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'A hell of an experience' - Zach Tuohy's sensational last-gasp winner Down Under

The Laois man was Geelong’s hero at the weekend.

Late, late hero: Zach Tuohy.
Late, late hero: Zach Tuohy.
Image: AAP/PA Images

LAOIS’ ZACH TUOHY was the man of the moment on Saturday as he scored a dramatic last-gasp winner for Geelong FC.

The former underage inter-county footballer showed immense composure and serious bottle as he snatched the game after the hooter with a sublime kick between the posts to make it a 100-98 victory over Melbourne.

The Cats were trailing 98-94 before the Portlaoise man superbly plucked the ball from the air with a sublime mark, and followed up by executing the huge match-winning goal.

“It was incredible,” the 28-year-old told Geelongs’ To the Final Bell podcast, as they relived Saturday’s dramatic final quarter.

“Just to come back — it was a hell of a way to finish — but just to pull back from that far back against a genuinely good opposition is pretty special.”

Tuohy, a Leinster minor championship winner in 2007, then talked through the main talking point of the game, and his huge finish:

“When it (the ball) was bouncing around the back half, I obviously knew there wasn’t long left and there was a couple of little contests. I was just thinking, ‘The siren’s going to go’. I was thinking, ‘Just get it out, somebody hack it up the field and something might happen’.

“We got it out and it was a hell of a kick by Mitch — he should get an awful lot of credit. It might have looked like just a long kick inside the 50 but that was a bloody well-placed kick, he didn’t just hack that in at all.

AFL CATS DEMONS Tuohy marks in the dying seconds. Source: AAP/PA Images

“I was surprised as anybody to hold on to it! I was lying on the ground, I was like, ‘I know it’s (the hooter) about to go. I really don’t want it to go as I’m dropping it, just go now.’

“When the siren did go, I was just thinking, ‘This is pretty cool. Even if I miss, it’s a pretty cool experience.’”

He continued, explaining what he was saying to the umpire: “I was making sure that there was no time limit — I knew there wasn’t but I thought I better double-check.

“I just thought, ‘I’m not gonna stand here for 15 seconds and overthink it’. I just kicked it. I wasn’t as nervous as I would have anticipated myself to be if you told me I was going to be in that situation.

“The kick it was that poo-ey distance that we were talking about. That’s real stab territory, that’s not on the 50 where you just have to whack it and it’s not close enough to just dink it through.

“I just kicked it and you could see everybody leaning trying to talk to it! Unbelievable experience. It ended up going through reasonably comfortably.”

And the lead-up to the kick, the words with players, the thoughts running through his head?

“What I thought was said was, ‘Even if you miss this we’re all here for you,’” he says.

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“A nice little message. It actually turned out that was Blitz (Mark Blicavs) who said that. What Scoot (Selwood) said was, ‘No pressure but if you miss our season’s cooked!’

AFL CATS DEMONS Reacting after kicking. Source: AAP/PA Images

“He’s probably right and I didn’t quite pick up on it at the time, but he reckons knowing my personality, that would have calmed me down. I’m kind of flat I didn’t hear it because I would have had a little giggle going back, I would have been much less nervous.

“A hell of an experience.”

Tuohy — who became the fourth Irish player to reach 150 AFL appearances in April — went on to speak about the celebrations, electric atmosphere and what’s up next for Geelong.

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Emma Duffy

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