Footy fans can’t deny that extra buzz of anticipation that arrives with a grand final rematch, writes Sandra Argese.
Add the prospect of the classic Sunday afternoon timeslot in near perfect conditions at Steel Blue Oval in Bassendean, and it’s the ultimate recipe for a real blockbuster. The Swans v Sharks season opener was certainly no exception, in a match defined by the timeless of art of the comeback – courtesy of Swan Districts.
A defiant East Fremantle were the dominant side for the majority of three quarters, taking confident leads into the breaks of the first three quarters, only to fall short at the final hurdle courtesy of the reigning premiers’ unstoppable final quarter surge as the scores settled at 8.5 (53) to 6.6 (42). But the round one Mundella WAWFL match was certainly no high scoring affair to start off with.
An entire seven and a half minutes into the first quarter was the time it took before the Swans finally broke the goal scoring drought with a cleverly orchestrated major courtesy of Emily Mcguire.
A Sarah Townsend goal put the Sharks on the board to give them a two point advantage at the first change.
Mcguire’s second major opened the second term, but her team didn’t continue the trend. Much of the second term became a one sided Shark affair, as they would bang through the next three goals of the game.
The first of three arrived with Joanne Beechey’s quick thinking overhead goal. Arguably the goal of the round, this was followed by Jade de Melo’s major which extended their lead to seven points. Winning a free from a holding the ball decision in front of goal, Shawnee Turner’s major only increased that number and handed the Sharks a healthy 13 point lead at the main change.
The Swans had no answers for the Sharks leading up to half time and the game looked well and truly in the hands of the away side.
Shark Kimberley Bowey proved a strong hitout winner in the ruck, whilst Sharon Wong could do no wrong in the midfield providing plenty of ball carry throughout each of the four quarters.
Following the main break, East Fremantle’s lead blew out to 22 points at one point. The game looked well and truly over.
But in true grand final intensity, it completely turned as the classy Swans showed why they are the reigning premiers by storming home by kicking six goals after half time to East Fremantle’s two.
The news didn’t get any better for the Sharks midway through final term as Tara Avery was helped off the field following a rough tackle.
Mcguire had the goal kicking boots on, pushing hard up forward to finish the match with the highest individual score of three majors to her name.
Consecutive goals, speedy ball carry and a strong defensive unit amongst several entries inside defensive 50 saw the home side deservedly come home with the four points.
Swan Districts will go in favourites against South Fremantle, who will be looking to redeem themselves following a 55 point battering at the hands of the Peel Thunderbirds. Meanwhile, East Fremantle will be looking to secure their first win of the season when they take on the Claremont Tigers.
QUARTER BY QUARTER:
SWAN DISTRICTS: 1.1 (7), 2.3 (15), 5.4 (34), 8.5 (53)
EAST FREMANTLE: 1.3 (9), 4.4 (28), 6.5 (41), 6.6 (42)
Emily McGuire (3), Gemma Houghton (2), Jenna Basse, Sharni-Leigh Kittow, Tayla Mcauliffe.
Jade de Melo (2), Shawnee Turner, Sarah Townsend, Joanne Beechey, Ashlee Atkins.