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Swans Outlast Spirited Eagles in Hard-Fought AFL Encounter



Star Sydney midfielders Isaac Heeney and Errol Gulden showcased their dominance as the Swans secured a hard-fought 26-point victory over a spirited West Coast team in an AFL showdown at Mount Barker.

The Swans managed to weather a strong first-half challenge from the Eagles before pulling away for a 15.14 (104) to 11.12 (78) triumph in front of 9225 fans at the Adelaide Hills venue.

West Coast showed resilience, outscoring their opponents in a quarter for the first time this season with a stellar 5.6 to 3.2 performance in the second term, allowing them to hold a narrow five-point lead at halftime.

However, the Eagles were eventually overrun in the second half by Sydney’s sheer class, with Heeney and Gulden making significant impacts at crucial moments, both contributing with two goals apiece. The Swans also saw strong performances from Will Hayward, Joel Amartey, and Logan McDonald.

Key injuries marred the Eagles’ efforts, with Luke Edwards exiting the game due to a hamstring injury, and Ryan Maric being taken to the hospital with rib damage following a collision with teammate Jack Darling during a marking contest.

Heeney recorded 26 disposals and seven clearances, while Gulden provided 27 disposals and seven clearances, with both players playing pivotal roles in the Swans’ victory. Sydney coach John Longmire commended his team’s effort and resilience, emphasizing the challenges of securing wins in the tough AFL competition.

Harley Reid, West Coast’s highly regarded No.1 draft pick, delivered another promising performance, showcasing his strength and aggression on the field. Reid’s efforts were further bolstered by standout displays from Elliot Yeo, co-captain Liam Duggan, and Jeremy McGovern, despite losing teeth in a collision with Braeden Campbell.

The Eagles, still winless this season, demonstrated improvement in their performance against a quality Swans outfit that dominated them by a record margin in their previous encounter. West Coast coach Adam Simpson acknowledged the team’s progress and resilience despite the defeat, noting that the Eagles are starting to find their identity and deserve recognition for their hard work.

Going into a bye week, the Swans sit at 4-1 for the season, with a solid block of performances boosting their confidence. The AFL clash at Mount Barker showcased intense matchups, with both teams displaying determination and skill as they battled it out on the field.

Rachel Adams

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