The Sydney Swans' Sam Reid (left) competes for a mark with Niall McKeever of the Brisbane Lions during their round 15 match of the AFL season at the SCG (AAP) - Eurosport
 
Australian Football

Swans go top of AFL

Swans go top of AFL

By Eurosport
Last update The 07/07/2012 at 15:05 -
By Eurosport - The 07/07/2012 at 15:05
Young Sydney forward Sam Reid enjoyed a career-best game as the surging Swans took a turn at top spot in the AFL on Saturday with a 47-point win over Brisbane at the SCG.
 

Reid, who had never kicked more than three goals in a game, finished with 6.1 in the Swans' 16.14 (110) to 9.9 (63) victory.

It was their fifth straight win heading into what should be a mouth-watering clash with fellow high-fliers West Coast in Perth.

Reid's key forward colleague Adam Goodes also terrorised the Lions defence, kicking 3.1, taking 13 marks and tallying 22 touches in his third and best game since returning from injury.

The Swans trailed 19-2 early on but kicked eight of the next nine goals to take control and set up a fifth successive win over Brisbane.

Reid's strength and aerial ability proved too much for Brisbane's Irish fullback Niall McKeever, who was finally moved off him and replaced by Daniel Merrett after the Swans forward kicked his fifth major.

Goals to Patrick Karnezis, Andrew Raines and Rohan Bewick set up the Lions' early advantage.

The stunned Sydney crowd were roused by three of their most potent weapons.

Goodes and Lewis Jetta both kicked truly from 50 metres and Reid took two great soaring marks and converted both to set up a four-point quarter-time lead.

Sydney carried the momentum into the second quarter and led by as many as 31.

A couple of great long distance goals on the run by Daniel Rich kept Brisbane in the contest and they trailed by 21 at halftime.

Sydney booted the first four goals of the third quarter and kicked five to one in the term, which they finished with a 47-point buffer.

Richmond survived a week of turmoil, suspensions and injuries and their own terrible kicking to defeat a depleted Melbourne in their clash at the MCG.

The Tigers made hard work of their 13.23 (101) to 11.12 (78) win in a strangely scrappy contest in fine conditions on Saturday.

It lifted Richmond to a 7-7 record, keeping them well in the finals hunt, with another very winnable match to come against Gold Coast in Cairns next Saturday.

Shaun Grigg (34 disposals) and Shane Tuck (nine clearances, nine tackles) were prime movers for the Tigers, with Trent Cotchin, Reece Conca and Brett Deledio also handy in the midfield and Bachar Houli winning plenty of the ball off half-back.

The Tigers dominated the midfield, particularly in the opening 25 minutes, having the first nine scoring shots of the match while the Demons barely moved into attack.

But Richmond wasted much of their good work with a string of misses from simple shots to lead 4.6 (30) to 1.0 (6) at the first change.

The Tigers controlled the game throughout but continued to blot their performance with poor kicking for goal, adding 2.6 for the second quarter and 3.8 to Melbourne's 1.2 in an error-riddled third term.

Jack Riewoldt kicked 0.4 for the third quarter, on his way to 1.5 and another shot out on the full for the match.

It meant when Melbourne kicked three goals in the opening eight minutes of the last quarter, they were just 22 points down, despite having been outplayed virtually all day.

Three last-quarter goals from Robin Nahas helped ensure a Tiger win, along with a Tuck snap.

The victory was a welcome tonic after the Tigers this week lost Dylan Grimes and Jake King to injury, Daniel Jackson to suspension, then sacked Daniel Connors and suspended Dustin Martin among seven changes.

West Coast stormed home to pip North Melbourne by two points in a thriller at Bellerive.

The Eagles ended the Kangaroos' three-match winning streak with a gritty comeback after they were 35 points down in the second quarter, snatching the win 12.14 (86) to 13.6 (84).

West Coast trailed by 15 points at the final break but with ruckman Dean Cox leading from the front, kicked 4.6 to North's 2.1 to finish strongly.

Cox finished with three goals, along with Quinten Lynch, while Jack Darling bagged a double.

For a gallant Kangaroos outfit, Robbie Tarrant booted majors with Brent Harvey and Lindsay Thomas kicking three each.

The Eagles drew level at 78-78 in the final term with a Josh Hill goal and took the lead for the first time since the first quarter when Matt Priddis kicked a point.

North weren't done, though, and a Tarrant goal took them ahead 84-79 as the game headed for a nailbiting finish.

A Cox goal regained the lead for the Eagles, though, and they ended North's resurgence since their 115-point shellacking by Hawthorn in Launceston five weeks ago.

West Coast had burst out of the blocks with three of the game's first four goals, their second to 200-gamer Daniel Kerr.

Their strangling defence was pinning North to their own end but the Kangaroos snapped into gear to kick the last three majors of the first quarter, two in quick succession to Thomas, and they led 31-20 at the break.

North continued where they had left off in the second, booting the first four goals on the back of some slick handballing and precision passing.

Their halftime lead would have been more but for an ugly miscue from close range by Tarrant and Darling's goal as the siren sounded.

West Coast were far from done and had quick goals from Lynch and Chris Masten as the third got underway.

The Kangaroos' cause looked to have suffered a setback when Todd Goldstein was collected by Jacob Brennan, but the big man recovered to play on.

St Kilda small forward Stephen Milne kicked five goals in his 250th AFL game as the Saints moved into the top eight with an outstanding 71-point win over Essendon on Saturday night.

St Kilda's 21.7 (133) to 8.14 (62) victory at Etihad Stadium was a triple blow for the Bombers, who suffered just their fourth loss from 14 games but were also forced to substitute key forward Michael Hurley out of the game in the third term with a hamstring problem.

Essendon also dropped out of the top four as a result of their loss.

Milne was chaired off the field as the Saints celebrated their first win in their past five matches against the Bombers.

St Kilda skipper Nick Riewoldt was instrumental with a four-goal performance plus 24 disposals and 11 marks.

Midfielders Lenny Hayes and Nick Dal Santo were also dominant for the Saints, who improved their win-loss record to 7-7.

Courtenay Dempsey and ruckman David Hille were two of the better players for Essendon.

Despite Essendon's 18-12 dominance in the inside-50s, the Bombers were outscored four goals to three in the opening term including two majors to St Kilda big man Justin Koschitzke.

Arryn Siposs kicked two of St Kilda's five goals in the second term as the home side surged ahead by 23 points.

The Saints took charge again in the third term with six goals to Essendon's two, as Milne ducked and weaved his way to four goals for the quarter.

A goal on the run from outside 50 metres from Riewoldt was another highlight.

Essendon's Heath Hocking landed a high hip-and-shoulder bump on St Kilda's Lenny Hayes behind the play in the third quarter and Hayes was knocked to the ground and briefly left the field. The Saints scored their 12th goal from the resultant downfield free kick.

Hocking is expected to face heavy scrutiny from the match-review panel over his clash with Hayes.

Essendon's woes continued when Kyle Reimers staggered off with concussion after an accidental head clash with St Kilda's Tom Simpkin.

Leading by 46 points at three-quarter time, the Saints kept working hard with a six-goal final term to Essendon's one major.

The game was interrupted at the 15-minute mark by a male intruder who was able to run all the way to the centre of the field before being intercepted by a security guard.

Essendon face Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium next Saturday while the Saints travel to Brisbane to play the Lions later that night.

Adelaide overcame the loss of two players to head injuries to thump Port Adelaide by 58 points in a lopsided grudge match.

The Crows lost Kurt Tippett and Shaun McKernan but were never challenged by their home town rivals, winning 17.14 (116) to 8.10 (58).

Adelaide, with Ricky Henderson kicking six goals and ruckman Sam Jacobs almost setting an AFL record for hit-outs, kept pace with the ladder leaders - now one of four clubs with 11 wins.

Port goalsneak Paul Stewart booted four goals against the Crows, who lost key forward Tippett after a head clash midway through the opening term.

McKernan was substituted seven minutes into the second quarter, suffering a suspected broken jaw in a marking contest.

But the absence of the tall attacking duo failed to halt a free-scoring Adelaide, with Henderson filling the forward line void.

Tap-man Jacobs gifted his midfield silver service, recording an astonishing 61 hit outs - just two shy of Gary Dempsey's VFL/AFL record set in 1982.

Jacobs expertly fed a relentless midfield headed by Scott Thompson, Bernie Vince and Richard Douglas who overwhelmed the Power.

Stewart's goal smarts offered Port some brightness and midfield duo Brad Ebert and Travis Boak battled against the Jacobs-inspired tide.

But Port, still on four wins for the season, slipped three goals behind by quarter-time and never threatened.

In a match punctuated by four video reviews of scoring decisions, Adelaide claimed a five-goal advantage by halftime - making light of the losses of Tippett and McKernan.

Port rallied briefly in the third quarter to creep within 18 points before Adelaide's Brodie Martin effectively sealed their fate.

Martin converted consecutive set shots from tight angles before Henderson potted two more majors to restore Adelaide's ascendancy and a six-goal lead at three quarter-time.

The final term was a formality for the Crows, with Martin adding another goal to finish with three and first-gamer Tim McIntyre scoring his second, having booted a major with his first AFL kick.

 
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