My most memorable individual quarters from a player

Jarrad McVeigh’s second quarter against Carlton in last Saturday’s elimination final was brilliant. He had the ball on a string and gathered 20 possessions for the quarter as the Blues could not find an answer to curb his dominance. His performance got me thinking about other brilliant individual quarter performances.

I was too young to remember Darren Jarman taking the 1997 grand final by the scruff of the neck and ending St Kilda’s premiership campaign in heartbreak. Similarly I was only five years old when Anthony Koutoufides dominated the last quarter of the 1999 preliminary final against Essendon. But below is my list of memorable individual efforts for a quarter.


Chris Judd – Second Quarter vs. Brisbane, Round 12 2003

This quarter was not a match-winning performance or a record-breaking statistical performance. It was more the announcement of the arrival of one of the modern day’s greatest midfielders in Chris Judd. The 19-year-old Judd tore the Lions to pieces in the second quarter getting a number of important disposals and kicking three brilliant goals. Of course the Lions were no easy beats; they would go on to win their third consecutive premiership later that season. Judd’s five first half goals gave the rest of the competition a preview of what would come over the next decade.


James Hird – Fourth Quarter vs. West Coast, Round 3 2004

After dominating the first quarter, Essendon squandered a big lead to allow West Coast back into the match. By three quarter time it was any side’s match for the taking. Enter James Hird and his last quarter heroics. The golden boy of the Bombers gathered 14 disposals, with most of them contested, and a handful of clearances and inside 50s. He kicked two goals in the final quarter including the memorable snap from the boundary to win the game where he celebrated by hugging a Bombers fan in the front row of the crowd. It was a travesty that Hird failed to poll a single Brownlow vote in that game however perhaps not surprising due to his controversial umpire comments the previous week.


Nathan Brown – Fourth Quarter vs. Collingwood, Round 8 2005

Nathan Brown was the great big hope for Richmond in 2005. It was his second year at the Tigers after being traded from the Western Bulldogs at the end of the 2003 season. Brown started the season in spectacular fashion playing across half forward and through the midfielders. He was one of the most skillful players in the competition and regularly kicked mercurial goals. Brown’s first three quarters against Collingwood were nothing special. He was well held by reliable defender James Clement and Richmond trailed by 10 points at the final change. It was 45-point turn around as the Tigers would kick eight goals to one to record a 35-point win. The win was led by Brown as his five goals in the last quarter, including a classy goal off the ground, turned the match on its head.


Jason Akermanis – Third Quarter vs. Geelong, Round 13 2005

The 325-game AFL champion is often maligned due to his controversial comments off the field, but his on-field talent was simply amazing. Brisbane faced Geelong in a wet and slippery day at the Gabba in 2005 and Akermanis decided to put on a show for the crowd. His third quarter in particular included two freakish goal of the year contenders from the boundary line. He finished the game with 35 disposals and five goals and his ball handling and skill execution in the wet weather was phenomenal.


Nick Davis – Fourth Quarter vs. Geelong, Semi Final 2005

Taking context into consideration, I have not seen a better individual quarter of football than what Nick Davis produced in the 2005 Semi Final against Geelong. It was a scrappy, miserable game of football up to three quarter time. Sydney had only kicked three goals up to that point and needed to double its score in order to save its season. It was a wet ball, slippery conditions and no one looked like becoming a match winner. That was until Nick Davis set the SCG alight in a fourth quarter display that Swans supporters will remember forever. Davis kicked all four goals for the Swans in the last quarter to win the game off his own boot. His goals included two brilliant snaps, a set shot he converted after a contested mark and the final goal where he roved the pack and kicked truly with only seconds remaining. It must have been heartbreaking for the Geelong supporting commentator Anthony Hudson but he captured the moment beautifully as a screamed “I see it, but I don’t believe it”.


Drew Petrie – First Quarter vs. Western Bulldogs, Round 13 2007

This was a performance that came from nowhere. The North Melbourne key forward kicked six goals in the first quarter in a match that celebrated champion Glenn Archer’s 300th game. Petrie’s goals came from spectacular marks, crumbing off the packs and good old fashioned reading of the play. Perhaps what made the performance even more interesting was the fact that before this match Petrie had been held goalless for the previous month.


Scott Lucas – Fourth Quarter vs. West Coast, Round 22 2007

This match already had plenty of theatre as it was the final game at Essendon for both coach Kevin Sheedy and champion James Hird. It was an uneventful game up until the last quarter as the home side in West Coast controlled the match. The Eagles led by over seven goals at three quarter time and not even the most optimistic of supporters would believe the Bombers were a chance to come back. Although Essendon were unable to win the match they gave the Eagles a mighty scare thanks to the performances of one man – Scott Lucas. Lucas had played second-fiddle to Matthew Lloyd for most of his career but on this day he stole the show. After Hird addressed the team and asked them give him one more memory, Lucas runs riot and kicks seven goals in the last term to almost win the game for them.


Lance Franklin – Fourth Quarter vs. Adelaide, Elimination Final 2007

2007 was the breakout year for one of the game’s biggest stars. Lance Franklin ended the season with 73 goals and his most memorable performance came in the Elimination Final against Adelaide. The young Hawthorn outfit trailed for most of the game until Franklin’s last quarter heroics. Buddy kicked three long goals for the term including the match winner from about fifty metres out with seven seconds left remaining on the clock. The Hawks won by three points and from this moment on the football world was aware that Franklin had well and truly arrived.


Daniel Kerr – Third Quarter vs. Port Adelaide, Round 2 2009

After spending half a decade playing alongside Chris Judd and Ben Cousins in the midfield, Daniel Kerr entered this match against Port Adelaide as the only legitimate top-line midfielder for the Eagles. The absence of Judd and Cousins meant that Kerr was getting heavily tagged. The Power’s efforts to curtail the influence of Kerr were effective up until half time. But during the third quarter Kerr inserted his dominance on the match and was simply unstoppable. The ferocious midfielder tackled hard, won clearances and picked up 16 disposals and two goals in a magical quarter.


Andrew Swallow – First Quarter vs. Adelaide, Round 11 2011

Andrew Swallow started this match against Adelaide like a house on fire. The inside midfielder played almost the perfect quarter in what was an in-and-under master class. Swallow did as he pleased and finished the quarter with 17 disposals, 14 of which were contested, and 10 clearances. Swallow would go on to finish the match with a career-high 39 possessions but it was his breathtaking first quarter that will be remembered.


TWITTER – @JClark182


About Jackson Clark

Born and bred in Darwin, Northern Territory, I am a young, aspiring football writer that lives and breathes the game of Australian Football. I'm also a keen player and coach.


  1. Schimma v Ablett 1987 KP – WS turned GA inside out.

  2. Josh Barnstable says

    Good piece Jackson.

    As a North supporter, I was very pleased to have been there to witness both Swallow and Petrie’s first quarters. Truly dominant.

  3. Brain Taylor was unstoppable kicked 6 in the first quarter against Fitzroy in 1986 at Victoria Park – if memory serves correct he did so on a great Collingwood Full Back in Peter McCormack in his one and only game for the Roy Boys, not a great way to spend his last day where he had so many good ones.

    Craig Starcevich in the last quarter against Carlton 1988 was pretty special too in a high quality game all day he was the difference in the end.

    Tony Lockett beat the swans on his own at the SCG 1994, after nearly decapitating a poor swan defender earlier they were about 8 goals down and plugga destroyed them and tried to knock a few of the oldies out behind the swannies goals as well.
    Hard to believe watching this footage he would go on to be in the Swans team of the Century. Enjoy here

  4. Jen Costello says

    Darren Milburn broke the previous record of 17 in 2008 when he amassed 19 possessions in the 1st quarter Round 16 v [email protected] Skilled–was his customary humble self about such a feat

  5. Malcolm Ashwood says

    John Clarke who was a fantastic player who in 79 had been beaten by Stephen
    Bomber Clifford in a huge Nwd v Port Game in the 1st quarter got moved from his customary Half Back Flank to Half Forwood and kicked 5 in the 2nd Quarter unfortunately Clarke did his knee which stopped him from becoming the dominant player he was destined to become
    D Jarman last Quarter v St Kilda should also be recognised as master class by Blight re coaching his move to start Fudd in the centre Square at each centre bounce and then move down to Full Forward and re poor Jamie Shanahan was a move which Alves and St Kilda did not manage to counter during the 98 GF

  6. Gary Ablett senior Q1,2,3,4 most games against Richmond in late 80s, early 90s.

    Kicked 14, 12, 10 and 7 (5 in the last quarter) and probably other bags I have forgotten.

  7. Daicos kicked six in a quarter (second, I think) at Arden Street when the Krakouers were running wild many years ago. One of them came courtesy of a rebound from umpire Vas Vasilou’s head. North won despite the Marvel’s heroics.

  8. Colin Ritchie says

    Leon Baker, Essendon v Hawthorn 1984 Grand Final. Who can ever forget his inspiring play in the last quarter especially his blind turn and goal that enabled the Bombers to win..

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