Heeney and Franklin burn bright as Swans’ late show steamrolls Carlton

Sydney’s dynamic duo Isaac Heeney and Lance Franklin were on fire as the Swans shored up their top-eight spot with a hard-fought 22-point win over Carlton.

The first three quarters on Sunday at the SCG were effectively a dead heat, as the Swans and Blues both enjoyed lengthy periods of domination, trading blows in what was an enthralling contest in front of 29,882.

Lance Franklin battles Jacob Weitering of the Blues for possession. Credit:Getty

Heeney and Franklin both ended with three goals each, and it felt like most of them came right when Sydney needed them. Franklin’s haul brings him to 966 in his career – ever-closer to the magical 1000-goal milestone, which he would no doubt hit much sooner if he wasn’t so unselfish. But the way Buddy is moving, it’s a sheer inevitability, and the wait will be entertaining nonetheless.

Papley also had three goals to his name at the final siren – and his last will certainly be on all the highlight reels, having sensed a chance to strike and switching on his afterburners to blitz a handful of chasing Carlton defenders. But this match was ultimately won in the middle as Sydney worked hard to recover an early deficit in contested ball. Co-captains Kennedy (19 disposals, two goals) and Luke Parker (22 disposals, eight clearances), plus prime mover Callum Mills, were instrumental.

Lance Franklin kicks over Liam Jones to score a major at the SCG.Credit:Getty

The Swans came into this clash in somewhat patchy form, with victories in just two of their previous six outings. A result here was pivotal as it keeps them two wins clear of the posse of teams queuing up outside the eight. Now with games against battling St Kilda and Hawthorn to come before the bye, they have the opportunity to cement themselves in the finals mix.

It was a decent display from the Blues, for three quarters at least, but near enough is no longer good enough for a team that is aiming to mix with the AFL’s best, and the late capitulation will have left a bitter taste in fans’ mouths.

Isaac Heeney celebrates scoring as the Swans finished strongly.Credit:Getty

They simply didn’t make the most of their periods in the ascendancy, although it might have been different had key forward Harry McKay, who kicked 3.5, straightened up with his kicking. Once the Swans got going, they were ultimately powerless, slumping to their fifth loss in their last seven.

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