Bulldogs down Swans in AFL grand final
Melbourne: The Bulldogs did the unthinkable, coming from behind to topple the Sydney Swans 89-67. The Western Bulldogs ended 62 years of hurt with a 22-point victory over the Sydney Swans in a pulsating Australian Football League grand final played out in front of a crowd of 99,989 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground yesterday.
The first team to reach the final having finished seventh in the regular season, the team from Melbourne’s western suburbs belied their underdog status with a huge team effort to become premiers for the second time since their 1954 win as Footscray. Two late goals from Liam Picken, whose father Billy played and lost in four grand finals, and a long-range effort from the outstanding Tom Boyd settled an epic battle in which the lead had changed hands with regularity. “It’s just an amazing performance from our boys,” Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said as his players shed tears and hugged each other on the field after the final siren.
“Some of those efforts in the last quarter were just sensational.” The Sydney Swans were looking for their third title in 11 years but were hampered from the fifth minute when their star forward Lance “Buddy” Franklin turned his ankle in the frenetic early exchanges. The pace of the contest never waned but, fired by inspired inside forward Josh Kennedy, the Swans were always in it until the three late goals ensured the Bulldog’s 13.11 (89) to 10.7 (67) victory.
“Huge congratulations to the Bulldogs, it’s been a really even year but you guys play footy