Sport

My Top 5: Most Spectacular AFL Marks

By Zaid Siddiqui

A player taking a specky in AFL is a thrilling moment to witness, as a good screamer should have the footballer hang on the back of another player and have some courage while grabbing the ball.
Here are my top 5 AFL hangers.

Number 1: Liam Ryan (West Coast Eagles)
The forward is well known for his marks. In 2019 Ryan won the AFL Mark of the Year award for his stunning mark in a match against Melbourne Demons in which he flew on top of ruckman Max Gawn.
St Kilda great Nick Riewoldt said Ryan’s play in the lead-up to the mark as a “great feat of athleticism”. After taking the mark Ryan got the six points putting the Eagles in front in the final quarter.

Number 2: Shai Bolton (Richmond Tigers)
AFL dual premiership player Shai Bolton, is known for his explosive athleticism and creativity on the field, won the AFL Mark of the Year award for his spectacular grab in 2021 in a Round 2 match against Geelong Cats in which he jumped over defender Mark Blicavs.
Channel 7 commentator Brian Taylor described it as “special”. “That was an absolute ripper … that was a superb mark,” Taylor told viewers.

Number 3: Isaac Heeney (Sydney Swans)

Sydney Swans forward Isaac Heeney won the AFL Mark of the Year in 2018 in a match against Melbourne Demons at the MCG in which he jumped over Demons player Jesse Hogan. Channel 7 commentator Tim Watson said, “that is an extraordinary mark”.
In 2019 Heeney again contended for the AFL Mark of the Year for his incredible specky over defender Bailey Williams but did not win it that year.

Number 4: Nick Riewoldt (St Kilda)

Former St Kilda player Nick Riewoldt in 2004 in a match against Sydney at the SCG made a spectacular mark in which he went flying and thwacked his head close to the 50-meter line. However Riewoldt then handballed to a teammate who kicked from near the 50 line and goaled.
He has said that “he felt hard done [by]” as he did not win the AFL Mark of the Year for his huge screamer.

Number 5: Andrew Walker (Carlton)

Former Carlton Blue Andrew Walker spectacularly marked over defender Jake Carlisle in 2011 in a round 18 match against Essendon.
Walkers’ hanger was praised by Journalist Rohan Conolly as one of the greatest marks of all time and many in the media agreed However, Walker did not win the AFL Mark of the Year.

Featured Image: Jeremy Howe taking a mark in a round two match at the MCG. Photo: Flickr/CC/wikimdiacommons

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