Kats, Sharks to square off in do-or-die prelim

Tom ZaunmayrPilbara News
Darcey Collins steps his away around two Swans defenders.
Camera IconDarcey Collins steps his away around two Swans defenders. Credit: Pilbara News

The Karratha Kats kept their title defence ambitions alive with an emphatic 10-goal victory over the South Hedland Swans at Millars Well last Saturday night.

It doesn’t get any easier for the Kats though, with a prelim date with Dampier Sharks at Windy Ridge this weekend.

The Sharks have got the wood over the Kats in their previous two encounters, though the Kats have hit a hot vein of form, booting 43 goals in their past two games.

Jack Coppin delivers the ball to the forward line under pressure.
Camera IconJack Coppin delivers the ball to the forward line under pressure. Credit: Pilbara News, Tom Zaunmayr

On a warm evening in Millars Well, it was the Swans who looked the goods out of the blocks.

The visitors took mere seconds to get on the scoreboard and were camped in their forward 50 for the opening minutes.

The Swans looked patient in attack while the Kats struggled to settle into a rhythm.

Ethan Surrall kicks on the fly.
Camera IconEthan Surrall kicks on the fly. Credit: Pilbara News

Chances for the Kats were few and far between, though they made use of counter attacks with accurate kicking to stay in the game.

The opposite could be said for the Swans.

While they had the field position, their radar was missing, with two straightforward set kicks registering behinds. The Kats could consider themselves lucky, going into the break in the lead 4.0 (24) to 3.3 (21).

Kat Shaun Derschow shrugs off his Swans marker.
Camera IconKat Shaun Derschow shrugs off his Swans marker. Credit: Pilbara News

After a dressing down by their coach in the break, the Kats came out in the second a different team.

The home side were first on the board in quick time, and their small forwards proved effective in punching holes through the Swans’ defence.

As the tide turned the goals came easier. The Swans’ woes were exemplified by a Shaun Derschow goal.

Ryan Roznoczny grasps the ball at full stretch.
Camera IconRyan Roznoczny grasps the ball at full stretch. Credit: Pilbara News

Derschow received the ball right in front of goal after it was passed through the hands of three unmarked Kats forwards.

By the main break, the scoreline had blown out to 11.2 (68) to 4.5 (29), and another five goals in the third term all but booked the Kats preliminary final date.

As the game fell out of reach the Swans found themselves fighting for every centimetre of territory, only to be frustrated by smooth transitions forward from the home side when the turnovers were made.

Swans tall forward Malcolm Anderson gets moving among heavy traffic.
Camera IconSwans tall forward Malcolm Anderson gets moving among heavy traffic. Credit: Pilbara News

The Swans managed to pounce on a flat-footed Kats midfield to open the final quarter, but the damage had been done.

Derschow proved a ball magnet all night, bagging four goals.

Matthew Tamm also kicked four for the Kats.

Todd Kovacevich punches the ball into the Kats' forward 50.
Camera IconTodd Kovacevich punches the ball into the Kats' forward 50. Credit: Pilbara News

The Kats reserves booked their grand final date earlier in the night, with a nailbiting five-point win over the Karratha Falcons.

The home side got off to a flyer but were reeled back in by the Falcons, resulting in a tit for tat final term. The Kats held their nerve to win the game 9.7 (61) to 9.2 (56), with Daniel Farmer booting three majors.

The Falcons will play the Wolves to determine who will take on the Kats reserves in the final.

Lee Roser attempts to find his way around three Swans mids.
Camera IconLee Roser attempts to find his way around three Swans mids. Credit: Pilbara News

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