The Sydney Swans looked headed to a 5-0 start season against the GWS Giants, until Josh Kelly showed up.
In what was a tightly-contested match throughout the afternoon, the Swans appeared to be headed towards an easy win when they took a 20-point lead in the final quarter, before the Giants kicked the last two goals of the contest to steal it 9. 17. (71) to 10. 9. (69) at the SCG.
With the seconds ticking down inside the final minute and a ball up 15m out from the Giants’ goal, Kelly pounced on a Shane Mumford tap to space to snap the goal through on his left boot as he fell beyond the boundary line.
Kelly’s goal was the cherry on top of a classy showing which saw him collect 26 disposals. Following the match, the left-footer broke down the game-winning sequence.
“I said to Mummy, ‘Tap it over the back’ and he got his hand to it,” he told Fox Footy.
“I’m just happy it went through, I was having a bit of a shocking kicking night, so to hit that one was good.
“It’s unreal. It was a bloody good game of footy. We felt like we had a lot of good areas of the game but we just weren’t converting on the scoreboard. To keep grinding away with the young group like we did it’s very pleasing.”
Kelly’s game-winning heroics ruined what was a vintage outing from Swans forward Lance Franklin, who booted five straight goals.
An erratic kick throughout his career, Franklin had his kicking boots well and truly on, kicking five goals straight, with the efficiency even stunning Hawks great Dermott Brereton on commentary.
“It’s almost un-Franklin-like,” Brereton told Fox Footy. “He hasn’t looked like missing all day.”
The last-minute loss to the Giants was made worse by a second-half injury to ruckman Tom Hickey, who limped off in the third quarter.
Hickey, one of the recruits of the year, was enjoying a strong outing with 16 disposals through three quarters before hurting his left knee.
Despite the loss, the Swans will be hot favourites to get back on the winners’ list next week with a match-up against the struggling Suns on deck, while the Giants will face the unbeaten Western Bulldogs at home.