Swan Districts overcame a wayward start and a dour first half to crush a Peel team boasting 13 Fremantle players at Bendigo Bank Stadium.
Swans had nine behinds on the board before they produced their first goal but then stepped all over the Thunder on their way to doubling the home team’s score, 11.16 (82) to 5.11 (41).
But their ninth win of the season came at a significant cost with veteran forward Tim Geappen suffering a hamstring tear and a groin injury affecting Matthew Jukes.
Geappen’s class was one of the critical differences early in the match as Peel proved incapable of converting their undoubted spread talent into results.
The large contingent of Fremantle talls made Peel too cumbersome for the visitors who produced a remarkable 40 inside 50s by half-time to contrast with the Thunder’s 10. It was 70 to 34 at the end.
Matt Riggio’s running power enabled him to gather a game-high 34 possessions, many of them in the second term when he stood out from the intense but muddling contest.
Swans produced a dramatic increase in efficiency in the third term to finally break the deadlock between the teams.
Geappen twice found his range in the opening moments and it appeared that the black and whites would run away with the match after the dour first half.
But Dockers Kepler Bradley and Matt Taberner found answers before Ryan Davis and the silky Aidan Anderson extended the lead.
Anderson kicked his second within 30 seconds of the start of the last quarter to extinguish Peel’s hopes of winning their second game this season.
Swans did not kick a major in the first quarter despite peppering the goals with nine behinds and another three shots that sailed out on the full.
Swans played the better football but could not convert their control while Peel had little impact but several times charged forward to score.
After coming close to a Fremantle call up, Anthony Morabito had a flat start to the match but warmed up late in the first half.
Brendan Jones showed up many of his AFL team-mates with a display full of precision, flair and prolific ball-gathering.
|GOALS – SWAN DISTRICTS: Anderson 3; Davis, Geappen 2; Ugle, Riggio, Jukes, Cary. PEEL: Taberner 2; Hannath, Bradley, Gumbleton.|
BEST – SWAN DISTRICTS: Riggio, Ames, Ugle, Jetta, Anderson, Elari. PEEL: Jones, Grey, Bradley, Griffin, Menegola.