IN PICTURES: High drama as super Swans claim national record
AFL: They’ve done it.
The all-conquering Yeppoon Swans have etched their name in the annals of national sport, claiming the record for the most consecutive wins in AFL history.
There were euphoric scenes on Saturday night as the thousands who had gathered at Swan Park to witness the occasion erupted in unison when the final hooter sounded out the 10.10-70 to 1.3-9 victory.
The Swans’ 89th straight win came in a drama-charged AFL Capricornia final against BITS Saints.
It was made even more memorable given they had to come from behind and their star ruckman Jamie Garner was sent off following a melee on the boundary line just eight minutes in.
But as champions do, the Swans rose to the occasion, taking charge of the contest in the second quarter and never looking back.
Brandon Worner produced an inspirational performance in the midfield, earning him Best on Ground.
The win delivered the Swans not only the national record, which has been held for more than 40 years by South Australian team Heathfield-Aldgate, but also a record sixth straight AFLC flag.
Jubilant skipper Matt Wallin said it was incredible.
“You don’t get sick of them, I can tell you,” he said.
“It was hot early... but after quarter time we kicked into gear. We knew what we do well works and if we keep doing it it’ll end up coming through and that’s what happened.
“The record is incredible. That’s cream on the top and at home, we couldn’t ask for a better day.
“To win a flag and obviously get the record is awesome.”
Equally as special was achieving the milestone alongside his father and coach Mark, who has been at the helm for the incredible winning streak.
“It was a tough year so incredibly proud of the boys for getting it done,” Mark said.
“It was pretty nerve-racking. The first quarter they (BITS) came out of the box, they jumped us a little bit.
“We had our ruckman, who is our number one player, sent off for the game. Effectively for a quarter a bit we were playing with 17 men on the ground, which hurt us a little bit, but the boys only conceded one goal for the game so that’s a fantastic effort.”
The record tilt was scripted perfectly for Wallin’s men but it was clear their opponents had not read it.
BITS’ Adam Hull kicked the first points of the game, landing a goal in the second minute.
The Swans managed just one behind and found themselves in unfamiliar territory at the first break, trailing by six points.
They soon rectified that. Full forward Tommy Cossens, who was one of the Swans’ best, kicked the first of his four goals in the opening minute of the second quarter to level things up.
From there, it was all the Swans as they poured on the points to lead 6.4-40 to 1.1-7 at half-time.
BITS would manage just two more points in the game, while the Swans would add another 30, Sammy Nicholls sealing the deal with his second goal in the dying minutes.
AFL Capricornia grand final results and Best on Ground in each division
Under-13.5: Yeppoon 9.10-64 d Gladstone 1.0-6; Ozzy Jackson (Yeppoon).
Under-15.5: BITS 9.4-58 d Yeppoon 2.2-14; Max Marsh (BITS).
Under-17-5: Glenmore 6.11-47 d Panthers 5.6-36; Preston Richards (Panthers).
Reserve grade: Yeppoon 5.7-37 d BITS 4.3-27; Ari Miles (Yeppoon).
Senior women: Glenmore 7.3-45 d Brothers 0.6-6; Tashina Ketchup (Glenmore).
Senior men: Yeppoon 10.10-70 d BITS 1.3-9; Brandon Worner (Yeppoon).