WE are only two months into the AFL season, but already we have seen matches that will send those fanatical fans in the stands into cardiac arrest.
Whether it was Brody Grundy’s goal square major to bury the Tigers in round 2, Kruezer’s 40 metre snap on one leg to ensure the Blues would record their fourth straight win in round 8 or Sam Lloyd’s ice-cool finish after the siren to end Richmond’s six game losing streak; AFL fans have been spoiled this season when it comes to exciting finishes.
Lloyd’s after the siren heroics spurred us on to go back through the annals of AFL history to select five of our favourite pulsating finishes in the game’s history.
Sit back and enjoy what is to come.
David Zaharakis kicks his first ever AFL goal to defeat the Pies on ANZAC day
Has any player’s name been synonymous with ANZAC day quite like David Zaharakis?
The Dons were down and out; needing three goals to hit the front deep into the final quarter and not looking capable of overturning the margin.
The Bombers were able to take it coast-to-coast to add some spice into the contest, and when Ricky Dyson nailed the goal to put them within two points the crowd began to believe.
The Pies were able to take it deep into their forward line, but again the Bombers were able to move it fast into their forward line, only for Leeroy Jetta to fumble it over the goal line – putting the ball back in Collingwood’s hands.
The Bombers were able to effect the turnover from the kick in, and the ball found its way into the hands of Zaharakis; who nailed his first ever goal to give his side the lead and one of the most incredible come-from-behind wins of all-time.
Power surge sinks the Crows in the showdown
Outside of a Grand Final win, there is nothing the two South Australian teams saviour more than a showdown win; and Port’s win in the 35th edition will go down as their best victory of all-time.
There was just over six minutes on the clock and the Crows lead by 20 points – it looked all but over.
Power midfielder Robbie Gray was able to cut the margin back to 14 points, giving the men in teal real belief that the dream finish could become a reality.
The game in hindsight could be viewed as making of Chad Wingard; who nailed two goals in the final minutes to snatch the unlikely win, but Angus Monfries’ major to get the margin back to under a goal has to be seen to be believed.
Brisbane come from the clouds to upset the Cats at the GABBA
When it comes to improbable victories, the Brisbane Lions’ win over Geelong in 2013 has to be considered one of the greatest upsets in AFL history.
The Lions were never expected to trouble the Cats, and when the visitors put themselves in front by 52-points early in the third quarter you could have been forgiven for thinking the margin would blow out to a triple-figures by the end of the match.
What followed after was truly remarkable.
The Lions chipped away at the total in the third quarter, and after booting seven goals in the last quarter, they drew level inside the last two minutes.
The Cats were able to take back the lead by a point, but the Lions were able to move the ball from full back to within scoring distance, placing the ball in 200th gamer Ash McGrath’s hands as the siren sounded.
McGrath was able to kick the unlikely goal from outside 50 to record the eighth greatest comeback in AFL/VFL history.
Nick Davis last quarter blitz sends the Swans from the semi into the preliminary final
Nick Davis had an accomplished AFL career, booting 235 goals over the course of his 168 games at the highest level, but any mention of the former Collingwood and Sydney star will instantly evoke memories of Sydney’s incredible three point win over Geelong in 2005.
The Swans trailed by 23-points early in the last quarter, and had only managed three goals for the match before the mercurial Davis went to work.
Davis booted the final four majors of the match including the match winner with less than five seconds left on the clock.
It will go down as one of the greatest ever individual quarters of football ever played.
Collingwood and St Kilda record dramatic Grand Final draw at the G
Collingwood may have become the premiers just a week later, but the 2010 season will be forever remembered as year of ‘that’ drawn Grand Final’.
The Pies skipped out to an early lead, only to have the Saints peg the margin back and eventually hit the lead late in the match.
Collingwood answered back in the last four minutes left to regain the lead by a point, and after three minutes of fierce and physical play, the ball found its way into St Kilda’s forward line where the bounce of the ball eluded Steven Milne and went through for a behind – levelling the scores.
The match ended in a draw – only the third time in history that this has happened in a Grand Final.
We did not have a winner that day, but to borrow the tired cliché – ‘football was the winner’.