Swan Districts warmed up for what could be another two meetings with Claremont in the next month by beating the ladder leaders by nine points at Steel Blue Oval.
Just seven weeks after suffering a 97-point hammering at the hands of the rampart Tigers, Swans survived a last quarter fightback to win 14.8 (92) to 12.11 (83).
They were up by 40 points at the last break but exhorted by coach Marc Webb to play with discipline and intensity, Claremont banged on six straight goals to get within four points.
Silky-skilled teenager Aidan Smith got one back to provide a two-goal buffer before Swans delighted their fans by hanging on to the siren.
But the win came at a cost as spearhead Ashley Hansen, who had kicked the first two goals in the opening minutes, damaged a hamstring and was out of the game before halfway through the first quarter.
The two teams could meet again in the second semifinal and then again in the grand final to provide three match-ups in just five weeks.
Swans started in ferocious fashion as they played with the spirit of the 1982 premiership team that welcomed them onto the field with an honour guard.
While Claremont were never out of the contest, they struggled to get their intense running game into gear and were down by 40 points well before half-time.
Shaun Hildebrandt and Marlon Motlop had standout games in the midfield with 64 disposals between them while Lule Blackwell, who had missed three matches through suspension, returned to the Claremont team with a bang.
The centreman has 32 possessions and was one of few Claremont players to have an influence before the last quarter.
Paul Medhurst also returned after a long absence and after a rusty first half, found his way into the action with three goals and several assists.
Swans highly reliable backline was again prominent with Tallan Ames blanketing Tom Lee, Justin Simpson showing the form of his 2010 finals series and Kyle Hams doing an outstanding job as a rebounder.
|GOALS – SWAN DISTRICTS: Hansen, Jukes 2; Roach, Twomey, Motlop, Simpson, Notte, Manton, Daniels, Garlett, Smith.|
CLAREMONT: Medhurst 3; Stevenson 2; Walton, Browne, Handley, Jones, Blackwell, Mitchell, Crawford.
BEST – SWAN DISTRICTS: Hildebrandt, Simpson, Motlop, Ames, Daniels, Hams.
CLAREMONT: Blackwell, Crawford, Browne, Foster, Morton, Medhurst.
UMPIRES: T Keating, J Orr, D O’Neill.
CROWD: 3000 (approx) at Steel Blue Oval.
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