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Pies fall to Swans in the Preliminary Final

The Sydney Swans have finally buried their Collingwood hoodoo and surged into next week's Grand Final with a 26-point victory at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.

It had been seven long years since the Swans last feasted on the Pies, but a 13.18 (96) to 10.10 (70) triumph has given them an opportunity to secure a flag last won in that same 2005 campaign.

After being overlooked for All Australian honours earlier in the week, Lewis Jetta reminded selectors of his sublime talents, kicking three breathtaking goals to prove the game-breaker in front of a slightly disappointing crowd of 57,156.

The Swans' midfield brigade of Josh Kennedy, Ryan O'Keefe, Jarrad McVeigh and Dan Hannebery was also brilliant against Collingwood's All Australian trio of Dayne Beams, Dane Swan and Scott Pendlebury.

Jude Bolton also walked off the ground a winner as he became just the third Swan ever to reach 300 games.

Having steered his side into the Grand Final, coach John Longmire said he never put a cap on what he felt his side could achieve in 2012.

"I didn't have any expectations or put a ceiling on it at the start of the year," he said.

"I was confident that the players were playing the sort of footy that we wanted to play, a pretty selfless brand of footy, and we'd been doing that over the last couple of years.

"Really we've been doing it for a long time. 'Roosy' (former coach Paul Roos) set the standard a long time ago and it's continued on since we've taken over.

"At the start of the year I didn't sit back and say how good it'd be to get to a Grand Final because I know how hard it is.

"We just wanted to keep improving and I think we've done that."

The Pies were gallant, reducing a 42-point margin late in the third quarter to just 20 as they dreamed of a third straight Grand Final and second premiership in three years.

But the affects of their incredibly taxing recent run - including two intense finals and the emotional toll of John McCarthy's funeral on Thursday - appeared to finally wear them down.

Sombre Pies coach Nathan Buckley felt the contested ball count - which the Swans claimed 160-132 - and the Swans' general work rate was the difference between the teams.

"We didn't play at our best and Sydney's intensity was excellent, especially around the ball," he said.

"We got smashed in contested possession and out run and out worked."

Travis Cloke kicked three goals, Pendlebury, Thomas and Swan had their moments and Darren Jolly was again immense in the ruck, but the home side had too many winners.

The Swans will now meet the victor of Saturday's clash between Hawthorn and Adelaide in next week's decider carrying plenty of confidence.

For the 18th time this season, the Swans made a fast start and took a lead into quarter-time.

Kennedy got the first goal on the board with a trademark snap from 40 metres at the back of a pack before O'Keefe benefited from a dubious holding-the-ball decision on Pendlebury to kick their second.

Chris Dawes answered for the Pies to give him a confidence boost, with both sides then missing some chances in a tight struggle.

All Australian defender Ted Richards appeared to be in desperate trouble when he came off third-best backing into teammate Nick Malceski and Alex Fasolo before going to the rooms with an injured left knee.

He fought on valiantly, however, and played the game out, neutralising Dawes, who also overcame his own knee problem to start the game.

Two pieces of Swans' brilliance then opened the game up, Mitch Morton unselfishly tapping to Lewis Roberts-Thomson when he could've marked, leading to an open goal.

Jetta then kicked one of the goals of the year, receiving a handball from Hannebery and showing a breathtaking turn of pace to accelerate away from Nathan Brown and kick the Swans' fourth.

A late set-shot goal to milestone man Bolton then brought the house down and gave the Swans a deserved 20-point lead at the first change.

The home side was never truly able to put the battle-weary Pies to bed, but did enough as Longmire steered the team into the decider.

SYDNEY                    5.5     7.9     9.14     13.18 (96)
COLLINGWOOD      2.3     3.6      5.8       10.10 (70)

Goals - Sydney: Jetta 3, Bolton 2, Kennedy 2, Roberts-Thomson 2, Bird,
Goodes, O'Keefe, Mumford
Collingwood: Cloke 3, Beams, Dawes, Fasolo, Goldsack, Johnson, Swan, Tarrant

Best - Sydney: Kennedy, O'Keefe, Jetta, McVeigh, Hannebery, Johnson
Collingwood: Swan, Thomas, Cloke, Pendlebury, Beams, Johnson

Injuries - Sydney: Richards (left ankle)
Collingwood: Nil

Substitutes - Sydney: Mitch Morton replaced by Luke Parker in the final quarter
Collingwood: Ben Sinclair replaced by Jamie Elliott in the third quarter

Umpires: Rosebury, Stevic, Meredith

Reports: Nil

Official crowd: 57,156 at ANZ Stadium