LIVEWIRE Isaac Heeney has kicked four goals to spark Sydney to a tense three-point win against Adelaide in their AFL season-opener.
Heeney and teammate Luke Parker were the standouts as the Swans triumphed 11.8 (74) to 11.5 (71) on Saturday at Adelaide Oval.
Parker collected a game-high 29 disposals, forming a commanding midfield with Oliver Florent (20 possessions) and stalwart Josh Kennedy (25 touches) while Will Hayward booted two majors.
Adelaide, in new coach Matthew Nicks’ first game at the helm, failed to fire after quarter-time before a last-gasp rally in captain Rory Sloane’s 200th AFL match.
Backmen Rory Laird (19 disposals), Daniel Talia and Wayne Milera were solid and forwards Tom Lynch and Taylor Walker kicked two goals each for the Crows.
Adelaide booted six-straight goals, including two from Walker, to Sydney’s three and led by 18 points after a free-scoring opening quarter.
But the Swans controlled the second stanza to take the momentum, kicking four majors in an eight-minute purple patch to stun the home side.
Sydney capitalised on a remarkable centre-clearance dominance – they registered 15 to Adelaide’s two in the first half – with the Crows’ sole second-term goal coming from skipper Sloane.
The Swans led 8.3 to 7.1 at halftime with mobile attackers Heeney and Hayward kicking two goals apiece and onballer Parker (16 disposals) the leading ball-winner on the ground.
After the break, Heeney was again the central figure, slotting two more goals as the visitors crafted a 20-point advantage before Adelaide second-gamer Ben Davis goaled to reduce the margin to 14 points at the last change.
The Swans resisted for 17 goalless minutes before Adelaide’s Lynch snapped his second and teammate Chayce Jones slotted another minutes later.
The quick goals left the Crows four points down with 71 seconds remaining and ex-skipper Walker had the chance to pinch victory, but he missed a 55m set shot at goal with just 20 seconds to go.
© AAP 2020
SYDNEY 3.0 8.3 11.4 11.8 (74)
ADELAIDE 6.0 7.1 9.2 11.5 (71)
Goals: Sydney: I Heeney 4 W Hayward 2 J Kennedy N Blakey S Gray T McCartin T Papley. Adelaide: T Lynch 2 T Walker 2 B Davis C Jones D Fogarty L Murphy R Atkins R Sloane T Stengle.
Umpires: Leigh Haussen, David Harris, Craig Fleer.
Venue: Adelaide Oval.