By Michael Rogers 10:15pm May 18, 13
THE SYDNEY Swans and Fremantle have played out a thrilling draw at the SCG.
The Dockers trailed by 27 points midway through the final term before unleashing a withering four-goal burst to draw level in the final minute.
Michael Johnson had a set shot in the last 10 seconds from which any score would have given Fremantle a famous win but Sam Reid - who had done precious little all night - took a soaring mark that saved the Swans from defeat.
The siren sounded seconds later to register the first draw between the two clubs, and the first in Fremantle's history - the Swans' 11.4 (70) tied with Fremantle's 9.16 (70).
However, the Dockers' relief at escaping with a share of the points was tempered by an ankle injury to influential small forward Michael Walters in the third term.
"The initial reaction is one of disappointment obviously," Sydney Swans coach John Longmire said after the match.
"We did a few things we didn't quite get right in the last 10 minutes of the game."
"I just thought it was a pretty pressured game of footy from both teams."
Earlier, four first-half goals from midfielder Dan Hannebery looked to have set the Swans up for an important win.
Hannebery finished with 27 possessions to go with his four goals while Kieren Jack (33 possessions, one goal) and Josh Kennedy (29 touches) were equally influential in a midfield that was given good service by ruckman Mike Pyke.
Michael Barlow (28 touches), Nat Fyfe (23 and two goals) and David Mundy (24) were Fremantle's best in the midfield while Zac Clarke acquitted himself well against the Swans' ruck pairing, matching Pyke and outpointing Shane Mumford.
Johnson (25 touches) was enormous in the final term and was unlucky not to kick Fremantle to victory.
Hayden Ballantyne (two goals) was the Dockers' only reliable avenue to goal after fellow small forward Michael Walters was carried from the field in the third quarter with an ankle injury.
The Dockers started best, booting three of the first four goals before the Swans found their rhythm and matched the visitors at the stoppages to close to within a goal at the first change. Fremantle could - and probably should - have been further in front, finishing the quarter with 3.6 compared to the Swans' three straight goals.
The second term was an arm-wrestle for the first 15 minutes. Both sides lifted their intensity at the contest and the Swans began to gain the ascendancy at the clearances, but neither side could hit the scoreboard regularly.
Enter Hannebery. He booted two goals in as many minutes to give the Swans some breathing space, before finishing a flowing move in the dying minutes of the term with his fourth goal of the first half.
Having trailed by 15 points early in the match, the home side led by three goals at half-time.
"After a positive start, the second quarter was really poor, on lots of levels," Fremantle coach Ross Lyon said.
"We were pretty unaccountable."
Highlights were few and far between in the third term, which was punctuated by Walters' injury in a tackle and Ballantyne's late mark and goal that gave the Dockers some hope of another win on the road.
The Swans looked home after Ben McGlynn's second goal of the final quarter gave them a 27-point lead but the Dockers, led by an inspired patch from Fyfe and Michael Johnson, hit back with the next four goals to cut the margin to one point with two ultimately dramatic minutes to play.
Swans midfielder Josh Kennedy tries to break clear of the pack against Fremantle. Picture: AFL Media
SYDNEY SWANS 3.0 7.2 8.3 11.4 (70)
FREMANTLE 3.6 3.8 5.12 9.16 (70)
Sydney Swans: Hannebery 4, McGlynn 2, Bolton, Everitt, Jack, Pyke, Jetta
Fremantle: Fyfe 2, Ballantyne 2, Suban, Mayne, Clarke, Duffield, Johnson
Sydney Swans: Hannebery, O'Keefe, McVeigh, Pyke, Richards, Goodes
Fremantle: Mundy, Fyfe, Clarke, Ballantyne, Duffield, Barlow
Sydney Swans: Martin Mattner replaced in the selected side by Andrejs Everitt
Fremantle: Hayden Crozier replaced in the selected side by Tendai Mzungu, Walters (ankle)
Sydney Swans: Mitch Morton replaced by Craig Bird at three-quarter time
Fremantle: Alex Silvagni replaced by Tendai Mzungu in the third quarter
Umpires: Rosebury, Stevic, Ryan
Official crowd: 22,546 at SCG