The Sydney Swans have returned to the winner’s list with a hard-fought 19-point victory over the NT Thunder in a thriller of a match at TIO Stadium on Saturday night.
The Swans secured victory only in the last dying minutes of the Round 14 contest, coming out on top 12.13 (85) 10.6 (66) after Thunder got within two points in an exciting last quarter.
Sydney had their noses in front all night, but Thunder were never may away.
Sydney was quick to open the scoring with Kyle Martin to boot the first goal of the game in the first four minutes.
A flying collision saw an injured Daniel Weetra leave the field at the 11th minute mark of the second quarter, which proved costly for the home side.
The Swans were then able to produce three straight goals midway through the second term for a match-high 28-point lead.
Weetra, who's defensive efforts were superb all night, returned to the field at the 24th minute to help his teams cause and was able to help bring the margin back to a tight 16 points at half-time.
The two sides went goal-for-goal in the third, with Thunder still in the contest at the final change as the Swans increased the margin to 19 points.
The fourth quarter was the highlight of the match for the home side coming within two points of the third-placed Swans when they booted four of the first five goals.
But Sydney managed to respond quickly through Kyle Martin, backing it up with a running goal to Zac Foot and sealing the match was Pawle's third at the 27-minute mark.
Led by impressive performances from Ryan Clarke (35 disposals and eight clearances) and Kieran Jack (29 disposals and 10 clearances), it was the side’s experience at crucial times which help steady the ship.
Ryley Stoddart (28 disposals, eight rebound 50s) was also impressive off half-back.
For NT Thunder, Nate Paredes was superb with 21 disposals, six clearance, seven inside 50s and a goal, and Abe Ankers (31 disposals, 2 goals) was his usual prolific self.
Debutant Joel Budarick had an exceptional opening performance for the Thunder and Weetra was also among his side's best players.
The Swans will find themselves in another tough match up
when they face the second-place Southport Sharks at home next Saturday, while
the Thunder will take on the GIANTS next Saturday night.
NT Thunder v Sydney at TIO Stadium
SYDNEY 4.4 6.7 8.11 12.13 (85)
NT THUNDER 1.2 4.3 6.4 10.6 (66)
GOALS – Sydney: J Pawle 3 D Menzel 2 J Barling 2 Z Foot C Kilpatrick
K Martin J Amartey S Wicks. NT Thunder: A Ankers 2 D Barry 2 N Lockyer 2 N Paredes
B Rusca A Tipungwuti.
BEST - Sydney: R Stoddart K Jack T Pink R Clarke M Knoll K McKellar. NT Thunder: N Paredes A Ankers D Weetra J Budarick B Rioli C Thiele.
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