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Rounds Of Our Lives: The greatest moments from Round 19

Geelong’s Tom Hawkins is swamped by teammates after booting the winning goal on the siren against Hawthorn in 2012, continuing the “Kennett curse”.

Rounds Of Our Lives: The greatest moments from Round 19

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 19 in years gone by.

This round has produced some wonderful highlights, like Tom Hawkins’ match-winner against the Hawks after the siren in 2012, but also a moment Melbourne fans would want to forget with the Demons’ 186-point thumping against the Cats in 2011.

Because, like Kevin Bartlett roaming the MCG or a spectacular mark from Tony Modra, so are the Rounds of our Lives.

GEELONG 18.10 (118) d HAWTHORN 17.14 (116) (MCG, Round 19 2012)
In one of the most thrilling games of the modern era, Hawthorn fought back from a 51-point deficit to almost steal victory against Geelong, before Tom Hawkins goaled after the siren to continue the infamous “Kennett Curse”.

Hawthorn and Geelong’s intense rivalry victory was in full swing in 2012, with round two featuring an Easter Monday classic in which the Cats overcame an 18-point three-quarter time Hawthorn lead to win by two points.

In round 19, the two sides met again under the Friday night lights, with Hawthorn determined to end its eight-match losing streak against the Cats – and break the dreaded “Kennett Curse”.

The Hawks couldn’t have entered the game in better form, having won their previous eight games by an average of 81 points.

But that mattered little to the Cats, who blew Hawthorn away in the first-quarter kicking nine goals to two. After they kicked the first goal of the second term, the Cats led by 51 points and seemed set for a convincing win.

But Hawthorn hit back, reducing the deficit to 17 points at half-time. When Brad Sewell kicked a goal with five minutes remaining in the final term, the Hawks finally hit the front and seemingly had all the momentum.

Four points down with 35 seconds left, Geelong needed everything to go right as Mitch Duncan took the ball at half-back.

This was indeed the case as a wonderful transition play from the Cats saw the ball land in the hands of Tom Hawkins on the 50 metre arc in the dying seconds.

Taking his kick as the final siren rang, Hawkins had no trouble slotting the goal from long-distance, breaking the heart of Hawthorn players and fans around the ground.

“They’ve done it again!” commentator Dennis Cometti exclaimed as the Cats’ players swamped Hawkins.

It was despair again for the Hawks, who endured another close loss to the Cats and perhaps the most heartbreaking of all “Kennett Curse” defeats.

The class of Tom Hawkins proved to be the difference, with the Geelong spearhead kicking six goals, including the pivotal final two goals of the match.

COLLINGWOOD 13.11 (89) d RICHMOND 11.13 (79) (MCG, Round 19 1983)
Kevin Bartlett became the first player in league history to play 400 games in a historic clash with Collingwood at the MCG in 1983. Despite entering the game sitting second last on the ladder, the Tigers fancied their chances of victory following a 72-point upset over Essendon at Windy Hill in Round 18. Bartlett ran onto the ground through one of the biggest banners the MCG had ever seen, in a creation that reportedly took the cheer squad 500 hours to make. The match itself was close throughout, but the Tigers could not get over the line to honour the 36-year-old milestone man, falling short by 10-points. Bartlett himself had a fairly quiet game, recording 16 disposals and six marks.

FITZROY 15.9 (99) d ADELAIDE 13.16 (94) (Princes Park, Round 19 1993)
In the ‘80s and ‘90s, names like Lockett, Dunstall and Ablett regularly reached the 100 goal milestone during the season. But in 1993, a young full-forward named Tony Modra reached the 100-goal mark in just his second AFL season, becoming the first Adelaide player to do so. Modra reached his century in round 18 with his second goal against Fitzroy at Princes Park. But despite a commanding seven goal performance from “Godra”, Fitzroy would emerge victorious, winning a close encounter by five points.

ESSENDON 11.13 (79) d SYDNEY 11.11 (77) (Colonial Stadium, Round 19 2001)
Steven Alessio had a day to remember in round 19, 2001, kicking the winning goal for the Bombers in their comeback victory over the Swans. Down by 22 points with less than 10 minutes remaining in the final term, Essendon turned the tide by kicking three goals in a row and reducing the deficit to four points. In the final minute, Dustin Fletcher hoisted a high ball inside 50 and Alessio rose above the park to take a strong mark 30 metres out directly in front. He kicked truly – his fourth goal for the day – and put the Bombers in front for the first time, securing victory for Essendon in the game’s final 10 seconds.

GEELONG 37.11 (233) d MELBOURNE 7.5 (47) (Skilled Stadium, Round 19 2011)
In one of the darkest days for the Melbourne Football Club in a very dark period, Geelong thrashed the Demons by 186 points, leaving the club no choice but to sack coach Dean Bailey. Melbourne was blown away by Geelong at Skilled Stadium from the outset, and by half-time the Cats led 124 to 10. Geelong wasn’t done with yet though, showing the Demons no mercy as the Cats equalled the all-time goals record in a game with 37 majors. As the final siren rang out, the Demons had suffered the second greatest losing margin in VFL/AFL history (they also held the greatest losing margin of 190 points).The loss sealed the fate of Bailey, who was sacked the next day.

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