Sydney have booked themselves a home preliminary final after dismantling the Demons at the MCG, with the win coming to the tune of 21 points.
The fiery contest swayed for a majority of the match before six third-quarter goals had the Swans primed for the win, staving off the Demons and keeping their opponents goalless in the final term.
Returning to the MCG for the first time since the 2019 Grand Final, the contest was heated from the off-set.
A 10-point lead at the first break thanks to a converted post-siren set shot from Bayley Fritsch, who booted two majors in the opening term, had the Demons in good stead.
Hayward's snap from 25 metres out got things underway at the MCG after both sides registered behinds in the opening few minutes, with further goals to Demons forwards Charlie Spargo and Ben Brown helping Melbourne create a buffer at quarter-time.
Kysaiah Pickett booted the opening goal of the second term to extend his side's lead. Hayward's second goal came thanks to a 50m penalty following an incident in the centre of the field between May and Franklin, with the former conceding the penalty.
Their deficit was extended to seven points with a stunning set-shot from Dylan Stephens from a tough angle just inside the arc floating through the goals.
A fiery first half concluded to see Sydney lead at half-time by four points, but it was the third term that saw the clash reach new heights.
Clayton Oliver levelled the scores at 40 points apiece in the opening three minutes of the second half, winning a free kick and kicking truly after Luke Parker was pinged for holding the ball, dragging the Sherrin in while competing on the deck.
A stellar snap from the boundary saw Fritsch boot his third goal and the best of the night, continuing his stellar finals run after a dominant display in last year's grand final haul of six against the Bulldogs.
The Swans broke the Demons' early second-half rebuttal with a bending goal that landed after multiple entries for his side inside 50.
Sydney fans were gifted to more individual brilliance, with defender Jake Lloyd intercepting a grounded kick from James Harmes outside 50 on a difficult angle and threaded the central posts at the city end to tie the scores midway through the third quarter.
And just like Thursday night's elimination final between the Tigers and Lions, the lead swung back in favour of the Demons with Oliver's second of the term. The 40-metre set-shot attempt came after a contentious holding the ball call against young Swans Errol Gulden, with Oliver converting with a tick under 10 minutes remaining in the quarter.
It was soon Sam Reid's turn to mount a pair of goals omn the board. An intercept mark from the Swans forward 60 metres out from goal saw Sydney back on the front foot, with the veteran able to walk to point blank range and add a further six points to his side's lead after Pickett entered the restricted area and was penalised with a 50-metre penalty.
Just minutes later the 30-year-old slotted home another from outside 50 from a set shot, with the Swans' lead extended to 13 points.
The ruckmen then got in on the action, with Tom Hickey going from villain to hero - booting the Swans' 12th goal just moments after conceding a holding free kick at the other end of the ground to see his Demons counterpart Max Gawn cut the lead back.
The Swans would carry a two-goal lead into the final break, with Oliver and Parker leading their respective sides heading into the fourth quarter.
If the match wasn't fiery already, things got heated to begin the final term.
Demon James Harmes is sure to come under fire for a late hit on Lloyd, who was able to return to his feet and boot his second goal of the night from close range after being awarded a 50-metre penalty for the incident.
The goal put the Swans up by 18 points, but it was soon the heroics at the other end of the field that got Sydney fans on their feet.
With Demon Jake Melksham unable to keep his feet with an opportune chance in front of goal, the Swans were able to quickly swarm Melbourne's transition into attack, with Charlie Spargo's second efforts on goal smothered by Robbie Fox in one of the best efforts of the season.
The smother saw a should've-been Demons goal turn into an opportunity at half-back for the Swans, who managed to work the ball to the boundary before converting another goal through Heeney in a quick transition of their own.
In a worrying blow for the Swans, flanker Oliver Florent was left clutching his leg after a contest on the wing before being helped off the ground.
The siren soon sounded at the MCG, with Sydney moving on to the penultimate weekend of the season.
The Demons will remain at the MCG for week two of the post-season, hosting Brisbane in a semi-final showdown.