UPDATE: Out-of-favour Fremantle squad member Michael Walters faces a nervous wait today after being reported in the first quarter of Swan Districts’ crushing 91-point win against Peel on Saturday.
Walters’ booking for rough conduct against Thunder utility player Liam McKenna was the only sour note in Swans’ ruthless 27.15 (177) to 12.14 (86) victory at Bendigo Bank Stadium.
Eleven goals from full-forward Ashley Hansen was the cornerstone of the mauling of a listless and undermanned Peel.
Thunder defenders were powerless to stop Hansen, who had 21 possessions and dragged in 14 marks.
The 29-year-old kicked three goals in each of the first two quarters, two in the third and three more in the last for his first 11-goal haul.
Fellow forward Tim Geappen had a purple patch in the third quarter when he had eight kicks, seven marks and kicked six goals, the 28-year-old finishing the match with 22 possessions, 15 marks, nine inside 50s and 6.2.
Swans coach Greg Harding was full of praise for Hansen, who has booted 23 goals in his past three matches after shaking off a nagging groin injury.
“Ash has been in really consistent form and provides a good target,” Harding said. “He’s a pivotal aspect of our front half and it’s great that he got reward for effort.”
Harding said there were still plenty of areas for his side to improve on ahead of Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash against East Perth at Steel Blue Oval.
“For us as a side, there are many areas that we need to work on,” he said.
“I thought we coughed up too many easy goals and goals that we didn’t have the required amount of desperation to save.
“It’s given us a really good focus for the game against East Perth.”
Others to fare well for Swans against Peel included midfielders Matt Riggio, Marlon Motlop, Shaun Hildebrandt and Blaine Boekhorst, forwards Murray Newman and Ryan Davis, and defenders Graham Jetta, Kyle Hams and Tallan Ames.
Tom Roach did a terrific shutdown role on Peel midfielder Anthony Morabito, while Riggio had 28 possessions, four marks, five inside 50s and 10 of his team’s 28 clearances for the match.
The Thunder lost key players Blayne Wilson and Scott Lycett to leg injuries before the match and were quickly on the back foot when James Bristow (hip) and Peter Faulks (knee) hobbled off early.
Faulks was able to play out the game with his left knee heavily bandaged but looked restricted.
Captain Brendon Jones played a lone hand for Peel, the 26-year-old finishing with 35 possessions, three marks, six tackles, 12 inside 50s and five clearances.
|GOALS – SWAN DISTRICTS: Hansen 11; Geappen 6; Davis, Riggio, Notte, Walters 2; Roach, Newman. PEEL: K Thornton, Battye, Daniels, Orzel 2; Jones, Holmes, Hancock, Morabito.|
BEST – SWAN DISTRICTS: Hansen, Geappen, Riggio, Jetta, Boekhorst, Ames, Motlop. PEEL: Jones, Travers, Lleyendekkers, Orzel, Daniels.