GREATER Western Sydney has pulled off a stunning last-minute comeback to defeat Sydney 9.17 (71) to 10.9 (69) at the SCG on Saturday.
Swans superstar Lance Franklin's five-goal haul and the Giants' inaccurate goal-kicking looked like proving the difference on Saturday.
GWS stand-in skipper Toby Greene was the worst offender, finishing with seven behinds and one goal to make it the most inaccurate game of his 163-game career.
But it was Greene's goal, coming with three-and-a-half minutes remaining in the match - and after a flurry of wasted opportunities, near-misses and what-ifs from GWS, that put his side within striking distance.
Soon after, Kelly's optimistic attempted match-winner went out on the full.
But, with 66 seconds remaining, the midfielder pounced on opposing ruckman Sam Reid's hitout then snapped truly from a tight angle to put his side in front for the first time since the first quarter.
The Giants held on during a frantic final minute, triumphing 9.17 (71) to 10.9 (69).
Key defender Tom McCartin made decent connection with his attempt to kick an after-the-siren goal from beyond 60 metres, but it was always going to prove too much of an ask.
Franklin, who slotted two second-quarter settlers in the space of 76 seconds, won the Brett Kirk medal while bringing his career tally to 955 goals and inching closer to becoming the first since Tony Lockett to reach the magical 1000-goal mark.
The four-time Coleman medallist was a steadying influence, booting third-quarter and fourth-quarter goals in response to GWS surges that trimmed Sydney's lead to seven then nine points.
But Franklin couldn't conjure anything special at the end of the epic as the Swans' undefeated start came to a halt in round five.
Buddy at his best in red-time
Lance Franklin has had the familiar strut in his three games this season. The Swans superstar stole the show when he kicked the sealer against Essendon, but was arguably even more important for the Swans today as he stepped up whenever the Giants challenged early. This included handy red-time goals in the second and third quarters. The best of these was just before half-time, when Josh Kennedy kicked too short for a mark to be paid, so Franklin spun onto his left boot as he was being tackled 35m from goal near the boundary, and tumbled the ball through for a goal.
Making Hayward while the smoke flies
After bursting onto the scene in 2017 and kicking 50 goals from 40 games in his first two seasons, Will Hayward has struggled with injuries the past couple of years. Coming in to replace an injured Isaac Heeney, Hayward certainly reminded us what he’s capable of, kicking 3.1, taking contested marks and competing hard. He also kicked the goal of the day, when there was a ball-up in the goalsquare, Sydney’s Sam Reid barely got a hand to the tap but Hayward was the first to respond and kicked the ball out of the air with the outside of his foot to send it through like a banana.
SYDNEY 3.3 6.4 8.8 10.9 (69)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 1.4 3.7 5.11 9.17 (71)
Sydney: Franklin 5, Hayward 3, Papley 2,
Greater Western Sydney: Himmelberg 2, Finlayson 2, Daniels, Riccardi, O'Halloran, Greene, Kelly
Sydney: Franklin, Hayward, Lloyd, Dawson, Hickey
Greater Western Sydney: Kelly, Hopper, Taranto, Ward, Daniels, Mumford
Sydney: Hickey (knee)
Greater Western Sydney: Reid (hamstring)
Sydney: Dylan Stephens (replaced Hickey)
Essendon: Matt Buntine (replaced Reid)
Crowd: 33,541 at the SCG