Swan Districts will enter the State bye on top of the WAFL ladder with seven consecutive wins under their belts and the self-belief to secure another flag after accounting for Claremont today.
Down at quarter time as the Tigers stormed from the gates, Swans displayed greater poise and attacking options in the scrappy contest to triumph by 26 points, 11.17 (83) to 8.9 (57).
Likely State debutants Tony Notte, Ryan Davis and Justin Simpson were all strong contributors as Swans found winners on every line.
Notte claimed 11 marks as a strong target in attack amid spells on the ball while Davis collected 17 damaging possessions.
And Simpson, who is in the best form of a substantial WAFL career, had 14 marks and 27 disposals to virtually guarantee his place against the NEAFL next week.
Claremont were kept goalless for most of their two terms kicking with the breeze until registering two majors in the dying moments of the game and are now in serious danger of collecting their first wooden spoon in three decades.
The game was marred by an array of baffling decisions by the umpires who were content to allow most infringements to go unpenalised but occasionally plucked out a decision that confused both teams.
Davis came into his own in the second half while Matt Riggio got the better of Luke Blackwell in an enthralling battle between two of the WAFL’s premier on-ballers.
Swans’ poise under pressure was far superior to Claremont who had seven premiership players in their team but few who were able to influence the contest.
Blackwell and Matt Orzel were busy in the midfield but not damaging while the Tigers could not find a marking target in attack.
The league’s leading goal-kicker Ricky Cary was held early but came to prominence late in the first half when he kicked consecutive goals as the game degenerated into a spiteful contest.
He added another one late to have 24 after the first round of matches.
Claremont burst from the gates in the opening term with tough first-year player Brenden Abbott kicking two early goals as Tigers coach Mike Broadbridge shifted numerous players from their usual positions.
Claremont led at the first change and battled hard until midway in the second when Swans started to exert their authority.
|GOALS – SWAN DISTRICTS: Cary 3; Jukes 2; Ugle, Rogers, Davis, Riggio, Geappen, Manton. CLAREMONT: Abbott 4; Orzel 2; Seaby, Hamp.|
BEST – SWAN DISTRICTS: Simpson, Elari, Notte, Davis, Riggio, Geappen. CLAREMONT:Abbott, Edwards, Murphy, Fong, Blackwell, Orzel.