Swans Cull Magpie hopes

by Gazette Reporter
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TERENURE-based South Dublin Swans have qualified to play Leeside Lions in the 2017 Australian Rules Football League of Ireland men’s Grand Final after a dramatic after the final siren goal secured their spot last Saturday.
It was Swans defender and Irish international Ronan Cull who kicked the wonder goal. He was on the boundary, kicking into a strong cross-wind from 40 metres out.
But his booming kick flew between the posts to seal victory over the Galway Magpies and send the Swans into their fourth Grand Final of the decade.
In a wind effected day, that meant the scoring tended to happen at one end of the ground. The Swans first game was against Belfast Redbacks. Playing with the wind, they had the advantage at the end of the first 20-minute half. The Redbacks came back to within a goal but the Swans pulled away in the final minutes to secure the win.
This meant a win for the Swans against the Galway Magpies would guarantee Grand Final entry. The Magpies started better, playing with the strong wind and were 1-4 (7) to 0-0 at half time.
Soon after play resumed for the second half, the Pies went 2-4 (14) to 0-0 ahead and it looked like the Redbacks would make the Grand Final on percentage.
However slowly the Swans reeled in the lead, although they had difficulty finding goals. Entering the closing minutes, they were still behind needing at least a draw to reach the Grand Final.
Eventually, their persistence paid off and with less than a minute remaining they managed to get a behind to level the scores.
The next kick out went over the boundary on the full and Ronan Cull kicked the goal the sealed victory and the Grand Final spot, much to the delight of the Swans players who mobbed the 2017 International Cup player.
It saw them complete their two wins from the day with a 4-5 (29) to 1-4 (10) win over the Redbacks and then a 2-10 (22) to 2-4 (16) success against the Magpies.
Now the Swans play Leeside Lions in next Saturday’s final.
The Lions won their first ARFLI Premiership last year after a nine-year barren spell for the Cork city based club.
In contrast, the Swans have won three Premierships in this decade with the most recent final victory over the Lions in the 2011 decider.
The Grand Final is fixed for the Mardyke Arena, Cork City at 2pm Saturday, September 16.

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