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Counting down the best games of 2018: 5-1

Saving the best for last. The Grand Final delivered one of the best matches of 2018 - AFL,West Coast Eagles,Port Adelaide Power,Geelong Cats,Melbourne Demons,Collingwood Magpies
Saving the best for last. The Grand Final delivered one of the best matches of 2018

THERE were some cracking games in 2018.

From a couple of thrillers in round one, all the way through to a tense Grand Final, the season was dotted with memorable occasions that left fans both joyful and heartbroken.

But what were the best? continues its countdown of the 10 most memorable games of last season.

COUNTDOWN The best games of 2018: 10-6

Round 21: West Coast 9.8 (62) defeated Port Adelaide 9.4 (58)

West Coast hadn't held the lead all night, until Jeremy McGovern kicked truly after the siren to secure a thrilling win over Port Adelaide. Remarkably, the goal was from almost the exact same position – at the exact same ground – to where Luke Shuey ended Port's season in an elimination final the year prior. Similarly, this just about ended the Power's finals hopes in 2018 as well. McGovern had been pushed forward when Mark LeCras brought the Eagles to within a kick with just 45 seconds on the clock. He marked strongly and kicked confidently after the buzzer.

Round 20: Adelaide 13.18 (96) defeated Port Adelaide 14.9 (93)

The Showdown went to another level in 2018 with both clashes full of spice and drama. The second installment, late in the season, not only had huge finals implications but also spun a tale that was told and re-told well into the following week. With the Crows trailing the Power, and three minutes left on the clock, Adelaide forward Josh Jenkins snapped the match-winning goal. Or was it? Replays showed the ball appeared to graze the post on the way through, but nevertheless it was controversially awarded a goal, the win keeping the Crows' finals hopes alive. Post-match, Jenkins admitted he thought it was a behind, telling Fox Footy: "My grandma raised me not to tell fibs. I think it hit the post but I'm pretty happy that they didn't think so." Needless to say Power coach Ken Hinkley wasn't happy with the call.

Round 18: Geelong 16.4 (100) defeated Melbourne 14.14 (98)

Melbourne led by 29 points early in the final quarter, before a Geelong onslaught quickly made the game a contest again. Perhaps the Demons were stung by memories of round one, when they lost a thriller to the Cats thanks to Max Gawn's miss at the death. Again, the visitors seemed nervous. The Cats kicked five straight, but still trailed by four points as they drove up the field. Mitch Duncan set up Zach Tuohy, who marked just as the siren sounded. He held his nerve, kicking truly to once again win an incredible contest for Geelong.

Round 8: Port Adelaide 14.11 (95) defeated Adelaide 14.6 (90)

Showdown 44 has the 50,000-strong crowd at Adelaide Oval on the edge of their seats right until the final siren. It was the Crows who flew out of the blocks, with a handy 21-point lead at the main break putting them in the box seat. That was until Power star Robbie Gray kicked into gear. The Showdown medalist booted five of his six goals in the third term, hauling Port Adelaide back into the contest. Adelaide looked to have stolen the win after Mitch McGovern edged the Crows in front with a 50m set shot with less than 60 seconds on the clock. But there was still another twist to come. With 21 seconds remaining, Steven Motlop, playing in his first Showdown, became the hero by kicking a last-gasp goal on the run from 45m to secure the bragging rights for the Power.

Grand Final: West Coast 11.13 (79) defeated Collingwood 11.8 (74)

It was one of the most tense and thrilling Grand Finals in recent memory. With everything at stake in the 2018 decider, the game went down to the wire. In a match full of enthralling momentum swings, Collingwood got a five-goal head start before West Coast slowly but surely began to reduce the deficit. Amid a slog of a final term, there hadn't been a goal in 20 minutes when Dom Sheed marked on a tight angle with the Eagles two points down and with just seconds remaining. He went back, calmly slotted a drop punt and won the premiership for West Coast. Luke Shuey was crowned the winner of the Norm Smith Medal after recording 34 disposals, nine clearances, eight tackles and kicking a goal.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs