Swans glide to national title

by Gazette Reporter

South Dublin Swans Aussie Rules Football team won the 2013 Australian Rules Football League of Ireland Premiership title last weekend with a dramatic victory over last season’s winners, Belfast Redbacks, at the Civil Service Grounds in Islandbridge.

After the Swans finished third in the league table, it was expected to be a tight tussle against the Redbacks who had beaten the southsiders home and away during their regular season encounters.

However, after the Swans beat the Leeside Lions away in Cork in the previous week’s semi-final, confidence was high for the team who have previously won the national title in 2006, 2010 and 2011.

The Swans were weakened for the final by the absence of key players and Irish internationals Darren Sheils and Peter Ross.

In the opening quarter the Redbacks stormed out of the blocks, kicking four goals to none and closing the quarter 4.3 27 to 0.3 3.

The gap was extended by the end of the second quarter to 7.3 45 to 2.7 19 in favour of the hard-tackling Ulstermen.

Whatever was said at half time made a difference, as the Swans started to take the game by the horns, kicking six goals to the Redbacks one, to turn a 26-point deficit into a five-point lead, 8.11 59 to 8.6 54.

This comeback was propelled by the input of Dundrum-based Swans, Tom Russell and captain Mick Hurley, along with South Australian born Ryan Serocki and Canberra native Grayson Stopp bringing the Dubliners ahead.

The final quarter was all Swans as the more youthful Redback team seemed to wilt the longer the game went on.

The Swans added a further two goals and five behinds to the Redbacks mere two behinds, leaving the score at the final siren 10.16 76 to 8.8 56 in favour of the South Dubliners.

It was elation all round for the Swans, captain Mick Hurley making a memorable victory speech. Best on ground was South Australian native Ryan Serocki, one of three Australians on the Swans team.

The final wrapped up yet another successful year for the Swans club, who had three of their squad secure international honours with Ireland in the European Championships in DCU in August.

Swans goal scorers: Richie Dignam 3, Grayson Stopp 3, Ryan Serocki 2, Bobby Byrne 1, Manus Breathnach 1.

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