Classic Contests: Swans strong start helps them fly past Dragons

IF you are missing footy like we are, then let us somewhat salvage that with a look back in a new series of Classic Contests. In today’s contest we look at one of the would-have-been Round 4 clashes in the NAB League this year between Sandringham Dragons and Sydney Swans Academy. In this edition, we wind back the clock to 2019 in the only other previous clash between these sides where the Swans got the win at Trevor Barker Oval.

SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS 2.3 | 5.5 | 7.9 | 12.11 (83)
SYDNEY SWANS ACADEMY 5.1 | 10.4 | 14.6 | 16.9 (105)

Round 4 | Saturday, April 13 2019
Trevor Barker Oval, 1.15pm

Given Round 4 of the 2019 NAB League season clashed with the Vic Metro trials, Sandringham Dragons headed into their home match with Sydney Swans Academy understrength. The Swans were coming off a couple of impressive wins against Tasmania Devils and GWS GIANTS Academy, and welcomed back star bottom ager, Errol Gulden into the mix for this game.

The Swans showed plenty of intent through the early stages of the match, rushing to a 16-point lead at quarter time courtesy of five goals on the board. Gulden was already starting to have an impact in his return, while the Swans forwards were sharing the ball around well. They piled on more pain in the second term by booting 5.3 to 3.2 and raced out to a 29-point advantage at the main break. Returning after half-time, the Dragons seemed to gel better with a largely new-look outfit for the game with so many changes. They kicked a couple of majors, but the Swans further increased their lead with four goals to head into the last break 39 points in front. The final term saw the home team click and pile on five last quarter goals to come close, but ultimately fall short as the Swans managed to steady in the quarter with two majors to ensure they held on by 22 points.

Gulden finished the game with a match-high 27 disposals and 10 inside 50s, as well as six marks and a goal for his troubles using his pace and skill on the outside. On the inside, it was the likes of Sam Thorne (22 disposals, four marks, four tackles, five clearances, four inside 50s and two goals) and Ky McGrath (15 disposals, three tackles, eight clearances and one goal) and Aidan Watling (15 disposals, three marks, five clearances, seven inside 50s and one goal) who did the grunt work and also all hit the scoreboard. Luke Parks (19 disposals, six marks and six rebounds), Josh Rayner (15 disposals, five marks, five tackles and six rebounds) and Jacob Dol (13 disposals, four marks and five rebounds) were instrumental in defence. The cream on the cake belonged to another highly talented bottom-ager in Braeden Campbell who snagged four majors from 13 disposals, four tackles and three inside 50s in the win. Harry Maguire (three goals), Hamish Ellem (two) and Thomas Tyson (two) were others to kick multiple goals.

For the Dragons, overage midfielder, Angus Hanrahan tried to get his side going, picking up 28 disposals, nine marks, seven inside 50s and two goals, while Bill Mackay (24 disposals – 18 contested – four marks, five clearances and five inside 50s) and bottom-age hope Darby Hipwell (24 disposals – 12 contested – four tackles, six clearances, five inside 50s and three rebounds) worked hard at the coal face. Kyle Yorke was the leading goalkicker with three majors from 12 disposals and seven marks, while Jai Florent – brother of Ollie who ironically is a Swan – booted two majors from 12 disposals. Bottom ager Archie Perkins had a prominent day out with 16 disposals, four marks, three clearances, four inside 50s and two goals, as over ager Riley Bowman showed off his experience through the ruck thanks to 15 touches, five marks, five tackles, 35 hitouts, four clearances and a goal.

The Dragons would go on to reach a preliminary final before falling short to Oakleigh Chargers, while the Swans would finish second overall in the Academy Series to Gold Coast Suns in a successful campaign.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments