Sharks unable to match swift Swans
The South Hedland Swans league side have asserted themselves on the home stretch to finals with a big win over Dampier Sharks in round 14, showing they are back in action after some shaky games in the past few rounds.
Swans triumphed by 84 points in what was a mostly competitive game at Windy Ridge Oval on Saturday.
Both the league and reserves games were played several hours earlier than usual to make time for a Sharks club function — which, in a sign of cross-club solidarity, their opponents were also invited to.
Swans led from the start, though the Sharks were not far behind and hung on throughout the first half.
But from the third quarter, fitness woes started taking their toll on the home side and their momentum began to drop away.
South Hedland swiftly capitalised, moving the ball forward effortlessly throughout the final quarter to add another 9.5 to their score and maximise their percentage with a final result of 20.14 (134) to 7.8 (50). Steele Viti was the Swans’ top goal scorer with a sixgoal contribution to the match, while teammate John Nannup kicked four.
Swans league coach Troy Melville said despite the scoreboard, it had been a stand-out game between the two sides.
“It’s ... the best game I’ve been affiliated with in my time here — the best free-flowing, in-the-air, contested footy game,” he said.
“Both teams had a really good crack.”
Sharks league coach Kristian Dicton said it was a shame to have suffered from a “lack of legs” — but “all you can ask is to be competitive, and that’s what we did”.
The Sharks had reason to be much happier with their reserves game, in which they defeated South Hedland 17.10 (112) to 6.4 (40). A 7.3 spree in the first quarter put them on the front foot and they managed to sustain the high scoring over the course of the game to ultimately overwhelm the Swans side. The two teams, which both coaches said had a good club relationship, relaxed to Daren Reid and the Soul City Groove at the Sharks clubhouse after the match.
Dampier Sharks and South Hedland Swans players kicked back post-match at a Sharks' club function.
South Hedland Swans' Steven Jacobs and Jesse Simpson.
Brook Ebbsworth, Codi Bin Salleh, Jono Bin Salleh and Nick Burrell.