Match report: Rohan keeps the Swans in the hunt for September action

Three minutes left, I started writing this match report. I started with scathing criticism, but as the final seconds ticked down, I was left with my mouth wide open, stunned at what unfolded.

It was the very definition of a scrappy affair. The Swans lead by as many as 4 goals in the third quarter, before Essendon kicked seven straight goals to put the match almost out of reach of the Swans.

But it just wasn't to be, with the Swans winning their second home game of the season with a ridiculous final 150 seconds, coming from 19 points down to snatch victory right out from between the jaws of defeat.

Super star forward Lance Franklin had a dirty dog night, kicking six behinds with every single shot gettable, but was immense in the final minutes, proving every bit of his worth.

The score review system was in full use tonight, over turning three Swans goals touched on, or over the line, the most contention was Kieren Jacks' which was marginal at best.

Pre-game

Melican returned to the side in place of Harry Marsh, while Oliver Florent came in for suspended Zak Jones.

The match

The first quarter played out as expected; the Swans won the ball in the middle and early clearances, while Essendon went hard through the middle of the field, using their quick ball movement to great effect.

The Swans dominated the early clinches and Parker put the Swans ahead with their first goal of the match.

Any semblance of goal kicking accuracy ended there however, as an equally inaccurate Bombers team sprayed three very gettable chances.

Joe Daniher got one from the middle of the park as the commentators drooled and raved about his "Buddy-like" qualities, but that was the best moment of his game.

Papley got the Swans back in front late in the first quarter from the pocket and the Swans went into the first quarter break with their noses ahead, albeit by points only.

Where the Swans failed to capitalise in the first quarter with their wayward kicking, they took it to entirely new level.

Reid and Parker had early, very gettable set shots at goal, and both missed, before Stewart from Essendon made them pay.

The Swans hit back through Reid and Newman and the momentum looked to be with the Swans, who were on top in tackles, contested possessions and clearances.

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Despite a fast forward line and Joe Daniher, the Swans were well equipped to deal with the fast ball movement of the bombers.

Isaac Heeney was all class in the first half, doing the tough stuff and finessing it with style.

He capped off the quarter with a goal to put the Swans further ahead, but Zaharakis hit back just before the siren to keep Essendon in touching distance.

It was a first half that beggared belief. The Swans were well on top across the board, with +48 in possessions, +8 in clearances and +2 inside 50s, but couldn't make it count on the scoreboard, kicking 5.11 to 4.9.

https://twitter.com/theswansblog/status/878205244772986881

The bombers had the first goal of the 3rd quarter to bring the game almost back to level standing, but the Swans pulled away, kicking three unanswered goals through Hannebery, Heeney and Hayward to lead by 24 points.

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The bombers weren't daunted and started the long journey back into the game kicking the last two of the quarter and narrowing the margin.

Momentum stayed with them as they ran rampant, slamming through another five unanswered goals through a tired, back footed Sydney team, that looked to be hanging on than going for the win.

But when all looked done and dusted, and the Swans fans probably started piling out of the ground, ripping into each other on forums across the net, the most absurd, ridiculous, miraculous thing happened.

With just 4.44 left on the clock, after a dreary, apathetic and quite frankly incredibly frustrating final term, trailing by 19 points, Florent gave the Swans a glimmer.

Just a spark, that's all it was, as he soccered through a goal from the pocket after Rohan dropped a mark 15m out from a Franklin kick in.

Score review to check if it hit the post, and touched off the boot because a player requested it (blimey, what the hell?!), but it stayed a goal!

The next two minutes of football was all desperation from both teams. The Swans threw caution to the wind and just went long and hard and every chance, while Essendon countered doing the same thing.

Franklin inserted himself into the game, laying a huge tackle and went long to Parker. Franklin backed up, got the hands and went long.

Another review! And this time it stayed a point with the slimmest of finger skims you'll ever see.

The Bombers had successfully run down another 2 minutes on the clock and they had the ball in defence, and it looked as good as done.

Hurley went long down the wing, where Grundy took a fantastic mark. We went long, a bit of ping-pong football, before Hurley marked in defence again.

Another minute run down and it looked as good as over. They went long down the left wing this time, but the Swans snared the spill, Kennedy went long and Newman crumbed his own spilt mark to bang it through. Swans down by 6!

The bombers won the centre clearance, but Grundy marked it deep in defence. The Swans went hard down the middle before Daniher raised high to clutch it from the stars. McAvaney compared it to Leo Barry's mark.

Daniher went long down the wing again to a one-on-one between Mills and McDonald-Tipungwuti, with Mills easily marking it. He dished it to Naismith who banged it long with the biggest mongrel kick you'll ever see.

Franklin marked it, immediately wheeled on his left and went long, but missed to the right. Turns out it was the most important point of the season so far.

28 seconds remained on the clock and Essendon put the ball straight out of bounds, with Papley smothering Goddard in the pocket.

Rampe jammed the ball on his foot in the contest and it floated forward to Rohan in the goal square, where he took a ridiculously good one-handed contested mark. Rohan, wow.

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Enjoy the last two minutes ;)

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Medical room

No injuries, hooray!

Next up

The Swans are finally in the 8! Although it may not last the weekend, the Swans will be playing fellow top-8 incumbents Melbourne at the MCG.

Sydney Swans
2.55.118.1711.2086
Essendon Bombers
2.44.97.1112.1385

Goals:
Heeney 2, Newman 2, Parker, Papley, Reid, Hannebery, Hayward, Florent, Rohan (Goddard assist)

Best:
Goddard, Kennedy, Heeney, Grundy, Mills, Lloyd, Newman, Parker

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Justin Mitchell

Justin is a passionate AFL and Sydney Swans supporter, and football blogger since 2016. All articles are of his own opinion. You can reach him by twitter and Facebook at @theswansblog

Melbourne, Australia http://theswansblog.com

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