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Gov draws on experience

Katrina Gill  July 31, 2017 10:33 AM

Highlights R19: McGovern's colossus mark on the siren Mitch McGovern takes one of the marks of the season and keeps his nerve to draw the match
AFL 2017 Round 19 - Photographers Choice

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 30: Mitch McGovern of the Crows takes a mark in the dying seconds over Ben Reid (left) and Tyson Goldsack of the Magpies during the 2017 AFL round 19 match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Adelaide Crows at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 30, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)

Your heart sinks because you know you can’t win the game, but then you have to find your composure and try and get the job done for the guys

Adelaide forward Mitch McGovern lived out a childhood dream with a twist at the MCG on Sunday.

With only a few seconds left in a topsy-turvy game against Collingwood, McGovern leapt high in the air and over a tangle of bodies to take a trademark grab about 30 metres out from goal.

The cool-headed 22-year-old quickly ran back off the mark hoping there was enough time for the Crows, who trailed by six points, to score twice.

But the final siren sounded before McGovern could start his run-up – he would be kicking to secure a draw.

“It was a bit of devastation at first,” McGovern said

“Your heart sinks because you know you can’t win the game, but then you have to find your composure and try and get the job done for the guys.”

McGovern had scored 7.7 from set shots this season prior to his after-the-siren attempt on Sunday.

The talented West Australian had already kicked three goals for the game – all in the second half – as Adelaide pegged back a 50-point third-quarter deficit.

McGovern went through his routine and calmly slotted an equal-career high fourth goal to level the scores at 103 points apiece.

He didn’t know how to react.

“I felt very confident taking the shot. I’ve been doing a fair bit of work on my goalkicking,” he said.

“I can’t even explain the feeling. Even when I knew I had to have the shot it was a numb feeling.

“Do you celebrate? Do you drop your head?

“It was a bit of a unique situation, but the boys got around me which made me feel a bit better.

“Obviously, it wasn’t the greatest result but we’ll take the two points.”

McGovern’s clutch catch earned him a third Mark of the Year nomination in four weeks.

Mitch and older brother Jeremy of West Coast are both blessed with enormous vertical leaps, but they are also well practiced.

Mitch said the competitive siblings had played out scenarios like the one that unfolded at the ‘G’ hundreds of times as kids.

“In the backyard, we wouldn’t just kick the goal for the win. We would take the mark to get the kick for the win,” he said.

“The marks were always on each other or against his mates, who were all bigger than me.

“That’s the first thing that I thought of when I took the mark today (Sunday), that I’d had a lot of practice for that moment in the backyard.”

McGovern came from the back of the pack to mark teammate Jake Kelly’s set-up kick inside 50m.

“I always like to think that its my mark, but there were a lot of bodies and a lot of hands,” he said.

“I was pretty lucky in the end to come down with the mark.”

After the game, Adelaide coach Don Pyke admitted his team had “stolen” two points from the Pies.

McGovern said the Crows got themselves into the match after going back to the basics at half time.

“It’s a great learning experience for us in terms of what happens if you don’t rock up ready to play at your best, he said.

“The competition is so even these days that if you give another team a sniff they’ll grab as much as they can.

“It’s a tough one. We don’t want to be down by 50 points at any stage of a game, but to come back shows a fair bit of resilience and belief from the group.”

Crows ruckman Reilly O'Brien's Twitter reaction (below) went viral.