Was this the mark of the year?

Written By komlim puldel on Jumat, 19 September 2014 | 20.01

Sydney Swans midfielder Luke Parker has taken an incredible mark in the second quarter of Friday night's AFL preliminary final, outleaping the North Melbourne Kangaroos defence to claim a hanger.

Sydney Swans' Luke Parker celebrates after kicking a goal against North Melbourne. Source: News Corp Australia

ALL the talk has been about the "Bondi Billionaires".

While big-name, big-money Sydney Swans stars Buddy Franklin, Adam Goodes and Kurt Tippett all played an enormous role, it was little-known 21-year-old Luke Parker who pulled off a contender for mark of the year in an emphatic 19.22 (136) to 9.11 (65) preliminary final victory against North Melbourne.

Just before halftime, Parker flew high and hard across the pack just outside the goal square at ANZ Stadium.

The midfielder recovered to slot the goal from close range and help the Swans to a 9.10 (64) to 4.4 (28) halftime lead.

Check out Parker's mark in the video player above

Sydney Swans youngster Luke Parker flies high to take a contender for mark of the year. Source: News Corp Australia

Parker, a rugged Langwarrin boy who grew up barracking for Carlton, has been likened to another Swans hard man in Jude Bolton.

Indeed, Bolton has even said of Parker: "You could hit him over the head with a block of wood and he'd get up.''

"I'm not the quickest bloke and I'm not the tallest bloke, so I guess I have to be pretty hard at it,'' Parker told the Herald Sun.

Franklin fired as Sydney dispatched North Melbourne with ruthless efficiency on Friday night, steamrolling their way to the AFL Grand Final with a 71-point win.

... from another angle. Source: News Corp Australia

The Swans started the preliminary final in sluggish fashion, their opening goal not coming until the 16th minute when Goodes snapped truly in his 350th game.

But the hosts never relinquished the lead from that point on, setting up a Grand Final meeting with either Hawthorn or Port Adelaide.

It was a magnificent display of freewheeling football, befitting the minor premiers who turned their season around in style after a round-four loss to the Kangaroos.

Franklin booted five goals, but his intimidatory influence went far beyond that.

Held goalless in his past two battles with Scott Thompson, Buddy also created space and teed up goals with ease when he led beyond the 50m arc.

Tippett finished with four goals, benefiting the most from the fashion in which North's defenders flocked to Franklin like moths to a flame.

Parker gets amongst it in midfield. Source: News Corp Australia

Goodes also kicked three goals, but the speed at which the Swans moved the ball to the million-dollar forward line was what underlined their dominance.

Then there was Parker, a substitute in the 2012 Grand Final who has become one of the Swans' premier midfielders.

Parker's all-round class on Friday night was awesome in the old-fashioned sense, reminiscent of Geelong's September specialist Jimmy Bartel.

Parker laid a game-high eight tackles, booted three goals and claimed that unbelievable pack mark that had the 48,029-strong crowd on their feet.

There were few concerns for Sydney coach John Longmire, who watched his charges increase their lead at every break as the week off proved telling.

Sam Reid was involved in a heavy first-quarter collision, then substituted off in the second half after suffering a knee injury.


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