Sport

Swans dived but still snatched victory

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July 06, 2017

Grant Hateley takes a high-flying mark against Lancaster.

Michael Morgan has safe hands when in possession of the ball.

Cody Thompson gets a kick away against Lancaster under 18s.

Avenel had close to double the scoring shots of its opponent on Saturday, but only just got home with a nine-point win.

The Swans were woeful in front of goal, booting 10.19 to narrowly escape Lancaster in the fourth versus fifth encounter.

Coach Don Stirling (1.5), club-leading goalkicker Chris Burton (0.5) and Nick Goodwin (1.4) were the main culprits, but it was a day to forget for a number of the Swans’ forwards.

Despite the team’s inaccuracy, Stirling was just happy to take the four points, and extend the Swans’ winning streak to six straight games.

‘‘We would have had twice as many inside-50s and we had almost double the scoring shots, so that aspect was pretty disappointing, but we came away with the win and that’s what counts,’’ Stirling said.

The Swans were slow to start and trailed by 14 points at the first change, however they came out all guns blazing in the second term to turn the game back in their favour.

Avenel’s midfielders were well on top and the clearances belonged to the Swans, while their backs were all over any forward forays the Wombats tried to make.

In fact, Avenel’s backline kept Lancaster scoreless in the second quarter to turn the quarter-time deficit in to a 13-point buffer by the main break.

Avenel took a nine-point lead in to the final term, and looked to be in control early on — in every aspect apart from the scoreboard.

The ball spent the the first 10 minutes of the last quarter in Avenel’s forward-50, but the Swans couldn’t muster a goal.

Lancaster made the home side pay, and when the Wombats finally got the ball up their own end, they booted a major to close the margin to just three points.

The Wombats kicked another two goals in quick succession to have the Swans reeling, but Avenel responded with some late goals of its own to snatch victory by nine points.

‘‘They got a bit of a run on in the middle part of that last quarter but our backline just tightened up a bit and we managed to get back in front and hold on,’’ Stirling said.

‘‘Our back six were really good on Saturday, they were under pressure with our forwards not performing and I thought they did an excellent job.’’

The Swans have another tough ask this weekend when they face Murchison-Toolamba.

‘‘They are in a similar position to us. They had a slow start to the year but after the interleague bye they’ve really kicked off, so they’re going to be tough opposition,’’ Stirling said.

Score: Avenel 10.19 (79) d Lancaster 11.4 (70).

Goals: M. Thomas, C. McCarthy 2; M. Morgan, N. Goodwin, B. Quick, A. Green, D. Stirling, N. Thomas.

Best: D. Stirling, M. Thomas, B. Quick, P. Arandt, S. Tyers, M. Hurley.

Reserves

A scintillating final quarter saw Avenel snatch victory from Lancaster’s grasp.

The Swans trailed for most of the day, and were behind by two goals heading in to the last quarter, but with their finals hopes on the line, the Swans refused to lie down.

Avenel kept Lancaster to just two behinds in the final term, and kicked six goals of its own — double what it had kicked up until that stage — to steal the win.

Senior side regular Jacob Rowlands returned from injury this week through the reserves and was the side’s leading goal kicker with three majors, while Will Holman and Billy Lewis booted two goals apiece in the 24-point win.

Score: Avenel 12.6 (78) d Lancaster 7.12 (54).

Goals: J. Rowlands 3; W. Holman, W. Lewis 2; C. Hogan, C. Cates, C. Leighton.

Best: W. Lewis, W. Holman, J. Rowlands, S. Richardson, J. Pace, C. Leighton.

Thirds

Avenel is looking dangerous after it trounced Lancaster by 88 points.

The two sides were level pegging on the ladder before the match (third and fourth), but Avenel proved it was one of the teams to beat this year with the thumping win.

The Swans were 20 points ahead by quarter-time, and kept extending that lead as the match wore on to run out big winners.

Brenton Tempest and Andrew Dowling were the go-to men up forward, both with four majors, while Stephen Cusack was the Swans’ best.

Avenel now occupies third place on the ladder, but will have a better idea of where it sits after playing second-placed Murchison-Toolamba this weekend.

Score: Avenel 15.13 (103) d Lancaster 2.3 (15).

Goals: B. Tempest, A. Dowling 4; L. Stevens, J. Nipperess, D. Mendoza, C. Thomson, K. Robl, T. Howe, C. Thomson.

Best: S. Cusack , C. Thomson, J. Nipperess, D. Mendoza, C. Thomson, A. Dowling.

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