CKS Swifts in first round triumph

CKS Swifts have broken an eight year hoodoo with a convincing first round win over Natimuk United in the Horsham District League on Saturday.

CKS Swifts had one major goal leading into Saturday's clash at North Park and that was to be leading at the final siren.

It has been eight years since the club started their season with a win and knowing how important early wins are, the CKS Swifts are delighted with their result.

It was a new look CKS Swifts line up with youngsters Rory Jones, Zach Salmi and Ryan Folkes all stepping up from under 17s football.

Jones held down the full back position while Salmi spent time on the half back flank before running through the middle and Folkes ran hard on the wing.

It took less than a minute for CKS Swifts to open their account with Scott Carey bursting through the middle of an inside fifty stoppage and kicking the first goal.

Their second goal came shortly after with joint coach Ben Martin slotting one home from 30 metres out on a slight angle.

Throughout the first quarter the action was predominantly in the Swifts half of the ground.

Natimuk United got their first entry inside fifty around the eight minute mark before scoring two minutes later when full forward Bryce Hateley kicked truly.

Isaac Rathgeber answered with a handy snap followed by him running into an open goal to score two majors within 20 seconds.

At the first break CKS Swifts had a 40 point buffer and Natimuk United never looked in it.

Joint coaches Paul Hanns and Ben Martin were obviously happy with their troops, but urged them to continue to press.

In the second term it was a more even contest, but Swifts lead increased thanks largely to the younger players.

Jones showed great strength around the bigger bodies in defence and Salmi through the middle had kicked two goals.

Scott Carey and Sean Mantell were up and about creating run through the middle of the ground while Justin Thomas provided a highlight for the settled crowd when he took a high flying grab late in the first half.

The baggies continued to impress in the second half piling on a further six goals.

From the outset of this season their focus as a club had been their fitness and it was evident that the work had been put in.

Natimuk United started to pick up through versatile big man Jonathon Lovell who was providing a strong target up forward.

As the inside fifties became more regular for Natimuk, Nick Pickering took his game to another level repelling them each time they went forward.

Coach Hanns was thrilled with Pickering's game and the way he set the tone with his physicality and also Matt Healy.

"I thought Matt Healy was good for us in the ruck," Hanns said.

"He worked really hard and gave us first use of the ball," Hanns said.

As soon as the final siren sounded it was a look of relief, a look of confidence and a look of a 'we can do it' attitude.

"We had three main points up on our board and we have done most of them really well. We've come out with a win, it's a great start for the team," Hanns said.

As always Carey was in the best players as well as Pickering, Jones, Salmi and Jake Goodes.

Swifts finished 53 point winners with a 16.17.113 victory over Natimuk United 8.12.60.

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