Hannah Corney, Renee Holwill, Amber Ugle-Hayward and Kareema Kheder rounding out the top five.


WAFLW League

Not only did season 2020 see East Fremantle knock the Swan Districts League side out of second spot in the last game of the home-and-away series (taking away their opportunity of the double chance in the finals), they also backed it up the following weekend to win again in the Elimination final.

As if that wasn’t enough motivation for the black and whites to want to win this game, there were a number of other significant reasons to inspire their efforts, including;

  1. A new tradition between the clubs (when they meet for the first time each season) which sees them wear their NAIDOC jumpers and exchange gifts before the game to honour the contributions made by past, present and future indigenous players,
  2. A 4-0 start to the season,
  3. Kloe Taylor making her League debut, and
  4. After 631 days on the sidelines with knee injuries, Naomi Baker made her long-awaited return to the field.

It was the Swans who hit the scoreboard in the first minute of the opening quarter, Taylah Edwards kicking a half-volley soccer goal from the square after the ball sailed over the heads of the East Fremantle defenders. A checkside goal from Mikayla Morrison running through the pocket put the Swans up by 11 going into the first break, holding the home side goalless for the quarter.

The Sharks came out with a point to prove in the second, with their tackling pressure getting on top of the black and whites, kicking two early goals to take back the lead. The Swans were able to wrestle a 1-point lead back late in the term, with inaccuracy in attack seeing them able to add just single points on the board throughout the quarter. Playing to their new game plan and being brave with their ball use was the message from Coach Adam Dancey during the main break.

The Swans began to settle into the game in the third. Their first goal came after a strong defensive play by the backline saw the ball transferred across the ground and into the strong hands of Bella Edgley up forward. Some fancy fast hands from Sarah Wielstra to Bianca Webb and back to Wielstra saw the black ducks put through their second in two minutes. As the lead threatened to blow out after Morrison kicked another for the Swans, the Sharks made a late push, finishing with two successive goals, closing the gap to just 10 points heading into the final term.

The fourth quarter saw some impressive chains of play between the black and whites, changing the angles and willing to take risks to move the ball forward, often without their opponents being able to touch the ball. Hope Ugle-Hayward opened the attack after some clean play saw her open in front of the goals. Another impressive give and go play from Webb after a hard ball get opened up Dana East running through the forward line to extend the lead. Although the Sharks hit back with a goal during the middle of the quarter, it was the Swans who were able to kick away after Morrison and Wielstra each added another to their tally, for a comprehensive EF 5.4 (34) to SD 9.8 (62) win.

Showing Trent Cooper and the rest of the Fremantle Dockers AFLW coaches that they would be crazy to leave her out of their top side for a third week in a row, Bianca Webb was a step above the rest of the competition on the day, receiving the best on ground votes after an elite display of skill and leadership. Dana East, Sarah Lakay, Aimee Ralph and Jessica Cox were also amongst the best for the Swans League side.

Mikayla Morrison backed up her four goals from last week with another three, Sarah Wielstra added another two to her tally while Dane East, Hope Ugle-Hayward, Taylah Edwards and Bella Edgley all finished with one each.

After tearing her ACL and Meniscus in 2019, then the same Meniscus again in 2020, it had been a long road of recovery and extensive rehabilitation for winger, Naomi Baker, to get back on the park. Starting on the bench in the first quarter, she said it felt surreal when it was time for her to run out again for the first time in 631 days.

“When Dancey called my name to rotate onto the wing, I felt confident and ready to get on the ground” she said after the game. “I knew I had done everything I could to be given this opportunity.”

“All the girls were just so supportive and they got around me the whole time, and I was over the moon to be back out there with them.

“It was an amazing experience.”


Round 5, 2021

Round 5 sees the Swan Districts sides return home to Steel Blue Oval for the first time since Round 1, to take on the Subiaco Lions. Make sure you are there to show your support and cheer on the black and whites!


Sunday 21st March 2021

Rogers Cup         9:20am

Development    11:05am

League                 1:00pm