WAFL: Swans stay alive
WEST Perth threatened to steal an upset, but a spirited Swan Districts outfit proved defiant with the support of a big home crowd behind it in the WAFL elimination final.
The Falcons hit the front by two points with the first two goals of the final term.
A behind to Andrew Strijk increased the margin to three points – the Falcons’ biggest lead of the match – but the hosts steadied with the final three goals to end West Perth’s season and claim an 11.9 (75) to 8.12 (60) victory at Bassendean Oval on Sunday.
It capped off a big occasion for the Swans, who were honouring Tony Notte’s 200th game and the retiring Tallan Ames’ final home appearance.
The match looked as though it was headed for a blowout in the first term, with Swan Districts jumping to a 26-point lead by quartertime after kicking five goals and keeping the visitors goalless.
But as West Perth had done against Claremont the week prior, the Falcons showed some fight.
Swans scored just one behind in the second quarter as Strijk became the danger man up forward, kicking two goals to go with one to Luke Meadows, reducing the margin to seven points and setting up an enticing second half.
The hosts’ Freddie Clutterbuck (29 disposals) kicked a crucial goal in each of the final two quarters, with his teammates thriving off the energy of his celebrations.
Ex-Docker Ryan Crowley had 30 touches for Swans, while Shane Nelson (36 possessions, eight inside-50s) and Scott Simpson (24 disposals, 29 hit-outs) were among West Perth’s best.
Swan Districts faces South Fremantle in the first semi-final at Fremantle Oval on Sunday.
Ryan Crowley under pressure from West Perth’s Shane Nelson, Tyler Keitel and Aidan Lynch.