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The 'Lucky' Goal

A Season Defined - Josh Kelly Josh Kelly is known for his skill and class but not so much for his spectacular goals. That all changed in the round 12 clash with the Gold Coast Suns.

Josh Kelly says he doesn’t know if he meant it or not, but he’ll take it.

The GIANTS’ vice captain produced one of the goals of the 2018 Toyota AFL season in round 12 against the Gold Coast Suns, getting the perfect spin on the footy to slot it through for a brilliant goal on the run from the boundary line.

It was a match that announced the GIANTS meant business, recording their biggest ever win on the back of a season-changing away victory over Adelaide the week before.

Late in the third quarter, Kelly produced a little bit of magic to show that not only were the GIANTS back on track, but they were flying.

“We had a big game against Gold Coast to try to consolidate some form and set our year up,” Kelly told GIANTS TV.

“I haven’t kicked too many flashy goals in my career and, to be honest, just found the ball in my hands near the boundary.

“I didn’t really see much coming or too many options in the goal square and, as you’re not meant to do, just chucked it on the boot towards the goal and (it) ended up alright.”

Kelly said he was “probably a bit more shocked than anyone” when the left-footed kick from the left-side boundary snuck through for a major.

“I scanned the ground really quickly and just thought, ‘nah’, (and) chucked it on the boot,” he said.

“I’ll say I meant it – don’t know if I did – and it was lucky enough to go through the big sticks.

“I didn’t really know what to do, to be honest. I wasn’t actually sure if the umpy was going to pay it a goal, it was a bit too close to the post for my liking. I just chucked the finger up and hoped that they paid it.”

Kelly’s goal extended the GIANTS’ lead to 76 points in what would end up a 108-point victory.

For Kelly – who finished with an incredible 40 disposals, eight marks, seven tackles and two goals – it was a welcome return to his best form after an injury-interrupted couple of months.

He’d missed rounds four to nine with a persistent groin injury and been forced to watch on as the GIANTS endured a deflating losing streak.

He returned against Essendon in round 10 – the last of four consecutive losses for the GIANTS – and was a key figure in the GIANTS’ wins over the Crows and Suns.

“This was the third game back and I felt like I was getting a bit of consistency back in my footy, starting to find the form that I wanted to be playing and the form that I felt I could impact the game in, especially in the back half of the year,” Kelly said of the round 12 clash.

“I played the first game (back) against Essendon and I’d spend the previous four games (when things weren’t going well) on the sidelines feeling like I wanted to be out there, like I wanted to be able to impact games.

“When you come back and we had another loss, it was a bit hard to take. It was a bit worrying – I felt like maybe I could impact the game and when that didn’t happen, that hurt a bit.

“The Adelaide game, we went over there with a real mindset to just work for each other, help each other out. Attack the footy, attack the Crows. It was a massive win for us.

“We got a bit of belief from that, and on the back of that, went on a bit of a winning streak and turned our year around, so that was pleasing.”

A Season Defined is a nine-part series that will be released over the coming weeks, taking a look back at some of the key moments from the GIANTS’ rollercoaster 2018 season.