Nothing matches the drama of an after-the-siren shot at goal to win a match. Put it between the sticks for a major and you’re a hero, snatching a miraculous victory for your team; but spray it wide and you’ve let a gilt-edged opportunity fall by the wayside.
AFL history is littered with many memorable after-the-siren match-winners – Billy Brownless for Geelong in the 1994 qualifying final, Karmichael Hunt for Gold Coast in 2011 – while the misses, such as Adam Goodes’ against Essendon in 2011, are recalled just as readily.
But undoubtedly one of the best was Peter Riccardi’s for the Cats against Carlton in 2002. The Blues trailed by 38 points with 12 minutes of the final quarter remaining, but launched a withering comeback to snare a two-point advantage with 26 seconds on the clock.
Despite emphatically surrendering the momentum, Geelong managed to get possession from the bounce and scramble it to Riccardi for a mark on the 50 shortly before the siren sounded. The veteran stepped up and nailed the long-range shot to set off chaotic scenes at Docklands.
Riccardi played 288 games for the Cats from 1992-2006, kicking 286 goals – including one in each of the club’s 1992, 1995 and 1996 grand final losses.
[YouTube – The Black Cat]