The second half of the split round had the London Swans host the Wimbledon Hawks in Shoreditch to play for third position and keep finals aspirations alive.
With the strong wind favouring the Wimbledon end in the first quarter, a quick goal from Hawk, Wills kicked off the proceedings. Following with the team’s momentum, Weymouth went up for a ripping mark and slotted their second major.
The Swans were unable to crack their forward fifty with the Hawks great defensive pressure.
The aggressive game style saw both teams go in extremely hard for the ball. Bodies clashing and tempers flaring saw a rare AFL London yellow card issued to Wimbledon player, Stallard. The pause in the game wasn’t able to help the Swans, with Wimbledon going into the first break with another two goals from the Hawks to give them a 15-point buffer.
The mid table clash was witness to a strong wind wreaking havoc on both teams’ skill sets. The favourable end had De Jong take a screamer and convert for the Swans, putting the margin back to nine points. Kasar was absolutely everywhere – making his presence known, contributing significantly to the Swans bounce back. Burke wowed the crowd with a slick drop punt for the boundary to steady the Hawks and keep them up by a mere point going into half time.
The Swans knew they would have to lift, kicking against the three-goal breeze, to stay in touch with the Hawks. A fast start didn’t help the Swans cause, with Conduit kicking a major in the first two minutes for the Hawks. A strong, goal-saving mark from teammate, Kett off the restart halted the Swans scoring.
The Swans kept themselves in the contest with Dewhirst taking a highly contested mark, bringing the ball back into the Swans’ possession and assisting Wynne in what the crowd referred to as a “Milney-like” snap.
With a momentarily lapse in goals Quinton took it upon himself to break the deadlock and regain the Hawks’ momentum. Luck was then on Clements’ side for the Hawks with a booming kick from outside fifty miraculously dribbling through untouched to extend the lead.
With the quarter coming to an end, Dewhirst answered for the Swans with an incredible right foot snap over the shoulder, bringing the margin back down to nine points as the siren blew.
At the turn, Coach Steve Ralph knew the Swans had to find something special if they were to win the game. A change of the positions from the backline saw the swingmen move forward in an attempt to cement their place in the finals.
With the game in the balance, a controversial Swans goal was allowed after much deliberation from the umpires, removing all the wind from the Hawks’ wings. The Swans continued to pile on the goals with Wynne bettering his first “Milney-like” snap, this time on the run and from the boundary, to put the final nail in Wimbledon’s coffin.
With their three goal win, the London Swans have now overtaken the North London Lions for third position in the AFL London Premiership competition, just as the pointy end of the season arrives.
LONDON SWANS: 13.8 (86)
WIMBLEDON HAWKS: 10.8 (68)
LONDON SWANS – GOAL SCORERS: De Jong 5, Wynne 2, Loy 2, Jennings, Angus, Dewhirst, Thomson
WIMBLEDON HAWKS – GOAL SCORERS: Weymouth 2, Burke 2, Conduit, Boag, Clements, Stewart, Wills, Quinton.
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