Swan Districts have won two quarters and no matches in the last five weeks of the season yet could still host the first semi-final despite losing to their play-off opponent East Fremantle today.
The Sharks guaranteed they would finish in the top four with a clinical demolition of a Swans team that will stagger into the finals and may be without several of their key figures.
Captain Tallan Ames (hamstring) and midfielder Blaine Boekhorst (knee) were both out of action midway through the first term at Atom Stadium.
And ruckman Nathan Blakely also limped off with a calf issue in the third term while Adam Faulkner hurt a shoulder.
Defender Alex Howard was also reported fro a crude and late charge on Rory O’Brien during a marking contest.
East Fremantle revelled in the lack of pressure to stroll home by 62 points, 18.14 (122) to 9.6 (60).
Victory over Subiaco next week would be sufficient for the Sharks to host the first semi though a loss could see them drop below Swans on percentage.
The Sharks were full of bite from the first bounce and though Swans kicked three early goals, the visitors appeared outnumbered and outmatched.
Brett Peake had two early goals on the board to reward East Fremantle’s hard running.
As Brock O’Brien matched his prolific brother’s input, and defenders Sam Read, Steven Dodd, Tom Howlett and Andrew Stephen gave little away, it appeared the only question over the game was going to be East Fremantle’s winning margin.
Tyler Chalwell provided a strong target in attack in the best performance of his short league career.
It was evident that East Fremantle boasted significantly more height on their forward line with ruckmen Rob Young and James Bristow also providing a presence until the latter damaged an ankle.
The Sharks have also added pace with the highlight coming in the third term when Boston Williamson bounced the ball from half-back to half-forward while extending his lead on speedster Kirk Ugle.
Ryan Davis was the sole shining light for Swans with 32 disposals and a weighty presence on ball and in attack.
|GOALS – EAST FREMANTLE: Williamson 3; Peake, B O’Brien, Schofield 2; McGough, R O’Brien, Henson, Hancock, Chalwell, Dalziell, Young, Edwards, Bristow. SWAN DISTRICTS: Anderson, Cary 2; Elari, C Blakely, N Blakely, Jukes, Geappen.|
BEST – EAST FREMANTLE: B O’Brien, Stephen, Chalwell, Read, R O’Brien, Bristow. SWAN DISTRICTS: Davis, C Blakely, Broad, Elari, Rogers.