Giants boost finals prospects with narrow win over Swans
GWS have created a slice of Sydney AFL derby history with a thrilling two-point home win over the Swans on Saturday.
The 12.11 (83) to 12.9, (81) victory at Giants Stadium means for the first time in the eight-season rivalry, GWS have won both of the home-and-away derbies.
In front of the lowest-ever derby crowd of 16,116, the Swans led by 17 early on and then by two in the fourth quarter but paid a heavy price for some missed chances in the final term.
Isaac Heeney, who finished with a match-high four goals, logged behinds with successive set shots and James Rose kicked another shot into the player on the mark.
Jeremy Finlayson and Jacob Hopper made Sydney pay for their profligacy with successive goals.
Heeney kicked a goal to cut the deficit to two and Sam Reid came agonisingly close to taking a mark in the dying seconds, but GWS held on to notch a third straight win and at least temporarily move into fourth spot.
Hopper, who kicked a career-high three goals and tallied 26 touches, was named the Brett Kirk Medallist as best on ground.
Fellow midfielders Zac Williams and Toby Green both racked up more than 30 touches. They also each won 10 clearances and pulled off six tackles.
Sydney kicked the first three goals, with Tom Papley booting the first two majors.
The Giants had eight more inside 50s by quarter-time but they weren't as clinical as Sydney, who kicked 5.0 for the quarter to lead by eight at the break.
GWS turned the momentum around in the second quarter, kicking five goals to one while dominating the hit-outs and clearances.
Sydney struggled to hit targets in that quarter, with Nick Haynes taking intercept marks and the Giants' more accurate ball movement paying dividends as they led by 13 at the main break.
GWS kicked the first goal of the third quarter to stretch the lead to 21 but three successive Swans majors - two of them to Heeney - cut the deficit back to three.
Sydney kicked four goals to two for the term to trail by just five heading into the final quarter.
Ryan Clark kicked his first goal for the Swans club to give them a one-point lead before the visitors squandered opportunities to expand their buffer.