CATS BEAT HAWKS AT MCG
By Ben Jensen twitter.com/thecattery HAWTHORN HAWKS V GEELONG CATS GEELONG has defeated Hawthorn by 19 points at the MCG this afternoon, after trailing until midway through the epic third quarter. It was a classic encounter, with the Hawks bursting out of the box with four unanswered goals before the Cats steadied with a few of their own, the Hawks taking a one point lead into the first break. The Cats threatened in the second quarter but could only manage another one goal five behinds to the Hawks' three straight, that saw Hawthorn lead by ten points at half time.
The third quarter saw ten goals in total, six to the Cats who led by 22 points with just five minutes left on the clock, the Hawks kicking two in time-one to cut the three-quarter time lead to just ten points. It looked as though their on-paper superior forward line was going to win out after Jarryd Roughead kicked his third almost immediately, but it was Geelong who peppered the goals. They could only manage behinds for the first fifteen minutes, but once James Kelly opened the account they kept coming, Mitch Duncan kicking a couple and James Podsiadly the final goal of the day. Geelong now has a week off with the bye before facing the win-less Kangaroos at Skilled Stadium on 7 May. FULL SCORES
Stand-outs for the Cats were pretty much the entire backline; Matthew Scarlett has not lost a milestone match before, and his 250th was going to be no different if Harry Taylor, Tom Lonegan, Darren Milburn and pals had anything to do with it. And play their best they did, Lonergan doing a fantastic job on Franklin after his two early goals. Taylor marked almost everything that came down his way and mopped up what wasn't while Milburn chipped away professionally along with Corey Enright and Andrew Mackie. Taylor Hunt had to be subbed off injured after he hurt his knee in the first quarter, but accounted well until that point.
Up front Steve Johnson had a lot of the ball but was pretty disappointing with his shooting, Podsiadly tried hard and kicked two goals, but was double-teamed most of the match and wasn't able to take many marks inside fifty. Travis Varcoe, who played mostly on the ball, put himself in the right place at the right time for his two quick goals as did Paul Chapman. Duncan again showed great maturity, his second goal very important in the context of the game, coming from a set show on a 30 degree angle around 40 metres from goal. Easy in practice but with an important game riding on it you'd excuse him if he missed; he didn't of course and instead drilled it through. Likewise Posdiadly's second goal with a beautiful banana-kick on the left forward pocket was the game sealer, and should make him walk taller for a couple weeks.
Brad Ottens was just fantastic, in fact would have been our choice for second best afield after Taylor. Time after time he was taking key grabs, winning the hit-outs, kicking a goal or on hands and knees fighting for the ball until the whistle. He was ably supported by Tom Hawkins who kicked Geelong's first goal of the day but after that spent little time close to goal.
Joel Corey and Jimmy Bartel really proved their class today, making few mistakes and taking crucial marks, and in Corey's case booting a critical goal in the third quarter. Their midfield peers were Chapman and Varcoe, and not to forget Joel Selwood who like Corey kicked a valuable goal, his just before half time.
This game had a huge build-up, The Cattery experiencing unusual traffic loads for a round five fixture. With Channel Seven making a mess of the coverage - the game started at 2:40, Seven's coverage at 2:30 but not starting the actual game itself until after 3PM, we opted to listen on K-Rock for the first quarter then switch to the telly. Jealous we were of friends tweeting and texting who unlike ourselves went to the game.
Lance 'Buddy' Franklin booted two goals within the first three minutes, threatening to smash the Cats apart. The Hawks proceeded to do just that, kicking another two goals before Tom Hawkins finally put the Cats on the board 12 minutes into the match, cutting the Hawks' lead to 20 points. Chappy kicked two and Ling, J-Pod another each for the score to be 1 point Hawthorn's way at quarter time at which time we left K-Rock's coverage to watch the delayed coverage on Channel Stokes.
CROWD: 78,579 at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
FIELD: Michael Vozzo (2) Jason Armstrong (26)
Troy Pannell (28) EM: Heath Ryan (14)