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Sharks produce massive 4th quarter to advance to the Preliminary Final

Monday, September 8, 2014 - 4:44 PM

The Sharks kept their season alive in the most dramatic fashion, piling on 9.2 to 3 points in the final term to snatch a spot in the Preliminary Final from Swan Districts.

East Fremantle started well, with 2 goals in the first 2 minutes to Ryan Lester-Smith from a 50m penalty, and Mark McGough who was struck off the ball as the teams were heading back to the centre bounce. Swan Districts dominated the rest of the quarter, kicking the next 5 goals unanswered, but 2 late goals to Jack Perham and Mitch Boyle saw the Sharks go into the first break 14 points behind.

Brock O'Brien had another fantastic game running off half back and occasionally moving forward, and when he kicked the first goal of the second quarter from outside the 50m, the Sharks were back to within 10 points. The next 23 minutes belonged to the Swans, Adam Faulkner finding plenty of space on the wing and Ricky Cary providing a big target up forward to send him on his way to kicking 5 for the day. 3 goals in five minute burst to Brett Peake, Cam Eardley and Rob Young, again late in the quarter kept East Freo in touch, going into half time 10 points behind.

In the 3rd quarter Swan Districts were kicking with the breeze and used it to full effect, and went into the final break with a 30 point lead, and the Sharks looked to be struggling.

Fireworks were expected from Steve Malaxos' three quarter time speech, but he simply told the boys to go hard, we've done it before. The Sharks leadership team led from the front as Rob Young, Andrew Stephen, Rory O'Brien and Mark McGough all increased the intensity and lifted the players, the Sharks finally able to get first to the ball.

James Bristow took a strong overhead mark and kicked a goal within the first minute to give the Sharks some hope, and when Andrew Stephen received a free kick in the pocket and converted, the hope burned brighter.  The roar from the member's stand was deafening as the goals continued to roll in and crowd started to play a part, drowning out the Swan Districts supporters.  Rob Young played like a man possesed, winning the ruck and taking a great intercept mark that set up a Jack Perham goal, followed quickly with another from a pack mark. Rory O'Brien put the Sharks in front just 10 minutes into the final term with the Sharks 5th goal of the quarter, and as the rain set in, the goals kept coming. Brett Peake, Scott Hancock, Andrew Stephen and Brock O'Brien all adding to the scoreboard, as Swan Districts could only add 2 3 points for the quarter.

Leading disposal getters were Mark McGough with 29, Rory O'Brien 23, Bradd Dalziell 21, Cam Eardley 18, Sean Henson 17 and Ryan Lester-Smith 17 to go with five marks, five inside 50s and a goal on return to the league side from the reserves . Young and Bristow dominated the hit outs with 58 between them to Swan Disticts 38.  The retiring Steven Dodd also did a terrific job on Swan Districts' 149-game premiership veteran Tim Geappen, keeping him to just 12 disposals and 1 goal and picking up 17 possessions and nine marks himself.

It was an incredible come from behind victory for the Sharks, but they'll need to play four quarters to overcome Subiaco in the Preliminary Final to earn a spot in the 2014 Grand Final.

GOALS: 4 B.Peake, 3 J.Perham, 2 B.O'brien, A.Stephen, 1 C.Eardley, S.Hancock, M.Boyle, M.Mcgough, R.Lester-smith, R.Young, J.Bristow, R.O'brien

BEST: M.McGough, S.Dodd, R.Young, R.O'Brien, A.Stephen