Sydney fends off another almost embarrassing comeback defeat.
For the second game in a row, the Sydney Swans gave up a huge lead, but held on to defeat Geelong 12.8.80-11.8.74 in a thriller at the SCG.
Geelong trailed for the vast majority of the match but rallied in the fourth where both teams exchanged the lead for a few minutes before the Swans snuck over the line in the final minutes.
Ryan O’Keefe gathered 26 possessions while Kieran Jack, Ben McGlynn and Sam Reid each kicked two goals apiece.
The Swans dominated the first quarter and set up a lead that would eventually carry them to the win. McGlynn starred in a seven goal to one quarter as the Swans opened with two quick goals in two minutes; one courtesy on McGlynn in transition and Bolton adding the second. Motlop got one back for the Cats, but Reid, McGlynn and Armstrong each banged through majors to take a 30-7 lead early on. Lewis Jetta kicked a long goal from 60 meters and Pyke added another from a beautiful Kennedy delivery, allowing Sydney a massive lead at the first break and total control of the match.
Geelong didn’t have the needed sizeable response in the second, although they did outscore the Swans in the quarter, going into the half behind 29 points after a Joel Selwood goal seconds before the siren saved what was a pretty miserable quarter. Reid had the highlight of the term; taking a highflying hanger 25 meters from goal and converting the set shot to end a 25 minute Sydney drought.
Kennedy kicked a goal just over a minute into the third and Geelong looked in real trouble, but a nice finish from West kept them in touch. Hawkins continued to squander opportunities in front of goal; his third set shot miss by Podsiadly and then Hunt shortly after, ensuring just a four goal deficit with a quarter to play.
Geelong came out on fire to begin the fourth, stealing the momentum and kicking themselves right back into the game. Hunt got them within 18 points before consecutive Chapman goals, one coming from another strong Hawkins mark and an unselfish handball, cut the lead even further. A contentious 50 meter penalty gifted Enright a goal and gave Geelong the lead, but Jack was able to break the tide and kick a badly need Swans response with half a quarter remaining. Hawkins retook the lead for Geelong when he played on from a mark ‘Stevie Johnson’ style, kicking his first of the game, but it was substitute Andreas Everitt who took a great mark and went back to goal with a minute and a quarter remaining to give Sydney the lead for good. Geelong tried desperately to find another game changing goal but ultimately fell short.
Geelong are now teetering on the edge of the eight with a very low percentage, but have a couple of easier matchups in the next couple of weeks with Port Adelaide and Gold Coast ahead.