ADELAIDE 1.3 2.7 3.10 5.12 (42)
SYDNEY SWANS 2.2 7.2 8.4 11.5 (71)
The Sydney Swans have secured a home preliminary final after a comprehensive 29-point win over Adelaide at AAMI Stadium.
The Swans were magnificent in defence, severely restricting Adelaide’s scoring capabilities and rebounding at will as the Swans burned the Crows on the rebound.
Ryan O’Keefe was inspirational for the Swans, racking up 37 disposals (18 contested), 9 clearances, 8 tackles and 2 goal assists in a display of finals greatness. He was well supported by Adam Goodes, who was immaculate in his numerous score involvements and Josh Kennedy who rack up an amazing 10 clearances.
Critical to the Swans aspirations was acclimatising to their hostile environment right from the first bounce.
The opening quarter was played a frenetic pace, with the tempo justifying the Qualifying final billing. Such was the intensity, generally skillful players were constantly found fumbling under immense pressure.
Adam Goodes was the man to break the goal drought to begin them game, running in from 45 metres to silence the local crowd with a important goal to settle in to the contest.
Taylor Walker presence was particularly noticeable, the star forward threatened at times to break the game apart. After missing his first shot on goal, Walker took a strong pack mark, albeit contentious due to Mumford claiming the mark, and managed to cooly go back and slot Adelaide’s first goal for the afternoon.
The quickness of Sydney’s reply was startling, as a immediate clearance from the centre bounce to Sydney resulted in a chest mark inside 50 to Goodes. The champion failed to disappoint, going back to convert both his and Sydney’s second goal for the match.
Sydney’s midfield was excellent in the opening quarter, restricting Adelaide’s star duo in Dangerfield and Thompson to just the combined three effective disposals, while Kennedy and Hannebery were able to damage the Crows going the other way.
The quarter time siren sounded with only the three goals kicked for the match, with the lead in Sydney’s favour by 5 points.
Buoyed by their opening quarter, Sydney capitalised on their momentum with Ben McGlynn managing to find space behind the Adelaide defence to provide the Swans with the opening goal of the quarter two minutes in.
A miss from Bernie Vince up the other end proved costly for the Crows, as Sydney transitioned the ball straight down to their attacking end where Reid managed to complete the move, resulting in another Sydney goal, expanding the lead to 16 points.
Only a few minutes more passed before Mitch Morton marked roughly 45 metres out, directly in front. The Ex Richmond player had no trouble with the set shot, extending the margin out further as Adelaide showed signs of capitulating in the September sun.
Adelaide then begun to find their feet, dominate general player to produce numerous forward forays. It was proving a fruitless task however, as Sydney’s defence was impeccable, constantly cleaning up Adelaide attacks with extreme precision.
The match was taking the form of the old quality v quantity debate, as Adelaide continued to pile on inside 50’s, with Sydney displaying extreme efficiency when it was their turn to turn forward.
Another worrying trend for the Crows was the prominence of Adam Goodes, who seemingly turned every play he was involved in into a scoring opportunity. It came as no surprise when after 10 minutes of the Crows dominating possession with no reward at all for their efforts, a Goodes kick deep in to an empty forward 50 allowed Lewis Jetta to run in for an easy goal, leaving a severe dent in Adelaide’s morale.
Determined not to be run over, captain Nathan Van Berlo took the responsibility for his team, finally booting Adelaide’s second goal for the game, 38 minutes after Walker’s first goal.
With little more than a minute remaining in the quarter, Goodes provided one final display of greatness to end the quarter, kicking his third goal for the half and Sydney’s seventh to provide the Swans with a 25-point half time lead.
The third quarter was a phenomenal quarter, in so much that the skills on display mimicked that of a bottom of the table clash. Adelaide once again were all over the Swans, again failing to capitalise on their opportunities.
Walker looked as if he had broken the drought, only to once again shave the post, his second consecutive miss from a position he would expect to comfortable convert from.
Ted Richards was fantastic for the Swans in defence, inflicting spoils on kicks he had no right to get to.
Dangerfield tried his best to involve himself in the game, though his attempts were proving to be futile, at one point getting run down by Lewis Jetta after taking a few bounces.
With only 1:29 remaining on the clock, Rory Sloane received the luckiest of bounces, with the ball deviating from it’s expected trajectory to leap frog the Swans defender who was leading the chase for the ball, allowing Sloane to kick an easy snap from the goal square to finally break the dead lock and send the local crowd in to near euphoria.
The excitement was quickly quelled though, as Sydney immediately replied in the same manner they have all day, as Morton marked with impressive strength inside 50 to provide the Swans with a late opportunities in the shadows of three quarter time. Morton didn’t disappoint, converting his second goal of the game to take the three quarter time lead to 24 points.
In bitter news for the Swans, Ben McGlynn came straight to the bench with a right hamstring complaint, resulting in him being immediately subbed out of the game, leaving him in tears as he realised his season is likely over.
In complete contrast of the third term, the fourth quarter started with an immediate goal, as Graham Johncock kicked a long goal to ignite the crowd as the Crows clawed back within three goals.
It was an instant impact for the Sydney substitute Luke Parker, with his first kick of the day resulting in a timely goal for the Swans to re-establish their lead.
Ian Callinan once again provided the home crowd with a flicker of hope, bring the margin again back to three goals.
The story of the day proved to be Sydney’s ability to answer every Adelaide challenge, negating Adelaide from scoring consecutive goals for the entire match, even during extended periods of Adelaide dominance.
A Lewis Jetta goal all bar sealed the game for the Swans while a late goal to Josh Kennedy capped off a emphatic victory for the Swans, running out 29-point winners.
Sydney will now march on in to a home preliminary final against one of Collingwood, West Coast or North Melbourne.
It was a bitter end for Adelaide, who will be sweating on late injuries to Dangerfield with a possible fractured jaw from a collision with Jude Bolton and rising star Daniel Talia with what could be a fractured forearm in a seemingly innocuous clash.
The Crows will now host a Friday night semi final next week against the victor of the Geelong v Fremantle elimination final, for a chance to take on Hawthorn in a preliminary final.
3) Ryan O’Keefe
2) Adam Goodes
1) Josh Kennedy
ADELAIDE 1.3 2.7 3.10 5.12 (42)
SYDNEY SWANS 2.2 7.2 8.4 11.5 (71)
Adelaide: Callinan, Johncock, Sloane, Van Berlo, Walker
Sydney Swans: Goodes 3, Jetta 2, Morton 2, Kennedy, McGlynn, Parker, Reid
Adelaide: Thompson, Mackay, Sloane, Doughty, Reilly
Sydney Swans: O’Keefe, Goodes, Kennedy, Richards, Shaw, Roberts-Thomson, Jetta
Adelaide: Talia (broken wrist)
Sydney Swans: McGlynn (hamstring)
Adelaide: Aidan Riley replaced Ian Callinan in the fourth quarter
Sydney Swans: Luke Parker replaced Ben McGlynn (hamstring) in the third quarter
Umpires: Farmer, Stevic, Schmitt
Official crowd: 44,849 at AAMI Stadium
Check out the thoughts of both sets of supporters over on BigFooty today…