Essendon has won a stunning a victory and kept their finals hopes on track with a goal by Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti with just 17 seconds to play at Marvel Stadium.
The Bombers had led North by 18 points at the last change, but the Roos stormed home to snatch the lead before the Bombers won 12.14 (86) to 12.9 (81).
McDonald-Tipungwuti found space with seconds to spare to kick his fourth and the Bombers only goal for the last quarter, gifting them a spot in the top eight.
“Oh please, I want to kick one, I want to kick the winning goal,” McDonald-Tipungwuti told Foxsport were his thoughts in the final moments.
I just kept running and running …. It was a bit sharp but a lot of practice at training to get used to it and make it easier.”
His teammate Jake Stringer was in awe of his fellow forward.
“Yeah, wowee, some of the stuff he does just amazes me … heck of goal,” Stringer said.
“That’s what good teams do sometimes. We’re not there yet … but if we keep grinding them out.”
The win came at a cost for the Bombers, with Michael Hurley forced out of the game in the third quarter with a shoulder injury.
Kangaroos key forward Ben Brown was best afield and his sixth goal at 17 minutes in the final term had given them the lead.
After a free-wheeling first quarter in which ten goals were scored, only three were scored in the second as the game became a grind.
North’s Ben Cunnington, fined $5000 this week and on the tribunal razor’s edge, will come under scrutiny again for a high hit on fellow Cobden native Zach Merrett.
Earlier, Carlton’s revival continued with a seven-point win over Sydney at a windswept SCG.
The Blues had a 19-point final quarter lead slashed to seven, but held on to record a 9.15 (69) to 8.14 (62) win, their third in five games under caretaker coach David Teague.
It was Carlton’s first win at the ground since 2011, following six consecutive losses and just their second victory over the Swans from the last 12 contests.
Carlton played one man down in the second half after former Saint Hugh Goddard had his Blues senior debut cut short by an accidental elbow to his cheekbone from Nick Blakey.
Former Swan Nic Newman showed plenty of poise and distributed well in difficult conditions, tallying a match-high 32 possessions.
Marc Murphy, Ed Curnow and Patrick Cripps all found plenty of ball, with the Blues accumulating 13 more clearances and 19 more contested possessions.
The loss ends the Swans faint hopes of a spot in the finals series.
In Launceston, Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson says he wants more consistency from his side after tkeeping their top-eight hopes alive with a gritty 31-point win over Fremantle.
The Hawks fended off a Nat Fyfe-inspired comeback from the Dockers, who conceded the first five goals in a low-scoring clash.
They rallied to get within a point midway through the third quarter before Hawthorn ran away with a 12.12 (84) to 8.5 (53) victory.
Youngster Mitchell Lewis kicked three goals for Hawthorn, including two back-to-back at a crucial juncture late in the third term.
After back-to-back victories, Hawthorn has joined Fremantle on the fringe of the top eight.
“We haven’t won two games in a row for the year and I hope we don’t just stop at that,” Clarkson said.
“We’ve got an opportunity against the Cats next week to get ourselves a bit of momentum.
“We’ve been inconsistent ourselves (but) our last three weeks have been pretty good.”