CKS Swifts survive finals challenge

CKS Swifts forward Luke Mitchell played a key role in the Baggies first semi final win over Edenhope Apsley on Saturday. Taking this strong mark, the key forward kicked four goals in  the seven points win. Picture: MARK McMILLAN.

CKS Swifts forward Luke Mitchell played a key role in the Baggies first semi final win over Edenhope Apsley on Saturday. Taking this strong mark, the key forward kicked four goals in the seven points win. Picture: MARK McMILLAN.

CKS SWIFTS Horsham District Football League finals campaign continues after a rock solid seven points semi final win over Edenhope Apsley at Laharum on Sunday.

Swifts were up to the challenge and will now clash with Kalkee in this Saturday's preliminary final at Rupanyup.

Swifts joint coach Paul Hanns said he was happy with the way the Baggies fought the game out and never really let Edenhope Apsley take control of the game.

"They kicked a couple of quick goals early in the last quarter when we had a few problems with our rotations, but once we got that sorted were were able to slow the game down, take control of the ball and wind the clock down," he said.

Swifts went into the semi final clash without forward Josh Molan and joint coach Ben Martin, who was sidelined with a hamstring injury.

In a typical semi final opening both teams were willing at the contest, with Swifts, through captain Scott Carey and defenders Nick Pickering and Justin Thomas, matching all the Saints threw at them.

Luke Mitchell was strong, taking several pack marks and youngsters Ash Cowen and Josh Newton took advantage of his work in the contests.

Swifts suffered an early blow when Damon Folkes left the ground with an ankle injury.

As was the case in the opening quarter neither team could take a real advantage in the second term, although Swifts did hold a nine points lead at the main break.

Early in the quarter Swifts ruckman Ben Hargreaves received a yellow card, to have the Baggies a man down, but reliable defenders Aaron Chavasse and Jakob Davis and onballer Ricky Whitehead worked hard to overcome this.

During the break Paul Hanns told his players they needed to lift their work rate and reduce their mistakes by both hand and foot.

Julian Carr, playing a role up forward and in the ruck and Owen Phillips across half back, were able to provide opportunities for Isaac Rathgeber and Luke Mitchell to impact the scoreboard early in the third quarter.

However, Edenhope Apsley would not lay down and fought their way back into the contest through the likes of David McLeish, Bart Nolan and Charlie Stewart to trail by 10 points at the final break.

At the final break Swifts joint coach, Ben Martin asked his players to back themselves to break the game open.

Goals from Brett Hargreaves and Luke Mitchell opened the final term and when youngster Zac Salmi goaled, Swifts had set up a 19 points lead and appeared as though they had stitched up the result.

Once again with McLeish the driving force, the Saints kicked two unanswered goals, to be back within reach with less than five minutes to play.

Scott Carey, Justin and Richard Thomas and defender Jake Goodes were able to regain control for Swifts and see them hang on for the seven points victory.

With the preliminary final looming, Hanns said he would look for his players to improve on their ball use and decision making when they had control of the ball.

In the other semi final clash Laharum proved too strong for Kalkee.

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