Ball-magnet Kennedy sets AFL record

Josh Kennedy has moved into a league of his own after almost leading Sydney to one of their most famous AFL wins.

The Swans’ midfielder was best afield and a ball magnet in Saturday’s qualifying final loss to Fremantle.

His game-high 39 possessions was the 11th-straight game where Kennedy had had 30 disposals or more – a modern record.

Since Champion Data started keeping records in 1999, Collingwood star Dane Swan had two streaks of 10 games.

Kennedy and fellow midfielder Dan Hannebery were the catalysts for Sydney’s awesome third quarter.

Already missing several key players, Sydney lost Sam Reid in the second term to a hamstring injury and were dangling off the precipice early in the third quarter with a four-goal deficit.

Enter Kennedy – a whopping 16 possessions for the quarter – and Hannebery, who had 14.

Sydney still trailed by 13 points at the last break, but they had given it an almighty shake.

“Those two in particular were enormous – they’re our midfield generals,” coach John Longmire said of Kennedy and Hannebery.

“We’re playing a quality team today and there are some quality midfielders in the opposition, too.

“So it’s not an easy game, they have a very good ruckman, but our blokes really lifted and helped drive us to get back in the game.”

Dockers star Nat Fyfe had set the early pace with 12 disposals in the first quarter and he was their best, posting 32 for the game.

But Kennedy overshadowed him.

Swans veterans Adam Goodes and Rhyce Shaw were also mighty, while Dean Towers stepped up manfully.

In his first final, Towers took over at centre half-forward after Reid went off and he kicked a goal in the third quarter.

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