Bag­gies qui­etly ris­ing

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sport - BY COLIN MACGILLIVR­AY

Swifts will face a Hor­sham District league lit­mus test when they host 2018 grand fi­nal­ist Kal­kee at Stawell’s North Park on Satur­day.

The Bag­gies have qui­etly risen to third on the ladder after a round one loss to Na­timuk United.

Since then the team has recorded com­mand­ing vic­to­ries against No­rad­juha-quan­tong, Pimpinio and, at the week­end, Tay­lors Lake.

The Bag­gies’ per­cent­age of 202.68 is the sec­ond best in the league be­hind reign­ing premier Har­row-balmoral.

Swifts got an early break on Tay­lors Lake at the week­end, reg­is­ter­ing 16 scor­ing shots to four in the first half after keep­ing the Lak­ers score­less in the first quar­ter.

Ruck­man Brett Har­g­reaves was in­stru­men­tal in the 18.16 (124) to 6.7 (43) win, kick­ing two goals and giv­ing his mid­field­ers first use of the ball.

Matt Healy, Todd Matthews and Jakob Salmi also shone for Swifts, while Trae Martin con­tin­ued his im­pres­sive start to the sea­son for Tay­lors Lake.

Kal­kee will be Swifts’ big­gest test of the sea­son so far.

The Kees were less than con­vinc­ing in a first round loss to Har­row-balmoral and sub­se­quent nar­row wins against Ru­pa­nyup and Tay­lors Lake, but ap­peared to be round­ing into form

in a 15.12 (102) to 7.9 (51) win against La­harum at the week­end.

Kal­kee gained the as­cen­dancy in the sec­ond quar­ter after a rel­a­tively even first. Mid­field­ers Hamish Ex­ell and Si­mon Hobbs led the way for the Kees, the lat­ter boot­ing two goals in a best on ground per­for­mance.

Jay­den Kuhne slot­ted six goals to lead an ef­fec­tive Kal­kee for­ward line.

For the Moun­tain Men, ruck­man Jed Mcconville was a stand­out and key for­ward Tom Craw­ford booted four goals.

La­harum must now re­group to face Har­row-balmoral, which posted a 33-point win against Eden­hope-ap­s­ley at the week­end.

The Roos’ pre­mier­ship defence is off to the per­fect start and the Moun­tain Men will be hard-pressed to stay with the Roos, even on their home deck at Cameron Oval.

Na­timuk United sur­vived in a thrilling three-point win against No­rad­juhaquan­tong at the week­end, 13.6 (84) to 12.9 (81).

The Rams now face the founder­ing Pimpinio Tigers, who could only record one goal against Jeparit-rain­bow in a 154-point loss.

A win and pos­si­ble per­cent­age boost would see the Rams main­tain their un­beaten start to the sea­son and give them an early leg up in the top six race.

In other round five games Eden­ho­peap­s­ley will host Ru­pa­nyup at Eden­hope and Tay­lors Lake will travel to Jeparit for a clash with Jeparit-rain­bow.

No­rad­juha-quan­tong has a bye.

ON THE RUN: Brett Har­g­reaves, Swifts, gives chase to Tay­lors Lake’s Trae Martin as they pur­sue a loose ball. Pic­ture: PAUL CARRACHER

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