AFL North West: Swans game in three-goal loss to Suns

TUSSLE: The Swans' Nathan Bradburn contests the ball against the Suns. Photo Gareth Gardner 150717GGD14
TUSSLE: The Swans' Nathan Bradburn contests the ball against the Suns. Photo Gareth Gardner 150717GGD14

The Swans produced what their 199-gamer Damien Wendt described as “easily” their best performance of the year in a three-goal loss to Moree at No.1 Oval on Saturday.

The final score was 12.10-82 to 15.10-100.

Tamworth never led during the match, with them left ruing a slow start that allowed the Suns to establish a 27-point led at the end of the first quarter as the visitors’ little man caused havoc in front of goal.

UNCONTESTED: Tom Radford takes a mark. Photo Gareth Gardner 150717GGD12

UNCONTESTED: Tom Radford takes a mark. Photo Gareth Gardner 150717GGD12

But even though the loss extended the Swans’ winless season, it kind of felt like a win in the context of what Wendt labelled the toughest year of his 17 years at the club.

That includes a last-start 305 away loss to Gunnedah, when the Swans only fielded 14 players.

For Saturday’s match, Swans coach Paul Kelly had to tell five players they had not made the side, such was the dramatic turnaround in available personnel.

VETERAN: Damien Wendt, playing his 199th game for the Swans, directs traffic against the Suns. Photo: Gareth Gardner 150717GGD24

VETERAN: Damien Wendt, playing his 199th game for the Swans, directs traffic against the Suns. Photo: Gareth Gardner 150717GGD24

And with a full 22-man squad for the first time since the start of the year, against a 19-man Moree, the Swans came home the stronger – kicking four goals to Moree’s two in the final quarter.

The Swans kept coming throughout the match, but Kelly said the side was once against let down by turning the ball over too much inside the forward 50.

“A bit disappointed we didn’t get the win,” he said.

“We didn’t start that well and that probably cost us the game. They got three or four quick goals.

“But pretty happy with the way we played.

“I think the boys are pretty happy. They got a lot of the footy.

“Just turned it over a little bit, but the conditions probably did that.”

Pre-match rain left a big puddle in the centre of the ground.

Swans goal

The Swans trailled 6.4-40 to 9.4-58 at halftime, and 8.7-55 to 13.6-84 at the three-quarter break.

Tamworth full forward Jai Cain booted five goals, with Sam Burgess’ three goals next best for the home side.

The Swans face the Nomads at home next Saturday.