Dockers bounce back to beat Swans despite injury crisis

The Fremantle Dockers have held off the Sydney Swans at Henson Park to win 42-28.

The Sydney Swans arrived full of energy at Henson Park for the final home game of their debut season. After a heartbreaking loss to the Essendon Bombers last week, the Swans were looking to score their first win.

The Fremantle Dockers had a tough loss to Collingwood Magpies last week, and were looking to make amends.

Montana Ham is chased by Dockers' star Hayley Miller.

The Swans were without head coach Scott Gowans out sick, with Baker Denneman stepping into the role for the day.

The Dockers came out hard and fast, and were matched by the Swans early. It was the young guns for the Swans who stood tall early, with Montana Ham and Sofia Hurley playing well.

After the game, Denneman was full of praise for the young duo.

"Sof [Hurley] is a great character, and testament to her, she put a lot of work in over the season.

"I don't think its just Sofia, its actually out whole midfield group, our forwards and our backs. We've got young players everywhere, and the ability to grow together and see them take the game on - because we want them to play the game that they want to play.

"Sof [Hurley] is a running midfielder that hopefully can roll forward with a few pre-seasons under her belt."

Sofia Hurley in action against the Dockers.

Hurley and Ham led the way for the Swans, kicking their first two goals for the afternoon.

"I had a chat with Mon [Ham] before the game, and we thought we'd try and get on the scoreboard today, so it was good to see her put one through early. The celebrations were a little bit over the top, but that's what we are all about here - celebrating the little things and moving forward as a group."

Montana Ham celebrates her first AFLW goal.

Denneman was confident that the Swans would start fast after last week's loss, and was proven right.

"We're the type of group that starts really well every week, and we pride ourselves on that. Moving forward - our second quarters are probably a struggle. The past two or three weeks, we've been okay for two or three quarters, and its the ability to put it together for four quarters."

On the other side of the field, Dockers' coach Trent Cooper was full of praise for his side's defensive pressure, and their ability to win the ball across the ground.

Montana Ham's kick is smothered by Hayley Miller.

Montana Ham's kick is smothered by

"We're very fortunate with the group we've got - it's very natural." Cooper said.

"Led by Kiara Bowers, she had 19 tackles again today, so the group really buys in defensively, that's never been a question.

"We need to work on our ball movement, our offensive part of the game - but even last week that was never an issue with the effort side of things. We're always going to be right in the game because of that."

Roxanna Roux centres the ball for the Dockers.

One of the stars of the day for the Dockers was Ebony Antonio, making her return from a PCL injury that has kept her out so far this season. Antonio, in her return, was also playing her 50th game, and bagged a goal for her celebrations.

"She gives the group so much confidence," Cooper said.

"She's not a high possession player, but she's high impact player. Whenever Ebony is on the field, you've got a chance of winning the game, because she can just do things that no one normally can do.

"She has lacked a little bit of confidence in the knee - she's had very few injuries in her career, so for her to come through and just get that confidence in her body. Once she gets out there, she's such a competitor that she forgets about the way she want."

The Dockers will now host the Hawks next week, while the Swans will travel to Geelong to end their inaugural AFLW season.