Bulldogs keep winning with strong win over Swans

Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - 1:27 PM by Chris Pike
DESPITE missing some key players and with Swan Districts providing a good test, South Fremantle continued its impressive form to score a fourth straight win by 14 points at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday.
South Fremantle and Swan Districts both played finals in 2017 and aside from a loss to Subiaco apiece in the opening five rounds, had largely been quite impressive to start 2018 heading into Saturday's clash at Fremantle Community Bank Oval.
The Bulldogs also had to deal with the absence of key players Haiden Schloithe, Ashton Hams, Blayne Wilson and Steven Edwards with Tom Vandeleur, Jarrod Parry and Brendan Verrier already sidelined, but their depth came through against the black-and-whites.
South Fremantle started strongly to lead by 21 points early in the second quarter, still by 24 at half-time and then by as much as 32 during the third term. But Swans kept coming and had closed to within 14 points by three quarter-time after three goals late in the quarter to Corey Gault.
But the Bulldogs responded with a run of four straight goals during the fourth quarter to end up claiming the 16.11 (107) to 14.10 (94) victory.
The win improves South Fremantle to a 4-1 record on the season having now beaten West Perth, East Fremantle, Claremont and Swan Districts since a 58-point loss first up to Subiaco.
South Fremantle coming into the game minus key players including Hams, Schloithe, Wilson and Edwards was offset by Cory Dell'Olio, Adam McIntosh and Zac Strom all coming into play their first games of 2018.
Dell'Olio had been suspended for the opening four games but hit the ground running with an impressive performance with three goals from 15 possessions and seven marks.
McIntosh had an injury-interrupted pre-season leading to the 101-game veteran defender finding form and match fitness in the reserves. 
Strom had battled some illness troubles too to start 2018 meaning his younger brother Noah Strom had held down a key defensive post and they played together for the first time at league level in the same back-line on Saturday.
Meanwhile, while Ben Saunders battled injury and was goalless for South Fremantle, the Bulldogs had plenty of goalkicking options with Dell'Olio kicking the three majors, Matthew Parker also booting three and Blaine Johnson added three also.
Brandon Donaldson kicked two goals to go with 22 possessions to continue his impressive form since coming into the league side while Mason Shaw was a strong presence in the air all over the field. He had 14 touches, eight marks, nine hit outs and two goals.
Marlion Pickett delivered a best on ground performance for South Fremantle as he continues to thrive in his new role in the midfield. He finished with 30 possessions, seven tackles, five inside 50s and a goal.
Shane Hockey also collected 25 possessions for the Bulldogs while laying eight tackles and driving the ball inside-50 on eight occasions.
Nick Suban compiled 24 disposals, Dylan Main 20 and Jacob Dragovich 15 to go with 11 tackles.
Brock Higgins had another strong showing in the ruck with 13 touches, four marks and 42 hit outs.
South Fremantle had another debutant too with reigning colts fairest and winner Glenn Byron earning his chance and showing good signs with 13 possessions.
Despite the host of key players missing, South Fremantle got off to a strong start including the first goal of the game to Matthew Parker at the eight-minute mark.
Parker then added his second to continue his stunning opening term before Swan Districts got on the board courtesy of Todd Banfield.
But Blaine Johnson and then Parker again responded with goals for the Bulldogs to put the home team 21 points in front before Swans got one back on the siren thanks to Brayden Noble.
Mason Shaw restored South Fremantle's 21-point lead to open the second quarter before Swan Districts gathered some momentum for the first time in the game with goals to Rhys Palmer, Noble and Matthew Rogers inside six minutes to trail by just two points.
South Fremantle responded, though, to finish the first half with goals to Brandon Donaldson, Cory Dell'Olio, Johnson and then Johnson with his third of the opening half to see the Bulldogs on top to the tune of 24 points at the main break.
The signs were then ominous when the Bulldogs opened the second half with a goal to Jake Florenca inside 30 seconds to make the margin five goals.
South Fremantle was then still 30 points in front with Dell'Olio's second goal in response to Noble's third for Swan Districts. But the black-and-whites weren’t going away and finished the third term strongly thanks to a purple patch from Corey Gault.
He stood tall and took strong contested marks deep in attack to kick three goals leading into three quarter-time to bring Swans back within 14 points at the last change.
It was a goal fest in an open and attacking last term, but in the end it was five goals apiece and Swans' never got closer than the final margin of 13 points with South Fremantle recording its fourth straight victory.
South Fremantle's reserves did well to fight back from a slow start to come away with a 11.4 (70) to 9.9 (63) against Swan Districts at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday.
Swans kicked four goals to one in the first quarter and still led by 14 points at half-time and nine points at three quarter-time. But the Bulldogs finished strongly with four goals to one in the last quarter to win by seven points.
Andre Coutinho kicked three goals for South Fremantle with Blair Della Franca and Zac De San Miguel adding two apiece.
Trent Reed amassed 25 possessions for the Bulldogs, Dylan Goodall 22, Coutinho 18 and Caleb Datson 17. Jake Solomon had 11 disposals, six marks and 23 hit outs in the ruck.

Swan Districts opened the day at Fremantle Community Bank Oval on Saturday with an impressive performance in the colts, defeating South Fremantle 12.15 (87) to 3.8 (26).

Swans started strongly with three goals to one in the first quarter and then held the Bulldogs goalless over the next two quarters to lead by 24 points at half-time and 62 points at three quarter-time.

South Fremantle did manage to kick two goals to one in the final term but Swan Districts still won by 61 points.

Luke Moore was terrific for South Fremantle with 22 possessions, six marks, six inside-50 entries and two goals.

Regan Spooner collected 29 disposals for the Bulldogs, Tom Blechynden 21, Enrique Aiken-Featherstone 17, James Russell 17 and Manfred Kelly 17.

Following the break for this Saturday's State game against South Australia in Adelaide, South Fremantle will take on the also 4-1 East Perth at Leederville Oval in Round 7 on Saturday May 19.
SOUTH FREMANTLE 4.6 9.6 11.10 16.11 (107)
SWAN DISTRICTS 2.3 5.6 9.8 14.10 (94)
SOUTH FREMANTLE – Goals: Dell'Olio, Johnson, Parker 3; Donaldson, Shaw 2; Main, Pickett, Florenca.
Best: Pickett, Suban, Donaldson, Higgins, Hockey, Shaw, Pearson, Main.
SWAN DISTRICTS – Goals: Gault, Noble 4; Rogers 3; Palmer, Banfield, Wilson.
Best: Rogers, Gault, Palmer, Ellard, Notte, Watson, Slater.