Main content

Unforgettable: We rank the 10 most memorable GF goals

Top 10 most memorable GF goals Daicos, Jarman, Akermanis and more Grand Final pearlers that live in our hearts and minds

THEY'RE the AFL Grand Final goals we'll remember forever and a day.  

The majors that consume much debate in loungerooms, pubs and even BBQs around the country – even in January.

Thanks to Dom Sheed's match-winner last year, we have ranked the 10 most memorable goals from the final Saturday of the season – since the inception of the AFL in 1990.  

10. Tom Boyd (Western Bulldogs) – 2016

Carrying the weight of expectation as the competition's youngest million-dollar man, the 21-year-old stood up in the centre square of the MCG. After Dale Morris came from nowhere to bring down superstar Lance Franklin, the ball fell to Boyd who nailed the goal from 60m to put his side 15 points clear with five minutes left. The image of youngster Toby McLean on Boyd's shoulders will be etched in the memories of Bulldogs fans forever. 

9. Luke Hodge (Hawthorn) – 2015

That Hodge would even contemplate a left-foot checkside from the left forward pocket proved how much control the Hawks had over the Eagles en route to a three-peat. Holding a 19-point lead, the skipper received a handball from Paul Puopolo hemmed in on the boundary at the Punt Road end to convert from a standing start. With two Norm Smith Medals already to his name, it only added to his legend on Grand Final day. 

8. Darren Jarman (Adelaide) – 1997

You could pick any of Jarman's five final-term majors but his left-foot snap to ensure a game-high 21-point lead with 11 minutes on the clock takes the cake. Described by expert Leigh Matthews as "a bit of magic," a punch forward from Matthew Robran was pounced upon by Jarman, snapping truly on his non-preferred left. Both arms aloft, his celebration to the crowd in the Olympic Stand is the image of the Crows' maiden flag.

7. Nick Malceski (Sydney) – 2012

With 50 seconds on the clock and the Swans leading by four points, Malceski's amazing snap with his back to goal clinched the Swans victory. Receiving a handball from Dan Hannebery out of a stoppage, Malceski threw it onto his boot from 30m, only to watch it sail through. Taking off on a celebration run, he ended in the arms of veteran Ted Richards. It capped a stellar day for the half-back who kicked the Swans' first of the afternoon with a spectacular left-foot snap on the run.

6. Peter Daicos (Collingwood) – 1990

It would be a miracle for most, but not Peter Daicos. With the Pies conceding the first two goals of the game to Essendon, Daicos produced a piece of brilliance on his right foot from the right forward pocket running away from goal. While many would've opted for a snap, the Macedonian Marvel only needed a drop punt. It kickstarted a run of seven consecutive goals for the Pies, with the Bombers adding just three more for the match.

5. Jason Akermanis (Brisbane) – 2002

After aggravating a pre-existing groin injury earlier in the match, Akermanis spent much of his afternoon in attack, unable to generate power off his favoured right boot. Roving front and square to a one-on-one between Alastair Lynch and Shane Wakelin with less than five minutes to play, Akermanis gathered 20m out from goal. He swung onto his left boot, kicking across his right shoulder to put the Lions nine points ahead with what would prove to be the final goal of the game.  

4. Adam Hunter (West Coast) – 2006

The tackle, the smother, the gather, the handball and the shepherd. It went in the book as Adam Hunter's goal but Daniel Chick's five-part effort secured West Coast the 2006 premiership. Inside the final five minutes and holding a one-point lead, Chick singlehandedly caused a Sydney turnover. Rushing Amon Buchanan, he followed up with a smother on Ryan O'Keefe before feeding to Hunter who ran into an open goal thanks to a Chick shepherd on Nick Malceski. Despite Malceski kicking one more, the Eagles held on for a famous victory. 

3. Michael Long (Essendon) - 1993

It combines as one of the greatest individual efforts, yet most controversial moments in Grand Final history. Receiving the ball in his defensive half, Long cruised down the outer wing, taking three bounces before side-stepping Carlton defender Michael Sexton and converting the goal. However, a diving Stephen Silvagni protested with the goal umpire, claiming he had touched the ball before the line, a debate that continues to this day.  

2. Paul Chapman (Geelong) – 2009

With scores tied in the dying stages between Geelong and St Kilda, champion full-back Matthew Scarlett produced the biggest moment of his career in the centre of the MCG. After Gary Ablett's marking attempt was spoiled by Zac Dawson, Scarlett toe-poked the loose ball back into the waiting arms of Ablett. While Scarlett provided the follow-up shepherd, Ablett thought it was a St Kilda opponent, sending a hurried kick to the top of the goalsquare. Flies from Cats Max Rooke and Cameron Mooney created a spillage for Travis Varcoe who found Chapman, snapping truly on his left.

1. Dom Sheed (West Coast) – 2018

With the eyes of a nation on his back, Sheed delivered the kick of a lifetime. With less than two minutes remaining and tight in the right forward pocket, Sheed kicked straight to put the Eagles in front for the first time since the four-minute mark of the opening term. The set-up play was just as incredible. Jeremy McGovern, fighting injury, flew for an intercept mark, setting off a chain down the outer wing to Nathan Vardy who found 179cm Liam Ryan, floating above two Pies opponents. His kick inside 50 was taken by Sheed, with Pies defender Brayden Maynard attempting to argue he was blocked out of the contest by Willie Rioli. Sheed's pearler is the only set shot in the list.