BEHIND a brilliant performance from captain Chloe Molloy, Sydney's fairytale season has continued with a 17-point elimination final triumph over Gold Coast on Saturday night.
The Swans set up victory with a blistering four-goal opening term and despite repeated efforts by the Suns to get back into the match, were never truly troubled in winning 9.4 (58) to 6.5 (41).
They will now travel to Adelaide to face the Crows in a semi-final next weekend.
After storming into eighth spot with wins over Western Bulldogs, Collingwood and Fremantle in the final three rounds, Sydney continued its form on Heritage Bank Stadium.
They moved the ball swiftly and with precision, often leaving their Suns opponents grasping at thin air as they went from inside the contest to outside in a hurry.
After an early equaliser from Bec Privitelli – who hobbled from the field shortly after with a foot injury and did not return – it was Molloy that took over.
She roved a forward 50 stoppage to perfection and snapped truly on her right foot, then set up a goal for fellow co-captain Lucy McEvoy after a strong contested mark.
Gold Coast counterpart Tara Bohanna opened the second quarter with two quick goals to reduce the margin to eight points, but it was again Molloy that steadied with a safe set shot from 30m.
They had a match-winning 26-point lead by half-time.
While they were blistering with ball in hand, the Swans were equally impressive without it. They were ferocious.
Gold Coast was not given an inch to move, with rapidly ascending youngster Sofia Hurley’s 16 tackles indicative of Sydney's defensive hunt.
Tanya Kennedy had 10 of her own, keeping red-hot Claudia Whitfort to just 14 disposals that lacked her usual penetration.
Despite winning the disposal count by 32, Sydney still managed to lay a staggering 105 tackles to Gold Coast's 65.
Kennedy not only put the clamps on Whitfort, but managed 22 touches of her own, while prolific Laura Gardiner had the better of her battle with Lucy Single, racking up 30 disposals that included seven clearances and nine tackles.
The Suns battled hard, but once the ball got into space were left wanting for speed.
Bohanna was magnificent in defeat, kicking her team's first four goals and presenting a great target all night.
One to watch
If you haven’t seen much of young Swan Sofia Hurley, make it your business to watch her next weekend. The 19-year-old has had an excellent season, building nicely with starring performances against the Western Bulldogs and Collingwood in round eight and nine, but against the Suns, she went up a gear. She zipped in and out of traffic with ball in hand to link the midfield and forwards – with her deft pass to Aleisha Newman for a goal particularly clever. But aside from the 17 disposals, it was the 16 tackles that led Sydney's defensive effort and was so infectious.
Sydney will continue its incredible season with a trip to Adelaide's Norwood Oval next weekend to face the Crows in a semi-final. The winner there will advance to a preliminary final. For the Suns, it's the end of the road, and a season they can be proud of after winning six games and drawing one during the home and away season.
GOLD COAST 1.0 3.0 5.3 6.5 (41)
SYDNEY 4.2 7.2 9.3 9.4 (58)
Gold Coast: Bohanna 4, Dupuy, Girvan
Sydney: Molloy 3, McEvoy 2, Whelan, Privitelli, Newman, Hamilton
Gold Coast: Bohanna, Drennan, Keaney, Single
Sydney: Molloy, Hurley, Kennedy, Gardiner, Ham, Hamilton
Gold Coast: Nil
Sydney: Privitelli (foot)
Crowd: 2,710 at Heritage Bank Stadium