Jimmy Bartel provided the perfect ending to a big night for Geelong when he wheeled onto his left foot and slotted the last goal of a hard-fought win over the Western Bulldogs in his 300th AFL game.
Bartel was mobbed by every single one of his teammates after his goal with five seconds left put the cherry on top of a momentous evening at Simonds Stadium that also saw Corey Enright overtake Ian Nankervis to become the club’s all-time games record holder.
“The only problem was that I kicked it in front of our construction site so there was no one there,” Bartel said with a wry smile after the match.
“But I burnt the leading full-forward and luckily it went through. All of my teammates got around me, which was a pretty special experience.
“I didn’t move too far from the forward 50 for the last minute or two … I might get in a bit of trouble for that on Monday.” But it seems the triple-premiership star has nothing to fear from coach Chris Scott during Monday’s review.
“There’s still some romance in footy … we were pretty keen to get him on there towards the end because it looked like he might have been stuck on the bench,” Scott said.
“It was probably classic Jimmy … in the (slippery) conditions, from where he was on the ground and on the left he didn’t really expect it to go through.
“But you’ve got to start expecting that with Jimmy … 300 games in and he keeps surprising.” Bartel and Enright were both influential in their milestone matches.
There was obvious jubilation for the pair of unassuming champions, which Enright admitted was mixed with a just hint of relief after a big build-up during the week.
“(It’s) a little bit (of a relief) but you’ve got to enjoy these weeks because they don’t come around very often,” Enright said after his 326th AFL game.
“To have it with Jimmy … it was a nice touch to share it with him.
“It’s really hard to get too caught up (in the milestone) because there’s still a job to be done.
“But in a couple of months’ time I’ll sit back and reflect a bit.”