South keep Sharks at bay to stay in flag hunt

Pilbara News - - Sport - ■ Peter de Krui­jff

The South Hed­land Swans made it two from two in their matches against the Dampier Sharks in the North Pil­bara Football League fi­nals on the week­end.

Be­fore their league side won, the Swans pulled off another tough bat­tle against the Sharks re­serves in Wick­ham, win­ning 9.12 (66) to 8.4 (52).

There was a lot more on the line for the Swans this time around though, be­cause los­ing the game would have meant the end of their sea­son.

Swans won the toss and opted to kick with the strong breeze blow­ing away from the clu­b­room end.

But the Hed­land team failed to take ad­van­tage of the wind, kick­ing just two goals for the quar­ter as the Sharks scrapped hard and man­aged to score a goal of their own.

In the sec­ond term the Sharks also failed to cap­i­talise on the breeze as the Swans kept an ex­tra man back in de­fence, which put added pres­sure on the Sharks for­wards.

It ap­peared Swans would take a nice lit­tle buf­fer go­ing into half­time be­fore a brain fade on the buzzer led to a 50m penalty and a free kick to Sharks from out­side the 50m line at an an­gle.

A boom­ing, wind-as­sisted kick by Max Payne sailed through the mid­dle sticks to cut the mar­gin to nine points, with Swans lead­ing 4.5 (29) to 3.2 (20). Swans pushed out their lead again in the third quar­ter to 8.8 (56) to 5.2 (32).

Sharks dug deep in the last term but Swans had al­ready done the dam­age as they se­cured a shot at mak­ing the grand fi­nal against Wick­ham Wolves.

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