Hawthorn’s Taylor Duryea pulled off a contender for ‘mark of the year’ during the Hawks’ 53-point victory over the Suns in Launceston on Saturday afternoon.
The Hawks trailed by nine points at quarter-time but did enough to topple the fading Suns in the 13.18 (96) to 5.13 (43) win on Saturday in front of 9007 fans.
Duryea’s incredible and unlikely grab came in the dying stages of the first half as the man more known for his work as a backman, took flight up the other end of the field.
The Hawks man launched himself high above a pack of players in a congested part of the field in front of the Suns’ goal square.
The 27-year-old’s ability to take the mark was unquestionable but the same couldn’t be said about his attempt on goal, with Duryea’s wayward effort showing all the hallmarks of a career defender.
Hawthorn’s third-straight victory puts them into the top eight pending other weekend results, while the battling Suns have lost eight in a row.
“We got jumped a little bit at the start,” Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson admitted.
“It was a tough game of footy. At no stage was there any real flow in the game, except perhaps late when we got two or three goals that made it look like it was a big margin.”
Both teams sprayed countless set shots throughout the afternoon, including several from in front.
Jack Gunston kicked three goals after copping a hit below the belt during warm-up and a calf cork early on, while Liam Shiels finished with a game-high 33 touches.
Veteran Shaun Burgoyne sat out the last quarter with ice on his troublesome hamstring but Clarkson said it was precautionary.
“He complained about being a bit sore and tired,” Clarkson said.
“There was no point taking a risk with him. We’ll monitor it during the early part of next week.”
Despite the final margin, the Suns dominated territory early, with talls Tom Lynch and Peter Wright combining for three opening-term goals.
But it went pear-shaped for Gold Coast, who only scored 0.5 in the middle quarters.
Coach Stuart Dew was able to find some positives after last week’s narrow loss to St Kilda.
“Our boys had a crack. We were really beaten by some outside class in the end,” he said.
“We had our looks but weren’t able to capitalise.
“I think they kept their feet better and were stronger in the tackles as well.”
Hawthorn took a 37-24 lead into halftime, punctuated just before the break by the high-flying grab from Duryea.
In line with the theme of the day, he kicked a behind.
The Suns rallied late in the third quarter but squandered their chances, missing three kickable set shots in a row.
Hawthorn found their radar in the dying stages, with skipper Jarryd Roughead icing the win with a major from the final kick of the day.