There are few situations in sports that are as tense as a set shot after the siren, to win a game of footy. Robbie Gray’s goal to beat Carlton last week was the 50th of its kind, and to celebrate, we will be looking at each club’s best efforts after the siren.
Omissions have been made for the GWS Giants and Melbourne Football Club, as both are yet to send home a winning goal after the siren.
Adelaide Crows – Rod Jameson vs the Fitzroy Lions (1991)
Adelaide’s only goal after the siren, Rod Jameson came up clutch against the Fitzroy Lions in the early days of the Crows’ time as an AFL club. Deep into the fourth quarter, the Lions tried to fend off a late entry into the forward 50 by Adelaide, but in the scramble, Jameson managed to win a holding the ball free kick in the dying seconds, setting up the potential winning goal.
Jameson made no mistake, as he coolly slotted home his club’s first, and only, winning goal after the siren.
Brisbane Lions – Ash McGrath vs Geelong (2013)
Better scripts cannot be written. The Lions were down by 53 points going into the fourth quarter of an otherwise forgettable game against the dynastic Geelong Cats. Suddenly, Brisbane surged, kicking goal after goal and chopping the lead down to within a goal with hardly any time remaining.
I doubt we all need to be reminded, but a quick counter attack by the Lions, with a few seconds left, set up Ash McGrath to kick the winning goal on his 250th game of AFL footy. It was written in the stars, as the club hero sent it home from beyond the 50, capping off what is now known as the ‘Miracle on Grass’.
Carlton FC – Stephen Kernahan vs North Melbourne (1987)
In another case of this being the club’s only choice, Kernahan was still as clutch as needed on this drab afternoon against the Kangaroos. In what was a spirited affair during the days of the VFL, neither club were willing to give an inch.
Following a scramble on the wing, the ball sprung free to Justin Madden, who sent the ball long into the forward to the isolated Kernahan. ‘Stick’s, made no mistake, winning the marking contest and lining up on a tight angle in the pocket. As with all of these, Kernahan sent the ball between the posts, securing a memorable win for Carlton at the death.
Collingwood FC – Chris Tarrant vs Adelaide (2003)
Adelaide did all it could to hold on to its one-point-lead with seconds remaining. A boundary throw-in on the wing forced a contest, where the clearance was won by the Pies, looking for one last roll of the dice.
The ball was then thumped forward, into the waiting hands of their star forward, Chris Tarrant, who was inexplicably left alone. In true fashion, as he always did for the Magpies, Tarrant goaled from 40m out.
Essendon FC – Jimmy Gordon vs University (1913)
We are throwing it way back for this one. Unfortunately, no footage, imagery or solid information exists on this goal or this match, given how long ago it was. What we do know is that it remains Essendon’s only goal after the siren.
Fremantle – David Mundy vs Richmond (2017)
Fremantle have got a few goals after the siren under their belt, but none are probably more memorable than David Mundy’s effort against Richmond back in 2017.
Richmond looked like they were going to run out routine winners, but Fremantle mounted a late charge in the fourth quarter, to bring up nerves across the Tigers’ camp. After a centre bounce with only 20 seconds remaining, Lachie Neale burst out of the pack and speared in a pass to David Mundy, right in front of goal. Fremantle’s old veteran didn’t muck about, as he slotted home the winner, eerily similar to his effort against Richmond just a couple of years prior.
Geelong FC – Billy Brownless vs Footscray (1994)
Do not forget how great of a player for Geelong Billy Brownless was, as he provided the perfect foil to the talismanic talents of the legendary Gary Ablett Sr. This qualifying final against Footscray in 1994 cemented how good he was for his club, during their campaign that saw them make the Grand Final.
Seconds left, Geelong were down by a point and needed all of the inspiration they could get, and after one last attack, the ball hit Brownless square on the lead, with the big man tasked with going for goal after the siren to send Geelong to the Preliminary Final. Pressure was on, with a raucous crowd both cheering him on and distracting him, but he didn’t miss, calmly kicking the goal. We may also say that for the entire run of play, this goal perhaps has the most famous and entertaining commentary to accompany a goal after the siren.
Gold Coast Suns – Karmichael Hunt vs Richmond (2012)
Another at Richmond’s expense, this time coming at the hands of a failed Rugby crossover in Karmichael Hunt for the Gold Coast. In the gloomy early years of the Suns, this moment stood out.
A late goal forced a centre bounce with seconds remaining, and the ball was lumped forward for the Suns with the hope of a miracle. Brandon Matera managed to whirl around and snap the ball into the waiting chest of the former rugby star. The commentators went mad, we all went mad, as after the siren the AFL’s new boy slotted it home, in the only highlight of his relatively short stint in this football code.
Hawthorn FC – Gary Buckenara vs Melbourne (1987)
During Hawthorn’s dynastic years of the 80s, Gary Buckenara etched himself into legend with this fantastic shot to win the game after then siren.
The Hawks had to drive the ball forward after a kick-in following a Melbourne behind and an attempted entry was made into their forward 50. Buckenara presented on the 50m line, but was dragged down and given a free kick, just as the siren went. All pressure was on him, as he was tasked with having to kick from 55m. But, in a cruel twist of fate, he was award a 15m penalty, turning a difficult shot into a routine one. No mistake was made, as the Hawks went on to win the game.
North Melbourne FC – Malcolm Blight vs Carlton (1976)
Quite possibly the most famous goal after the siren in our game’s history, legendary North Melbourne star Malcolm Blight wrote his name into folklore with this monumental effort at the old Princes Park.
The Roos were down by a point, as Blight marked on the half forward flank, well away from a reasonable distance for a set shot. However, the siren went, forcing Blight to try his luck from approximately 70m out (or 85-90m if you ask the commentary). Blight lined up for the barrel and rocketed it high and into history, clearing the goal and then some. It’s an image no fan of footy can ever forget.
Port Adelaide – Robbie Gray vs Carlton (2020)
In one can be called the greatest came of the COVID-19 impacted season, Robbie Gray showed his worth as a Port Adelaide star, stealing a win from the clutches of the Blues.
A mess on the wing forced a spill, which allowed an inch-perfect kick into Gray’s hands, deep into the forward pocket. The angle was tight and unfavourable for a right-footer, as all viewers held their breath after the siren went. Robbie Gray was as clutch as ever, kicking a perfect shot straight between the goal posts. The goal itself was significant, as this match and goal cemented his club’s premiership credentials.
Richmond FC – Sam Lloyd vs Sydney (2016)
In a year of not much success for the Tigers, this stood out as the sole bright spot in an otherwise dismal year. Up against the minor premiers, Richmond kept the game neck-and-neck, but found themselves down by 5 points with little time remaining.
A quick bout of fluid ball movement sent it forward, and found the roaming Sam Lloyd free from 50m out against the Swans, with time running out. Sounded out by commentary almost as famous as the goal itself, Lloyd belted it through the goal from just outside of the 50, sending his team into chaos and capping off one of the most memorable matches of the year.
St Kilda FC – Barry Hall vs Hawthorn (2001)
For another case of something that the best scripts cannot contain, Barry Hall lined up for goal against Hawthorn for the Saints, in what would be his last game for the club.
With just seconds remaining, Hall’s last act for the club where he made his name was truly glorious, kicking the winning goal after the siren from just inside the 50, with his last kick for the Saints. If you are going to go out, go out on a note like Bazza did for St Kilda.
Sydney Swans – Gary Rohan vs Essendon (2017)
This was one of those ‘not over until the fat lady sings’ type moments. Essendon were up by 3 goals with just 3 minutes left, and it looked to be over for the Swans.
A string of errors from the Bombers, brought Sydney back to within a goal with 30 seconds remaining. A poorly taken kick-in allowed Sydney to reset and force a stoppage deep into their forward 50 with hardly any time left. Dane Rampe won the clearance and snapped in a bundled kick that landed right into the chest of Gary Rohan, straight in front of goal, as the siren went off. Rohan kicked the goal, cementing Sydney’s spot in the top 8 following an 0-6 start, finishing off one of the most remarkable endings to a game in recent memory.
West Coast Eagles – Luke Shuey vs Port Adelaide (2017)
West Coast actually have a few classics to chose from, including Jeremy McGovern’s effort against Port almost a year after our choice here. But we cannot begrudge this selection from Luke Shuey’s ridiculous clutch goal.
In the first final to have gone to extra time in a decade, Port were clinging onto a lead in the dying seconds. Luke Shuey won a clearance in the forward 50 and drew a high tackle right in front of goal. Hearts pounding, Shuey didn’t miss. A final, extra time and a goal after the siren? What could possibly have won out over this? It was truly one of the most clutch finishes we’ve ever seen.
Western Bulldogs – Simon Beasley vs Collingwood (1984)
Back when the Bulldogs were still referred to as ‘Footscray’, we unfortunately couldn’t find any footage or imagery of this club’s one and only goal after the siren. What we can say for certain is that Beasley did goal it home, unlike his infamous miss against Brisbane a few years later, where he had to try and kick the goal with the fans on the field surrounding him.