South Dublin Swans Australian Rules Football team have reached the 2021 AFL Ireland Grand Final after a tight Preliminary final encounter against Belfast Redbacks on Saturday last in Islandbridge.
The Swans, who lost their final ladder game the previous week against the Redbacks, reversed the result to finish up 72 (10.12) to 56 (8.8) winners against the Ulster side.
It was a strong performance by the Swans who now go into their first Grand Final since 2017, with high hopes of winning another final to add to their five titles to date.
The Swans opened the game the stronger with Australian Drew Baldwin dominating the ruck contests. At the end of the first quarter the Swans held a 25 to 14 lead even though they were kicking into the wind that was blowing from the Chapelizod end of the ground.
By half-time the Swans extended their lead kicking with the wind to 42 to 21. However, the third quarter belonged to the Redbacks, outscoring the Swans by four goals to one, leaving the three-quarter time score all square at 49 to 49.
With the game in the balance the Swans dug deep to seal the win by 16 points at the final hooter.
Players that stood out for the Swans included full-forward and Irish international Gavin Murray full-forward who kicked three goals.
Impressive in defense all game were Conor McGourty and Darragh Devlin while James O’Donoghue was bursting with energy on the wing.
The Swans will take on the Leeside Lions in the Grand Final.
The Lions finished top of the home and away season ladder and got automatic qualification to the Grand Final.
After the 2020 season was not completed the Lions are the most recent AFL Ireland men’s Grand Final winners.
The final takes place on Saturday afternoon, October 9 at the Trinity College sports grounds in Santry, Dublin.
The AFL Ireland women’s Grand Final is also on Saturday. The South Dublin Swans will take on Leeside Lions in the Irish Aussie Rules Grand Final on Saturday in Santry