Swans celebrate win and home grand final
South Hedland Swans’ Jesse Simpson embraces Anthony Kyanga as the final hooter sounds over Windy Ridge Oval and the Swans celebrate securing a home grand final in the North Pilbara Football League after beating the Dampier Sharks 15.6 (96) to 10.10 (70).
The South Hedland Swans have won the right to host this year’s North Pilbara Football League grand final after a five-goal upset against this year’s minor premier’s the Dampier Sharks.
Last week’s crucial round saw the Sharks lock up the competition on point differential, which gave them the advantage of a home semifinal against the Swans on Saturday night.
A big crowd turned out for the match with spectators around the sideline of the whole oval.
Swans had plenty of mettle and limited their opponents scoring chances to be trailing 3.2 (20) to 3.4 (22) at the first break.
There were more injury worries which cropped up for the Sharks in the first quarter, with the loss of former De Grey medal winner Lewis Upton to a suspected knee injury and Ash Emery was thrust into the midfield off the bench for the rest of the match.
Swans opened up the game in the second with a scoring barrage of six goals to one.
Kurtis Geary grabbed his biggest bag of the season with four goals while returning forward Steele Viti, who has missed the past few games, chipped in with three and some well-timed spot kicks into the goal square to teammates.
The third quarter was as physical as you would expect a finals match up to be, with some of the biggest hits seen all year.
Sharks’ Ryan Hawke celebrated a big goal in the third, pumping his fist and motioning to the Sharks supporters to get amped up.
The Swans’ ball pressure rattled Sharks’ composure at times in the third quarter. Although the home team snagged another three goals, the Swans were well in front with four of their own, pushing the margin out 13.4 (82) to 7.8 (50) going into the last quarter. There was plenty of urgency from the Sharks in the last, but they couldn’t stop Swans scoring and left their charge too late, going down 10.10 (70) to 15.6 (96). Swans will take the week off to face the winner of the Dampier Sharks and Wickham Wolves from this week’s preliminary final in Dampier.
Dampier Sharks’ Jason Cox kicks the ball into his team’s attacking 50m.
South Hedland Swans’ forward Steele Viti lines up for goals.