With 99,683 people watching, the 2012 AFL final came to an end just a few minutes ago with Sydney Swans (also known as ‘Bloods’) winning the game by 91-81 against Hawthorn Hawks. The Hawks were beaten at their home town at the Melbourne Cricket Field.
After a demolishing first quarter in which the Hawks led by 29-11 (4 goals and 5 behinds for hawks and just 1 goal and 4 behinds for Swans), Sydney Swans made an amazing final come back into the score after a roller coaster scoring all game.
The Swans were 28 points up early in the third quarter, fell 12 points behind during the final term, then prevailed ending the game with 14 goals and 7 behinds against Hawks’ 11 goals and 6 behinds. In a nail-biting finish, David Hale put Hawthorn 11 points up midway through the last quarter, before a shot from Lance Franklin extended the margin to 12.
But the Swans, who went into the game as rank outsiders, refused to be beaten. Three late goals from Dan Hannebery, Kieren Jack and Adam Goodes handed John Longmire’s team a seven-point advantage with seven minutes to go.
Hawthorn did much of the late attacking, but Jack Gunston and Brad Sewell missed three shots between them in the dying moments of what was an enthralling contest. It was a devastating result for Hawthorn, which had 26 scoring shots to 21 and dominated in many areas on the stats sheet.
Nick Malceski then snapped the winning goal with 38 seconds left on the clock, as the Swans (who re-based themselves precisely from Melbourne to Sydney in the 1980’s) won their fifth VFL/AFL premiership, but just their second since 1933. O’Keefe, Hannebery (29 possessions) and Josh Kennedy (26 touches) and Jarrad McVeigh (21) played their hearts out in the midfield for the winners. Malceski, Jack, Kennedy, McVeigh and Mitch Morton all kicked two goals.
Ryan O’Keefe, who collected 28 possessions, laid 15 tackles and won seven clearances, was awarded the Norm Smith Medal (man of the match)after a dominant performance for the Swans in the midfield.