Swan Districts have buried pre-season doubts over their ability to compete after continuing their strong start to the season with a 13-point triumph at Steel Blue Oval this afternoon.
The hosts were widely tipped to finish the year with the wooden spoon after an exodus of senior players during the off-season, but have quickly shed that tag in posting their second win of the season.
The 13.16 (94) to 11.15 (81) victory was set up with a four-goal burst after half time, with Swans capitalising on a wasteful first term from a winless South Fremantle.
The Bulldogs dominated possession through the middle of the ground in the opening quarter for a return of just 1.7 that left the door wide open.
Forward Matthew Jukes booted two goals in his best WAFL performance, while Tallan Ames and Justin Simpson were superb in defence when Swans were under the pump in the first and final quarters.
Last weekend’s hero Ricky Cary also bobbed up for three majors to emerge as a surprise leader of the league’s goal kicking tally after the first four rounds.
Delisted Docker Haiden Schloithe won a heap of the ball, particularly in the first half, as Souths’ best player.
They were left to rue their mistakes in front of goal early in a result that will put added pressure on Bulldogs coach Paul Hasleby.
Josh Pullman squandered the most straightforward chance when he pushed a set shot wide from 25m out directly in front midway through the opening term after being gifted with a generous 50m penalty.
The waste meant a five-point lead for Souths at the first break rather than a three or four-goal buffer and the Swans made them pay after the first break.
Key forwards Cary and Tim Geappen hit the scoreboard during a seesawing second term in which Swans snatched the lead despite losing the possession count for the half 160-207.
They strengthened their hold on the contest soon after half time.
Four goals in the space of eight minutes to start the third quarter, including a superb snap from the right pocket by Jukes, ultimately broke the game open.
| GOALS – SWAN DISTRICTS: Cary 3; Jukes2; Geappen, Davis, Notte, Rogers, Anderson, Ugle, Faulkner, Boekhorst. SOUTH FREMANTLE: Pickett, Kelly, Schloithe 2; Saunders, Sokol, Pullman, Bewick, Cook.|
BEST – SWAN DISTRICTS: Ames, Simpson, Davis, Faulkner, Jukes, G Jetta, Ugle. SOUTH FREMANTLE: Schloithe, Kelly, Cook, Ross, Hams.