Swans off to flying start as quest begins for four-peat
AUSSIE RULES: The Yeppoon Swans have kicked off their 2018 AFL Capricornia campaign with a 66-point win over the Glenmore Bulls.
Hard-running forward James Malone led the way for the three-time reigning champions, kicking seven of the Swans' 17 goals in the game at Swan Park.
In the other Round 1 games in the AFLC Frenchville Sports Club A-grade competition, BITS defeated Brothers while Panthers went on a goal-scoring blitz against Gladstone, landing 23 majors in their 123-point win.
Swans coach Mark Wallin said it was a good start for his all-conquering outfit, who are chasing a fourth straight flag and have not lost a game since Round 6 in 2015.
"It was a pretty hard-fought game, and Glenmore were right in it until half-time,” he said.
"They've certainly improved and you could see straight away that (Bulls coach) Nick Payne has them playing a harder, more contested game of footy.
"The most pleasing thing for us was that we responded to the challenge.
"We haven't been challenged too many times in the past but we definitely were in that game.
"I was really happy with the way the boys put their heads down, knuckled down and kicked away in the second half.
"It was a good win in the end - we kicked 17 goals to six and kept a side to 40 points that played pretty well.”
Wallin said Malone did not miss a beat on his return after a year out of the game, while the Swans' backline of Shaun Connor, Dan Maloney and Grant van Rooyen stood tall in the win.
He also applauded the efforts of debutants Jesse Malone and Jesse Barnes and young Nick Hay who was on song despite a broken hand limiting the contested work he could do in the pre-season.
The Swans are on the road this weekend to take on BITS, which Wallin anticipates will be a tough contest.
Harry Boyd will slot back into the Swans' line-up for Round 2, while gun midfielder Tommy Cossens is set to return from injury the following week.
ROUND 1 RESULTS
Yeppoon 3.1, 5.3, 11.3, 17.4 (106) d Glenmore 0.1, 4.2, 4.2, 6.4 (40), BITS 3.0, 5.2, 7.7, 10.11 (71) d Brothers 0.1, 2.3, 2.4, 7.5 (47), Panthers 6.5, 12.5, 17.9, 23.12 (150) d Gladstone 0.0, 0.2, 1.2, 4.3 (27)