Wells sinks Mudcrabs, but there are positives
AUSSIE RULES: Reigning premiers Yeppoon Swans flew into town and took home the four points after a rollicking 144-point win against a depleted Gladstone Mudcrabs on Saturday.
Muddies did kick the first goal of the game - courtesy of Jack Hawking who took a strong mark.
But from that point on - the Swan machine clicked into gear.
They were simply ruthless and whenever the ball was in their defence - the likes of Jake King, James King and ex-Glenmore Bull Isaac Kielly and Samuel Nicholls whisked the ball away wide and then Phillip Wishart, Nathan Milburn et al. made sure big Eli Wells (12 goals) was gifted silver service in the 27.16 (178) to 5.4 (34) win.
While Wells, Alex Chapman (five goals) and Samuel Nichols (three goals) feasted, the Mudcrabs were without the services of gun forwards Stephen Eilola and Zac Jahn.
Darren Lush, the club's fitness trainer, was more than handy for the hosts while youngster Trey Dummett showed some signs up forward.
Aaron Patton was superb on Chapman and took some intercept marks in the first quarter before he was ushered into the ruck to deal with the Yeppoon Swans' brute Jamie Garner.
The latter played a great game as well, but marred his game by getting reported.
It mattered little as the sizzling Swans sliced through with trademark overlap run and a four-man forward line that allowed space for Wells and co.
Mudcrabs coach Mark Jensen was upbeat after the match despite the heavy defeat.
"We were lacking a lot of leadership and had a lot of guys out, but we had a young side with guys doubling up and guys who were sore,” Jensen.
"They just put their hand up and that was fantastic.
"Even though we were undermanned, we still gave 100 per cent and guys that stepped up gave 100 per cent and couldn't be more proud of the boys.”
Jensen lauded the efforts of Patton, who also copped a heavy bump from Garner.
"I gave Patto a job and I couldn't be happier with his job and he shut down Chappy (Alex Chapman) in the first half and then we went into the ruck...was a bit sore, but kept on battling,” Jensen said.
"It just shows the character of the guy.”
Other better players for the Muddies were Huntah Gumz and Ben Fort along with midfielder Steven Grogan who never stopped running.
Yeppoon defender Grant Van Rooyen was a rock and provided many rebounds while Leigh Cossens was also damaging.
Swans mentor Mark Wallin was understandably pleased, but sent out a blunt message.
"(I am) very happy considering we had four players out and we had four kids who played their first games at senior level today,” Wallin said.
Nathan Johnson, Noah Cossens, Conner O'Brien and Alexander Stevenson were the youngsters Wallin spoke of.
"Muddies weren't too bad and they took it up to us and I just think the way we stuck at it and kept going,” Wallin said.
"It was a bit of a grind for us and these games always are.
"The third quarter is where we set it up with a nine-goal quarter.”
Wallin was pleased with his players' ability to form a zone and a press which forced many Mudcrabs' turnovers.
Yeppoon Swans 27.15 (178) d Gladstone Mudcrabs 5.4 (34)
BITS Saints 10.5 (65) d Glenmore Bulls 7.6 (48)