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Rounds Of Our Lives: The best of Round 6


James Morrissey gives Hawthorn the lead for the first time at Princes Park in 1989. The Hawks had trailed Geelong by 56 points. Picture: CHANNEL 7

Rounds Of Our Lives: The great moments from Round 6

Luke Michael    

With the 2018 season now well underway, the AFL landscape is dominated by recurring discussion on issues like the future of the bump, whether to keep the draw and mid-season trading.

But sometimes, among the petty politics and clickbait opinions that seem to dominate the AFL news cycle, it is good to reminisce on some of the great footy moments from years gone by.

So let’s turn back the clock to a simpler time, when crowds were regularly dazzled by full-forward shootouts and suburban grounds served as more than just training facilities … Because like sands through an hourglass, so are the Rounds of our Lives.

HAWTHORN 26.15 (171) d GEELONG 25.13 (163) (Princes Park, Round 6 1989)
Hawthorn and Geelong competed in one of the greatest ever Grand Finals in 1989, but earlier that year they put on a similarly enthralling contest at Princes Park.

Unlike the grand final, it was Hawthorn not Geelong that attempted an incredible comeback in this round six clash, but similarly to the grand final, it was the Hawks that would came away with the chocolates.

In Gary Ablett senior’s 100th game, the Cats dominated the first half, with Gavin Exell kicking six goals to give Geelong a commanding 49-point lead.

Hawthorn started to turn the tide in the third term, moving Gary Ayres from defence to the centre to devastating effect as the Hawks kicked six unanswered goals, reducing the deficit to 19-points at three-quarter time.

Both sides demonstrated their attacking prowess in the fourth quarter, combining for 16 goals. But every time the Cats looked to close the game, Hawthorn would fire back in brutal fashion.

Geelong started the term kicking two of the first three goals, but then the Hawks piled on four goals in six minutes to reduce the deficit to one point. Gary Hocking and Exell followed with two goals to seemingly halt the Hawks’ run, but the reigning premiers responded by kicking five goals in eight minutes.

A kick off the ground from James Morrissey gave Hawthorn the lead for the first time, the Hawks piling on almost 70 points in the last term as Ayres, Gary Buckenara and John Platten ran over the top of the Cats to complete an eight-point victory.

Buckenara and Dermott Brereton finished with 5 goals, while Ayres racked up 30 disposals roaming the midfield. For the Cats, Exell ended up with nine goals, while Ablett was typically classy with 28 touches and three goals in his milestone match.

Geelong’s score of 25.13. (163) remains the highest losing score in VFL/AFL history. This 51 goal deluge – the fourth-highest aggregate score in league history – foreshadowed the more famous shootout that would follow in September. But for all Geelong’s scoring power, in 1989 it twice proved inadequate to topple the might of Hawthorn.

ESSENDON 23.18 (156) d GEELONG 19.18 (132) (MCG, Round 6 1993)
This match contained a shootout of another kind – between two full-forwards in absolute full flight. Gary Ablett senior and Paul Salmon combined for 24 goals and 37 scoring shots in a mesmerising display at the MCG, in front of 46,588 spectators. The match itself remained close throughout, but Essendon would pull away in the final term to record a 24-point victory – with “Baby Bomber” Joe Misiti proving the difference in the midfield with 35 touches. Ablett would finish with 14.7 and 25 disposals, while Salmon kicked 10.6 and had 18 disposals. Neither player recorded a single handball.

RICHMOND 12.12 (84) d HAWTHORN 13.5 (83), (Telstra Dome, Round 6 2004)
In this Friday night classic at Docklands, Richmond won a thriller over the Hawks by one point. After leading by 20 points at half time, Richmond saw its lead eroded to six points after the Hawks kicked four goals to one in the third term. The final quarter was a tense affair, and when Angelo Lekkas kicked a goal to level the score with three-and-a-half minutes left, it looked like the Hawks would run over the top of the Tigers. Tim Fleming would prove an unlikely hero for Richmond, kicking the winning point with just under two minutes left. Richie Vandenberg had a set shot with 40 seconds left to draw or win the game for the Hawks, but failed to make the distance, with Ray Hall taking a match saving mark near the goal line.

HAWTHORN 16.10 (106) d CARLTON 15.12 (102), (MCG, Round 6 2009)
Hawthorn overcame a spirited final term comeback from Carlton to record a thrilling victory in this 2009 clash, after Blues’ spearhead Brendan Fevola missed a set shot from 30 metres to win the game. The Hawks turned a one point three-quarter time lead into a four-goal margin after Lance Franklin, Jarryd Roughead and Stuart Dew combined to kick five goals.
But the Blues fought back, reducing the gap to five points before Fevola marked on a slight angle with just a minute remaining.Unfortunately for Carlton fans, Fevola hit the post, consigning the Blues to a four-point loss. Fevola and Roughead dominated the game from opposite ends of the ground, each kicking eight goals.

ESSENDON 31.11 (197) d GOLD COAST 8.10 (58), (Etihad Stadium, Round 6 2011)
Considering it was Gold Coast’s first season in the league, everyone expected the Suns to suffer blowouts as they adjusted to their new AFL environment. But even Essendon fans must have felt slightly sorry for them after the Bombers kicked 15.4 (94) to the Gold Coast’s solitary point in the first quarter. Gold Coast would actually win the second term and reduce the deficit to 79 points at half-time, but a dominant second half from the Bombers saw them run out 139-point winners. Kyle Reimers would finish with eight goals, while Jobe Watson had 35 disposals. Essendon’s first-quarter total remains the highest in VFL/AFL history.

Catch “Rounds of our Lives” on the Marngrook Footy Show every Wednesday night at 8:30pm on NITV (Channel 34)

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