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Reserves storm into decider

The Sydney Swans reserves following Sunday's win over NT Thunder at Blacktown
A dominant second-half performance against the NT Thunder has earned the Sydney Swans reserves a place in the 2014 NEAFL Grand Final.

After trailing by as much as 16 points midway through the second quarter, the Swans reserves stormed home kicking 13 of the last 14 goals of the game to run away with a 62-point win at Blacktown International Sportspark on Sunday afternoon.

Despite travelling nearly 4,000km for the clash, the Thunder got off to the better start and adjusted best to the wet and slippery conditions on the day, outscoring the Swans reserves in the first quarter three goals to two.

The Swans reserves found their feet late in the second quarter, when a Dean Towers run down the wing and follow up effort to snap a goal in the same passage of play sparked the team into action.

The Swans then held the Thunder goalless in the third term, while piling on five goals of their own, before putting the foot down in the fourth quarter with seven goals.

Ruckman Sam Naismith, who made his AFL debut last week, was dominant in the middle for the reserves with 48 hit-outs and 11 tackles, while hard-working midfielder Tom Mitchell, who was the team’s leading ball-getter with 32 disposals and two goals, was also an important player in the second-half turnaround.

Rookie player Dan Robinson was also impressive on Sunday afternoon, with the midfielder playing a successful run-with role of leading Thunder midfielder Cameron Ilett, who finished the match down on his usual output with just 11 disposals.

The Swans defence also hit their straps in the second half, with Jeremy Laidler and Tommy Walsh taking a number of intercept marks and creating opportunities up forward, while Xavier Richards, who recently signed a two-year contract extension with the club, kept Thunder leading goal scorer Dan Ewing goalless and to just  four possessions for the match.

The win will see the Swans travel north to Brisbane this weekend to battle Aspley, who defeated UWS by 45 points on Saturday, in the league decider at the home of the Hornets, Graham Road Oval.

The Swans will be vying for their first NEAFL premiership this weekend, after falling just short of the Brisbane Lions reserves at the same venue last season.

Sydney Swans Reserves  2.3   4.5   9.9   16.11 (107)
NT Thunder                        3.2   5.4   5.7         6.9 (45)

Goals: J. Hiscox 3, D. Towers 3, T. Membrey 2, T. Nankervis 2, T. Mitchell 2, I. Heeney 2, R. O’Keefe , B. Jack

Best: D. Robinson , T. Mitchell , J. Laidler , S. Naismith , T. Walsh , D. Towers

NEAFL Grand Final
Sydney Swans Reserves vs Aspley Hornets
Graham Road Oval, Aspley
Saturday September 13, 1:30pm