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Finals Frenzy

Wednesday, September 8, 2021 - 11:07 AM

Nobody likes to lose but the fact that Swan Districts could be so competitive against Claremont on Saturday with so many key players missing was an encouraging sign entering the 2021 finals series.

Both teams coming into the game on Saturday at Revo Fitness Stadium as their last hit out before being guaranteed of playing finals, and while Swans were pretty much locked into fifth spot, a big win for the Tigers could see them jump into second or even first place with a bit of luck.

There was a period early in the last quarter with Claremont up by 35 points where they could have kept on a roll to win by enough to leapfrog South Fremantle into second position and earn hosting rights for the qualifying final, but it wasn’t to be.

Despite coming into the game missing a host of key players including Corey Gault, Alex Howard, Lewis Jetta, Sam Fisher, Frank Anderson and Warrick Wilson, Swans actually finished the game impressively to at least take some confidence into the finals despite the eventual 22-point loss.

Claremont won the game 11.11 (77) to 8.7 (55) on home turf to see them end the season in third position at 13-5 ahead of a qualifying final match up with South Fremantle on Saturday at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.

Swan Districts finished the season in fifth spot with a 10-8 record to now return to the finals for the first time since 2017, and first time with Adam Pickering as coach. Swans will take on West Perth this Sunday in an elimination final at Joondalup's Provident Financial Oval.

Chris Jones went up forward to provide a marking target for Swan Districts and kicked three goals from seven kicks and six marks while Jesse Palmer kicked another two goals as well.

Jesse Turner marked his 100th game for Swan Districts with a strong showing with 29 possessions while Jackson Beck finished with 27 disposals, Josh Cipro 26, Jehb O'Donohue 21 and Nelson Waite 19.

Swan Districts didn’t really have a realistic chance of replacing West Perth in fourth spot even with a win on Saturday, but Claremont certainly still had a chance of snatching second from South Fremantle with a big win.

But it was Swans who got off to the perfect start with a goal to Jesse Palmer before the Tigers worked their way on top of the contest.

Claremont would have the next six shots on goal for the game to take control but the Tigers only converted two of those attempts into goals through Timm House and Alex Manuel.

That meant when Greg Ottaviano kicked a second for Swans just before quarter-time, the Tigers only led by the four points at quarter-time.

Manuel then kicked a second to open the second term for Claremont but again Swan Districts responded thanks to Callum Garcia and it was just a five-point ball game.

The game continued to follow that trend the rest of the first half with each Claremont goal answered by Swan Districts, and the five-point half-time lead for the Tigers was not what they needed as they tried to get a win big enough to leapfrog the Bulldogs into second place.

The second half started the same way with a Claremont goal to Manuel and then a response for Swan Districts by Chris Jones.

The Tigers finally built some momentum with goals to Jack Buller, Bailey Rogers, Isaac Barton and Manuel to close the third quarter and to be up by 29 points at three quarter-time.

Claremont then went up by 35 points to start the fourth quarter with another goal to Rogers and suddenly the Tigers were a real chance of building up a big enough win that could have seen them nab second position.

It wasn’t to be, though, with a couple more goals to Jones for Swan Districts closing the final margin to just 22 points in favour of Claremont.

Earlier in the day in the colts, it was a 9.10 (64) to 7.13 (55) victory for Swan Districts against Claremont.

Tyrell Metcalf kicked two goals for Swans with Bryce Watson gathering 28 possessions, Max Chipper 26, Elijah Hewett 24, Lawson Humphries 23 and Ben Hewett 18.

Swan Districts' colts finish three games clear on top of the ladder with a 15-1 record to now have the week off awaiting the winner of the Claremont-East Perth qualifying final this weekend for them to face in a second semi-final next weekend.

And in the reserves, Claremont scored a 16.16 (112) to 4.4 (28) win against Swan Districts.

Warrick Wilson kicked two goals from five kicks for Swans with Jamison Ugle collecting 24 disposals, Denzel More 22, Ty Sears 20 and Dylan Ralph 19.

Despite that result, Swan Districts' reserves finish the season in second position with an 11-5 record. That sees them take on Perth in a qualifying final this Saturday at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.


SWAN DISTRICTS                                              2.0          5.2          6.4          8.7 (55)

CLAREMONT                                                      2.4          5.7          10.9        11.11 (77)

SWAN DISTRICTS: Goals – Jones 3; Palmer 2; Edwards, Ottaviano, Garcia.

Best – Turner, Cipro, Beck, Palmer, Erceg, Riley, O'Donohue.

CLAREMONT: Goals – Buller, Manuel 3; Rogers 2; Hardisty, House, Barton.

Best – Rogers, Bolton, Lim, Manuel, Buller, Eastland, J Hardisty, Mitchell.