Pies rally to bump off Bolton, but screamer still up for mark of the year

AFL boss Gillon McLachlan says Tiger Shai Bolton can still win mark of the year, even though Brody Mihocek’s speccie was voted the best of the weekend.

The Collingwood forward climbed high over North Melbourne’s Josh Walker to take a brilliant mark in his side’s win last Saturday, but McLachlan said Mihocek’s mark wasn’t as good as Bolton’s screamer over Geelong’s Mark Blicavs last Friday night.

Shai Bolton flies high.Credit:Getty Images

Despite this, Mihocek’s mark received 50.8 per cent of the public’s votes for mark of the week in the popularity contest, compared to 41.2 per cent for Bolton’s grab.

But a recent change to the mark of the year rules allows for the All-Australian committee to add five “wildcard” marks into the running at the end of the year and McLachlan said he was confident Bolton’s would be included for the major award.

“Mihocek’s mark was very good but Shai Bolton’s was the best I’ve seen in years,” the AFL chief executive told 3AW on Friday morning.

“Thankfully we’ve corrected it. The public disagrees with me and maybe you but there’s now a provision that the All-Australian committee can add five marks to the week-to-week public voting and I feel confident Shai’s will be there at the end.

“It was an unbelievable mark and just the energy that created at the ground was remarkable.”

The mark of the year award hasn’t been without controversy in recent years.

Magpie Jeremy Howe suffered a shock defeat in 2017 when then Bomber Joe Daniher was awarded the top gong at the end of season awards.

The Pies were, however, on the end of a winning result in 2011 when Andrew Krakouer was awarded mark of the year.

That decision caused outrage with many deeming Carlton’s Andrew Walker took the better mark that season when he sat on the head of then Bomber Jake Carlisle.

In 2010, Liam Jurrah won mark of the year even though his mark was not voted the best of the round.

The former Demon climbed over teammate Jack Watts and Port Adelaide’s Nick Salter in round 21 that season, but was outvoted by the public that week, who favoured Brendon Goddard’s screamer taken against Richmond a day earlier.

Ironically, the mark used as a silhouette for the mark of the year logo – Chris Tarrant’s incredible pack mark against the Demons in 2001 – was also a losing one. Tarrant’s was awarded runner-up to the unforgettable Gary Moorcroft take in the same season.

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