Swans dent Bulldogs' finals hopes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Swans dent Bulldogs' finals hopes

By Adrian Warren 23/07/2011 08:54:47 PM Comments (0)

Sydney delivered a blow to the Western Bulldogs' AFL finals aspirations on Saturday, as veteran Adam Goodes spearheaded an impressive Swans victory and spoilt a strong SCG farewell from Barry Hall.

The Swans broke open a close game by kicking four goals to one in the third quarter and went on to record a 16.18 (114) to 11.9 (75) win.

The victory propelled the Swans back into the top eight after they were nudged out by St Kilda on Friday, while the Bulldogs remain six points outside with just five rounds remaining.

Former Swan Hall, the oldest player in the Bulldogs lineup, kicked 5.3 and kept his team in the game in the first half, when he kicked four of his majors.

Playing in what was almost certainly his final game at the SCG, Hall ignored boos from the Swans supporters to put on a classic exhibition of forward play, displaying strong leading, marking and kicking

"Although I kicked five goals, it doesn't put any more shine on it, it's disappointing, all the boys are pretty flat," said Hall, who announced earlier this week he was retiring at the end of the season.

Both Hall and Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade conceded their team faced a tough task to make the eight following Saturday's defeat.

"We've got five left, we've just got to win as many games as we can, we've got to uphold our end of the bargain," Eade said.

Sydney dominated the midfield battle, tallying 112 more possessions and had 23 more inside 50s.

"It was definitely the best four-quarter effort I've seen us play all year," Goodes told reporters.

The oldest player in the Sydney side, Goodes starred, accumulating a career-best 34 possessions, taking ten marks and kicking two goals.

"I thought today was his best four-quarter game for the year and when we needed it most, he really delivered," Sydney coach John Longmire said of Goodes.

Craig Bird kicked a career-best four goals, doubling his output for the season in the process.

The Swans led by just three and seven at the first two breaks and inflated that advantage to 27 by the final change.

"For the whole game I thought our pressure was really good," Longmire said.

"I thought our polish was just a bit off in the first half and was probably the reason why they were still able to be in the game."

Eade conceded his team was beaten in most areas, especially the midfield, but lamented missed last-quarter opportunities that could have made the game closer.

"Once we got the ball inside 50 we were a chance to score...we looked dangerous, but we just didn't get in there enough," Eade said.

The Bulldogs cause wasn't helped by losing Daniel Cross with concussion and a broken nose in the second quarter.

Adam Cooney laboured under a knee problem and Eade said another of his prime movers, Ryan Griffen, looked fatigued.

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