MOST of the 44 players, including Jeremy McGovern, had never been in a situation quite like it.
After 120 gruelling, hard-fought and exhausting minutes of finals footy, Port Adelaide and West Coast still couldn’t be split at the Adelaide Oval.
We were going to extra-time for first time since 2007 when, ironically, the Eagles and Collingwood were all tied up at the end of the fourth term of their semi-final.
Shannon Hurn, Mark LeCras and Matt Priddis all represented West Coast that night, but were ultimately on the losing end as Dane Swan drove the Pies to victory.
This time, it would be much more enthralling result for the veteran trio against the Power.
For McGovern, the inevitable groan of disbelief from the crowd and the few seconds of awkward on-field silence when the fourth quarter siren sounded was a bizarre experience.
“I’d never been in that situation before. To be honest I was a bit weirded out by it,” McGovern told foxfooty.com.au.
“It was a bit different, but it was all explained to us what would happen next.”
Both clubs’ coaching staff hurriedly ran out onto the Adelaide Oval to address their respective troops ahead of the two five-minute periods.
Coach Adam Simpson’s message was simple — and just what his Eagles needed to hear.
“We just had to deal with it and play those two little quarters like as a normal game,” McGovern said.
“You can’t be too offensive or too defensive. We just wanted to keep playing how we wanted to play.
“He told us not to give up and that there’s plenty of time, even though it seemed real quick.”
The Power undoubtedly had the better of the Eagles for most of the extra-time period, but squandered several chances in front of goal.
It allowed the Eagles to pounce, with Josh Kennedy and Drew Petrie nailing crucial goals.
And then Luke Shuey struck the sweetest kick of his career, sealing the most memorable of finals wins after the siren.
Despite the pressure, McGovern was supremely confident in Shuey’s finishing ability.
“He’d be in the top two or three at the club who I’d want the footy in the hands of for a set-shot after the siren,” McGovern said.
McGovern was one of the most relieved and level-headed players in the Eagles’ rooms after the game, but said he was “excited” and “proud” of his team’s incredible win.
“We’ve probably been on the other end of a few of those close ones this year. It’s good to be on the right side of it,” McGovern said.
“It’s hard to not enjoy it, so you’ve got to enjoy it. But you’ve got to switch on pretty quick, which we’ll do.”
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