Trailing by eight points with 90 seconds remaining, Port’s Angus Monfries sprayed a left-footer which was headed for a point. But the ball took a remarkable right-hand turn and dribbled through for a goal.
Sanderson reckoned his Crows would have won if the ball stayed true to its course. His Port counterpart Hinkley put his own spin on it.
“If the Australians (Test cricketers) can bowl like that then we’re a chance … if Nathan Lyon can get the ball to move that much, then I reckon the Poms will be in a bit of strife,” Hinkley said.
“Anyone who watched the kick, we would look at it and say ‘fate – a little bit of footy Gods just bounced our way’.”
Port won the next centre clearance and Wingard marked some 35 metres from goal with 30 seconds to go.
“I wasn’t actually nervous,” the 19-year-old Wingard said.
“I was just trying to block out every noise and go through my routine and just execute. You have just got to live in the moment.”
Wingard coolly slotted the match-winner to give Port their 11th win and virtually assure a finals berth – but first-year coach Hinkley was having no such talk.
“I looked at the draw and it’s Geelong in Geelong next week, so I dealt with it really quickly,” he said of any fleeting finals feeling.