Last Updated on 17 Sep 2022 4:16 pm (UK Time)
Sydney advanced to the Grand Final after getting up, by just a single point, over a plucky Collingwood, in an exhilarating and tense finale, before a sold-out SCG.
A finish that brought back memories of the last time the venue hosted a Prelim, back in 1996, when the great Tony Lockett kicked a behind, after the siren, to win it.
It will be the club’s fourth appearance at a Granny under the leadership of coach John Longmire (pictured below) who has done an amazing job during his 12 years in charge.
The Swans got off to a flyer, scoring the opening four goals of the contest, and were dominant in the first half which gave them a decent lead at the main interval.
However, despite that, you just knew that the Magpies, who set a new AFL/VFL record this season for close wins (nine by just a single figure margin) and really been the team to watch, would mount a comeback at some stage and so it proved.
They were forced to take risks but got some real momentum behind them, in the latter stages, and scored three consecutive majors to get with three points.
It set up a nail-biting and must-watch viewing at the end in which the hosts came under siege and had to defend for their lives, rushing through two behinds in the last two minutes, before getting over the line by the very smallest of margins.
Speaking on ground to Channel Seven, Lance Franklin (pictured above), in the last of his nine-year contract, said “Wow. What a finish! We knew they were going to come and they did. We were lucky to hang on but you just have to win and you are into a grand final. It’s been an unbelievable season.”
He added “That’s what we play footy for. We have to play Geelong next week who are an unbelievable team. We will have to be at our best to win next week.”
Team mate Isaac Heeney (pictured above) said “I’m a bit stressed still. My heart is still going. That was unbelievable. They have been that side who keeps coming back, they have done that all year. We almost blew it but we held on. The Swans fans, it is an amazing club and culture. Bring on next week, I can’t wait.”
It was a big night for defender Paddy McCartin; the defender’s career looked over at the end of 2019 following his release from St.Kilda due to a series of concussions.
The Swannies gave him a chance to resurrect it through their VFL side in 2021 before making the decision to sign him on as a rookie at the start of this campaign.
Talking to Fox Footy, the 26-year-old (pictured above) said “I can’t believe it! From where I was, to where I am now – it’s crazy mate. I can’t believe it. To start the year on the rookie list, if you had of told me I would be playing in a grand final I wouldn’t have believed you. I feel pretty lucky. Hopefully we can really enjoy it.”
He went on “It’s been a real rollercoaster. Two years ago I was nowhere really and struggling a lot. If you’d of told me, even this time last year, I wouldn’t have believed you. This is a very special footy club to give me this opportunity and an opportunity to play with my brother (Tom); I feel very lucky. I love him to bits so to share this week with him will be amazing.”