K rock Football

A moment to cherish for Chippa

Nick Connors takes off before kicking his match-winning goal. (Sports Media Image)

NICK Connors will never kick a more important goal in football career.

With less than 10 seconds remaining on the clock and his team trailing by four points, the 22-year-old sent a bomb more than 50m to deliver St Mary’s its first GFL senior premiership in 11 years with a two-point win over Colac at GMHBA Stadium.

The Saints appeared headed for a fourth consecutive grand final defeat when Doug Bond’s shot at goal was touched on the line by diving Lachie Simpkin with just over 30 seconds remaining.

However, from the kick in towards the western side of the ground, it was knocked forward by Tom Lang into the waiting arms of Connors, who ran around five metres to steady himself and kicked truly.

“I just picked it up; I was not thinking, to be honest,” Connors said among wild scenes on the ground in the moments after the match.

“I looked up – nothing there, and I thought I’d just go for it.

“30 minutes gone, I just hit it well, and it went through.”

A Bannockburn junior, Connors, who was named by St Mary’s as its best player despite Ben Moloney winning the AFL Victoria Medal, revealed he spoke to the GDFL premier after being squeezed out of last year’s grand final team.

“I had a couple of meetings, but I just love the club (St Mary’s),” he said.

“To be honest, I don’t think I was ever leaving; I just wanted to win one here because I’d lost two before that (2016-17), and that was my goal, pretty much.”

Connors, who played in the Saints reserves premiership last year, used his late-season axing in 2018 as motivation for 2019.

“I just set myself to go again,” he said.

“I tried a different role; I went down back, and it worked.

“I got my spot, and we won.”

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