The scene was set for a magnificent day of footy between two clubs that have a friendly rivalry, one that has swayed back and forth over the years. The Swans jumped out of the blocks earlier this season and took the honors in their first game of the season in Madison.
Saturday saw a depleted Minnesota outfit, one could only assume it was wasn’t cold enough for the Freeze to bring a full squad, rolling up with 12. Chicago not flushed with their full compliment, but a few blokes were willing to put their hands up to don the blue and white jersey to help make a competitive game of it.
The boys were serious about their last hit out before Nationals in Austin, TX this year. And it was plain to see from the outset peppering the goals in the first quarter but not really damaging with only three majors from ten scoring opportunities. One thing was for sure, forward 50’s which dictates the game these days saw the Swans in control. The mid field led by ruckman Graeme Radford, were dominating. GR finding the rovers, Pedro, and Wilhelm with relative ease. Jayson Schmelzer came into an uncustomary role of playing in the middle and played very well, picking up telling kicks and getting in and under dishing out hand balls to the on ball brigade, and laying important tackles when new needed some grunt.
A similar result in the second with many inside 50’s but inefficient in front of the big white ones. Corey Barker had the ball on a string in the front half notching up his third before half time. There were however many contributors, Brad Clifton and Sam Svoboda was rebounding at will from the back line. Making it difficult for the Freeze forward line to settle into a rhythm, with Alistair Martin (Swans) doing all the grunt work for the Freeze, but he didn’t have many friends up front and the Swans kept at it, pushing the first term lead (16 points) out to a 28 point lead. Once again if it wasn’t for errant kicking the Swans could have put the game away by half time.
You could sense at half time that the Swans weren’t entirely happy with the results posted on the scoreboard, and were determined to make the premiership quarter theirs. And they ran rampant, the red and whites piled on six goals to two in the third to blow the game wide open. It has been a while since the Swans have been able to put a game away that was somewhat teetering. Once again Corey Barker dictating terms in a lethal term of quality football. Joining in the scoring frenzy, future Revo Jeff Kraemer showed us some glimpses of why the selectors have a keen eye on him. Wilhelm, must still be on his honeymoon because he ran into two open goals that returned behinds, Stu Nicol wasn’t able to rub the shine off his boots on Saturday despite numerous attempts to kick a goal during the goal frenzy in the third. Swans pushed their lead out to 53 points at lemon time.
The fourth saw a few unusual moves with Wilhelm and Stu Nicol relegated to the last line of defence. Stu saw this as a huge opportunity, and found himself actually kicking a goal from the back pocket, coach might be onto something! At this stage in the game the word around the stadium was there a possibility we would witness a Swans player kicking 10 goals in a match! A feat at hasn’t been seen since Wazza was bedazzling the Swans faithful back in the good old days! Corey finished with 9 and was unselfish in handing two out. Nathan Bird played second fiddle today but finished the game with three and provided many forward thrusts with his creative play further up the ground.
All in all a great result for the club and the supporters who came out to support the boys in their last game before Nationals. Some really good individual efforts, but more so to see the team effort overall to knock off Minnesota for the second time in a year. No doubt we will come up against a full strength line up for the Freeze at Nationals. This will certainly be something to look forward to.
The warm up for Nationals is in earnest with the last round of Metro this Friday night, and with just a few training sessions left, all of you attending Nationals should attempt to get out for these. At this point we have one of our better squads heading down to Austin in October, any blokes on the fence about going this year should get on board. Onwards to Victory!
Swans – 3.7 5.13 11.16 18.17
Freeze – 1.3 2.4 4.5 7.7
Goals – Corey Barker 9, Nathan Bird 3, Pedro Jimenez 2, Jeff Kraemer 2, Joe Swierupski, Jayson Schmelzer, Stu Nicoll, Brad Clifton
Best – Corey Barker, Sam Svoboda, Graeme Radford, Pedro Jimenez, Brad Clifton, Nathan Bird