Last-Gasp Title Clinchers


The 2015 NRL Grand Final was one for the ages as Johnathan Thurston and the North Queensland Cowboys pulled out one of the most incredible wins in the history of Australian sport while giving their supporters a heart attack in the process.

This was not the first Grand Final that was decided in the final play of the game and we have put together this exciting and at times emotional list of Last-Gasp Title Clinchers.

Will JT and the Cowboys finish on top again or has there been another championship decided that topped even that incredible Grand Final?

  1. New York Giants Win Super Bowl 42

The New England Patriots went through the 2007 NFL regular season without losing a game and they went into the Super Bowl as dominant favourites.

The Patriots looked like they had the game won when they had a 14-10 lead with just over two minutes left to play, but Giants quarterback Eli Manning was able to march his team down the field – helped by the infamous helmet catch of David Tyree – before he hit Plaxico Burress in the end zone to complete a famous victory.


  1. New York Giants Win Super Bowl 42

This is one of the most famous games in the history of football as both Manchester United and Bayern Munich went into the 1999 Champions League Final with the chance to complete a treble of tournament wins.

Bayern Munich hit the front in the sixth minute and they had one hand on the trophy as the game entered injury-time, but a Teddy Sheringham goal gave Manchester United a sniff in the 91st minute before Ole Gunnar Solskjær scored again to win it for the Red Devils.


  1. New England Patriots Win Super Bowl 49

The New England Patriots were on the end of a heartbreaking defeat at Super Bowl 42, but they were the heart-breakers against the Seattle Seahawks seven years later.

In one of the greatest Super Bowls of all-time, the lead was swapped on a number of occasions, but the Seahawks had the chance to win the game when they had the football on New England’s 1-yard line with 26 seconds left to play.

The majority of observers assumed that Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch would be used to barge over for a touchdown, but coach Pete Carrol made the puzzling decision to call a pass play, which led to an interception from Patriots rookie Malcolm Butler and a Patriots victory.


  1. Brisbane Roar Win 2012 A-League Grand Final

This may be the most controversial game on this list as even Brisbane Roar fans can now admit that they won this game thanks to a dive.

Perth Glory took a 1-0 lead in the 51st minute thanks to an Ivan Franjic own-goal, but a Besart Berisha goal in the 84th minute got the Roar back into the game.

The game looked set for extra-time, but the Roar had one more opportunity in the 96th minute and Berisha did not miss out on his chance to take a dive to claim a penalty, which he slotted to give the Roar back-to-back A-League titles.


  1. Brisbane Roar Win 2011 A-League Grand Final

Amazingly, the Brisbane Roar’s win only 12 months earlier was even more exciting.

The Roar had clearly been the best team in the A-League and they started the game against the Central Coast Mariners as clear favourites, but they were unable to break the Mariners down in regular time and the game was sent to extra-time.

The Mariners looked as though they would finally claim their maiden A-League title when they took a 2-0 lead in the first half of extra-time, but the Roar scored two incredible late goals to force a penalty shootout, which they won to secure one of the most incredible comebacks in the history of the A-League.


  1. Queensland Firebirds Win 2015 ANZ Championships Grand Final

The ANZ Championships has produced a number of thrillers throughout its history, but none better than the final of the 2015 season between the Queensland Firebirds and the New South Wales Swifts.

The Swifts were the front-runners for the entire game and the Firebirds were staring down the barrel of another Grand Final defeat, but they managed to hit the front for the first time with 30 seconds left to play, but held on in the final seconds to record a famous win.


  1. Manchester City Win 2012 English Premier League Title

This was easily the most exciting finale to an English Premier League season in history and it still needs to be seen to be believed.

Manchester City only needed to beat the struggling Queens Park Rangers to win their first championship since 1968 and they took an early lead, but QPR scored two surprise goals to take the lead in the 66th minute, while Manchester United took the lead against Sunderland to go to the top of the live table.

Manchester United looked as though they were going to claim another Premier League title as the Manchester City game went into injury-time, but two goals from Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero delivered City an emotional win.


  1. Newcastle Knights Win 1997 ARL Grand Final

Until two days ago, this game would have had my vote for the greatest Grand Final in the history of Rugby League and it remains one of the best games ever played.

Manly were one of the dominant teams of this era and they looked as though they would claim back-to-back premierships when they had a 16-8 lead with just 10 minutes left to play before some of Andrew Johns magic helped Robbie O’Davis even the scores at 16 points apiece.

The game looked as though it was heading to extra-time, but the Knights had one more opportunity in the final 30 seconds and it was once again Johns who proved the difference as he put Darren Albert through a hole to deliver the Knights an extremely popular victory.


  1. Sydney Swans Win 2005 AFL Grand Final

The Sydney Swans and West Coast Eagles met in two classic Grand Finals within as many years, but their 2005 encounter is arguably the greatest grand final in the history of Australian Rules.

There was very little between the two sides for the majority of the game and the Swans held a four point lead in the final minutes, but the West Coast Eagles had the football and the chance to push inside their own 50.

The Eagles sent a long kick into their 50 and it looked as though Dean Cox would take a mark that would have given him the chance to put the Eagles in front, but Swans defender Leo Barry came from nowhere to take one of the greatest marks in history and give the Swans their first flag since 1933.


  1. North Queensland Cowboys Win 2015 NRL Grand Final

The 2015 NRL Grand Final is still the talk of not just Queensland, but all of Australia and we completely understand why.

The North Queensland Cowboys had the better of territory and possession for the majority of the game – especially the second half – but they were unable to turn this into points and trailed by 16 points to 12 with less than minute left to play.

The Cowboys had only one more opportunity to create something out of nothing, but they did just that as a Michal Morgan flick pass allowed winger Kyle Feldt to score and even the game at 16 points apiece.

Johnathan Thurston had the chance to secure the game for the Cowboys, but his conversion hit the post and the game went to an unbearably tense period of golden point extra-time.

The Cowboys kicked off in golden point and Broncos half-back Ben Hunt inexplicably dropped the kick-off to deliver Thurston another to take the Cowboys to the promised land and this time he was able to kick the ball between the uprights before he was mobbed by his teammates.



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