'HAWKIWOBBLES' CONTINUE AS GEELONG
SINKS HAWTHORN WITH AFTER SIREN GOAL
By Ben Jensen twitter.com/thecattery HAWTHORN HAWKS V GEELONG CATS TOM HAWKINS amazingly won the match for Geelong over Hawthorn tonight with a goal after the siren, his sixth, from outside the fifty metre arc. The win was Geelong's ninth in a row over Hawthorn since the 2008 Grand Final. Already being billed by TV and radio commentators as one of the best games of the decade, possibly a heat of moment exaggeration but it was a cracker. The Cats did everything but break the back of the Hawks in the opening term, booting nine goals to two. But the Hawks were far from finished, smashing the Cats in the second quarter five goals to one cutting the lead to just 17 points at the main break. Geelong won the third by a couple points in a contest of full intensity.
Hawthorn subbed out Luke Hodge at three quarter time to the skipper's disgust, with MCG plastering contractors on standby in case he imitated his coach and mentor Alistair Clarkson and punched a hole in something inanimate. Shaun Burgoyne got things started with a goal one minute in, followed a short time later by another to Paul Puopolo. The Cats matched their two thanks to James Podisadly and Hawkins, but it was then the Hawks who set the ground on first with four in a row and several behinds to lead by nine points with about five minutes remaining. Hawkins' fifth goal thanks to some brilliance and poise from Billie Smedts put the Cats just two points down with a little over three minutes left. Plenty of time for another, but the Hawks nearly ended it but only managed a behind, the Cats three points down with 1:30 to go.
Premiership skipper Sam Mitchell was then forced from the field thanks to the blood rule, with barely a minute remaining. Clinton Young scored another behind for Hawthorn but the ball soon found its way down the ground, finally into the arms of Tom Hawkins just outside fifty. The siren rang after be began his runup, unflinching the banged the ball straight through the middle as he was mobbed by teammates. Hawthorn players hit the deck, tears aplenty. In general finals like scenes, and it's only barely August and coming days after Hawthorn were all but anointed Premiers. Tonight shows several things - Geelong are far from a spent force but equally the Hawks cannot be written off either, even when seven goals down. The Cats do let leads slip. Josh Gibson and cohorts down back cannot handle Pods, Hawkins or anyone above Tony Liberatore's height. And finally Tom Hawkins well and truly has his mojo back.
Geelong have three wins in a row now since their slip-up against Collingwood, for the time being sit sixth on the ladder above Essendon who have a game in hand. Hawthorn could fall to as low as fourth if as expected Adelaide and Collingwood beat St Kilda and Essendon respectively, leaving Geelong in sixth spot. The Eagles could mathematically force the Hawks further down into fifth but would need to beat Fremantle by around 60 goals, not beyond them when big Nick Nat and Dean Cox et al start firing, but reasonably unlikely. The Cats play the Eagles at Subiaco next Friday evening. The VFL side, who play North Ballarat on Sunday at Ballarat's Eureka Stadium, welcome back Nathan Vardy who has made a great recovery from a long term hip injury.
9.3, 10.5, 14.9,18.10 (118) DEFEATED
FIELD: Stephen McBurney (3) Brett Rosebury (8) Mathew
Nicholls (15) EM: Brendan Hosking
CROWD: 65,287 at MCG, Melbourne
PRE-MATCH TIP: "Cats by 1 point"
VFL ROUND 19
NORTH BALLARAT V GEELONG
SUNDAY 5 AUGUST 2012 14:00 AEST