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Rounds Of Our Lives: The greatest moments from Round 14

St Kilda’s Michael Gardiner celebrates after kicking the winning goal against Geelong in an epic Round 14 clash in 2009. Photo: FAIRFAX SYNDICATION

Rounds Of Our Lives: The greatest moments from Round 14

Luke Michael    

If you need a break from the constant speculation and analysis accompanying the 2018 AFL season, take a step back and enjoy some of the greatest moments from round 14 in years gone by.

This round has featured iconic moments, from Michael Gardiner’s match-winning heroics for St Kilda against Geelong in 2009, to Gary Moorcroft’s spectacular mark over Brad Johnson in 2001.

Because, like Jeff “The Wizard” Farmer conjuring magic at the MCG, or a big bag of goals from Stephen Kernahan, so are the Rounds of our Lives.

ST KILDA 14.7 (91) d GEELONG 13.7 (85) (Etihad Stadium, Round 14 2009)
In this modern day classic, St Kilda overcame Geelong in an enthralling top-of-the-table clash, thanks to some Michael Gardiner magic in the dying stages.

St Kilda and Geelong both entered round 14 undefeated, making their match at Etihad Stadium highly-anticipated.

A stadium-record crowd of 54,444 were not disappointed, witnessing a see-sawing contest in which the Cats refused to give in.

The Saints got off to a strong start, kicking the first five goals, but the Cats narrowly won the second and third quarters to reduce the deficit to 10 points at three-quarter time.

Justin Koschitzke and Michael Gardiner looked to have quelled the Cats’ comeback by kicking the opening two goals of the quarter, stretching the lead to 23 points. Geelong had other plans though, with Mathew Stokes kicking a goal in the 24th minute to level the scores.

The Saints were in need of a hero and it was Gardiner who heeded the call. With a minute and a half remaining, Luke Ball kicked the ball deep inside forward 50 and Gardiner flew across the pack to take a huge mark.

After a two-minute delay, in which Geelong defender Harry Taylor was stretchered off the ground after injuring himself in the marking contest, Gardiner kicked the goal to put the Saints six points up.

St Kilda withstood one final forward thrust by the Cats, and fittingly it was Gardiner who took another important mark in the final seconds to ensure a Saints victory.

The win kept St Kilda’s winning streak alive, and it took until round 20 for the Saints to first taste defeat in 2009. It would be the Cats who had the last laugh however, defeating St Kilda on grand final day in a similarly gripping contest.

CARLTON 17.13 (115) d RICHMOND 12.13 (85) (MCG, Round 14 1995)
This round 14 encounter was another top-of-the-table clash, and was also Carlton legend’s Justin Madden’s 300th game. In front of 84,745 at the MCG, this game was tight for three quarters, with Carlton leading at the final break by only two points. But the eventual premier, who would only lose two games during the entire season, ran away in the final quarter to record a 30-point victory. Anthony Koutoufides starred with 34 touches, while Stephen Kernahan kicked six goals. Milestone man Madden had a quiet day, recording nine disposals and 12 hit-outs.

MELBOURNE 22.11 (143) d COLLINGWOOD 12.6 (78) (MCG, Round 14 2000)
Jeff “The Wizard” Farmer lived up to his nickname against Collingwood in 2000, conjuring nine second-half goals to demolish the Pies at the MCG. Farmer had a quiet first half, but caught fire in the third term after coming off the bench to replace the injured Ben Beams. With the Demons leading by only three points at half-time, Farmer kicked three goals in the third term to stretch the margin to 34 points at three-quarter time. But his fourth quarter was even more impressive, booting another six goals as the Demons ran out 65-point winners. After kicking nine straight goals, Farmer took an incredible mark in the final minute and had a chance to finish with 10, but missed, finishing with 9.1.

ESSENDON 24.10 (154) d WESTERN BULLDOGS 11.10 (76) (Colonial Stadium, Round 14 2001)
Some marks are so iconic that they become the defining aspect of a player’s career. Such was the case with Essendon forward Gary Moorcroft, who took a spectacular grab against the Western Bulldogs in round 14, 2001. As a scrubby right-foot snap from Scott Lucas (noteworthy in itself given his almost exclusive use of the left) drifted towards the goal square, Moorcroft jumped on to the shoulders of Bulldogs legend Brad Johnson, before launching off Johnson’s back to pluck the ball in mid-air. The side-on photo of Moorcroft marking the ball in the air at full stretch while Johnson flails forward remains one of footy’s most memorable images. Moorcroft kicked six goals to accompany his aerial feats, as the Bombers ran out convincing 78-point winners. Moorcroft would later be rewarded with the 2001 Mark of the Year award.

MELBOURNE 8.5 (53) d WESTERN BULLDOGS 3.3 (21) (MCG, Women’s Exhibition 2013)
Women’s football had to overcome some major hurdles before a national women’s league was established, but a significant milestone was reached in 2013 with the staging of the first women’s match between two AFL-affiliated teams. This inaugural AFL Women’s Exhibition game was held between Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs as a curtain raiser during round 14. Bringing together the best female players from around the country, this historic match featured some future AFLW superstars including Daisy Pearce, Steph Chiocci and Ellie Blackburn. Melbourne ran out comfortable 32-point winners, in front of 7500 fans at the MCG.

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