NPFL fi­nal

Wick­ham stum­ble in home semi

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

South Hed­land Swans have re­asserted their au­thor­ity over the com­pe­ti­tion with a one-point win away from home over Wick­ham Wolves.

Hav­ing fallen off the mark in the past month, cul­mi­nat­ing in los­ing top spot on the lad­der to the Wolves in the fi­nal round, the Swans went into the game as un­der­dogs for the first time this sea­son.

Nei­ther team was at its best, but the Swans man­aged to scrap out an ugly 9.13 (67) to 10.6 (66) win to se­cure a home grand fi­nal.

There were high ex­pec­ta­tions go­ing into the game, but the first quar­ter was a sham­bles as both teams strug­gled to click into gear.

The Wolves looked pedes­trian in attack, while at the other end, the Swans couldn’t buy a goal and went into the first break trail­ing by three points.

A half-time score­line of 5.9 (39) to 5.3 (33) to the vis­i­tors set the scene for a huge sec­ond half, and it was the Wolves who came out play­ing the brand of footy that had been miss­ing in the open­ing terms.

The lead blew out to 11 in favour of the home side at one stage, but the Wolves’ wheels came off in the fi­nal 10 min­utes of the quar­ter and the Swans cap­i­talised to go into the fi­nal change eight points ahead.

The Wolves came out fir­ing once again in the fi­nal term and quickly reeled the lead back to one, but a bun­gled kick out of the goal square gifted the Swans a ma­jor and breath­ing space.

A goal with three min­utes on the clock gave the home crowd a voice, but de­spite keep­ing up for­ward pres­sure in the dy­ing min­utes, the Wolves were un­able to steal the fi­nal points to snatch vic­tory.

Of con­cern for the Wolves go­ing into this week­end’s do-or-die game will be con­tested pos­ses­sions, where they were com­pletely out­classed, par­tic­u­larly in the air, by the Swans all night.

Pic­tures: Tom Zaun­mayr

Ray­mond Tay­lor cops a high one in the third quar­ter.

Jonathon Bul­lock beats Ray­mond Dhu to the ball on the right wing.

A huge defensive ef­fort kept the Swans’ noses in front.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.