Cats break Demon hearts again in thriller

Geelong has won a thriller after the siren at GMBHA Stadium with Irishman Zach Tuohy kicking a goal after the siren to win the game by two points.

The Cats pulled off the miracle with eight goals in the last quarter to deny the brave Melbourne a top four spot and cruelly steal victory.

Zach Tuohy wins the game after the siren for the Cats.

Photo: Wayne Ludbey

Tom Hawkins led the Cats home with four goals in the last quarter but it was Tuohy who marked then goaled from the 50-metre mark after the siren to win the game for the Cats.

Tuohy had been thrown forward late in the game after a brilliant game in defence and was able to thrill the home crowd when he kicked the winning goal. The Cats had missed a similar opportunity in round 15 when Harry Taylor missed a shot for goal after the siren against the Western Bulldogs.


The Cats had not been in front since the 15 minute mark of the third quarter when scores were level and trailed by as much as 29 points in the last quarter as the Demons looked to have the game won.
The rapt crowd sang happy birthday to Hawkins after the game.

He was the match winner on his 30th birthday, kicking seven goals and the Cats won the centre clearances eight to one in the last with Gary Ablett lifting to have 14 disposals in the final quarter.

Zach Tuohy marks in the dying seconds.

Photo: AAP

It was a devastating loss to Melbourne, which had been brave and smart and looked to have the game won in more than one moment throughout the second half.

During the third quarter the Demons won the moments that mattered when the game was up for grabs but they could not halt Geelongs momentum even though they tried desperately.

Gary Ablett is stopped in his tracks by Tom McDonald.

Photo: AAP

At that stage The Demons were cleaner with the ball for longer, kicking the final four goals of the third quarter when the game was up for grabs to, temporarily at least, take the top four spot the Sydney Swans squandered earlier in the day.

One big moment came in the third quarter when Max Gawn, the ruckman with a Brownlow chance, went to ground after copping a bump when blindsided from Cats defender Tom Stewart in the third quarter.

The ruckman made sure the umpire thought he had copped an unfair knock as he lay on the ground before getting up to kick a long, team-lifting goal that stretched the lead to three goals and pushed the Demons out to what looked a match-winning lead.

The Geelong crowd booed him for the rest of the game but he didnt care as his team looked to have the edge.

But the Cats kept coming and Rhys Stanley broke even to keep the battle even.

In the first half Melbourne punished Geelongs turnovers with the Cats once again being below par in their ball use.

Both teams wanted to control the ball with short kicks but in the first half both found different ways to score. Melbourne scored off turnovers while Geelong managed to kick goals when they constructed chains of play from the back half.

Tom Hawkins was a tower of strength for the Cats.

Photo: AAP

The Cats back six were under enormous pressure but the usual suspects Tom Stewart, Mark Blicavs and Tuohy kept them from being overrun.

They took intercept marks and touched long balls on the goal line to minimise the Demons scores despite Melbourne dominating territory.

Melbourne are much stronger defensively than they were three weeks ago, protecting all parts of the ground with the midfield working much harder both ways than they had been when they hit a flat spot either side of the bye.

James Harmes was doing a blocking job on Joel Selwood and although Patrick Dangerfield was brilliant with two second-quarter goals and Hawkins maintained his good form inside 50, too much scoring was being left to too few.

Geelong tried rookie Jack Henry up forward but the defender did not look as confident in front of goal as he did when playing in defence although he competed hard in the air. He kicked his first goal in the third quarter but it was the move of Tuohy forward that won the game.

GEELONG 2.1 5.3 8.4 16.14 (100)
MELBOURNE 2.3 5.8 11.9 14.14 (98)

Geelong: Hawkins 7, Dangerfield 2, Tuohy 2, Jones, Duncan, Henry, J Selwood, Kelly.
Melbourne: T McDonald 4, Garlett 2, Melksham 2, Brayshaw, Spargo, Jones, Hogan, Gawn, Jones.

BEST: Geelong: Hawkins, Stewart, Dangerfield, Ablett, Tuohy. Melbourne: Oliver, Jetta, Lewis, Jones, Petracca.

UMPIRES: Rosebury, Brown, Nicholls.

CROWD: 30,125 at GMHBA Stadium.

Tom Hawkins (Geelong) 9
Clayton Oliver (Melbourne) 8
Zach Tuohy (Geelong) 8
Neville Jetta (Melbourne) 7
Tom Stewart (Geelong) 7

Peter Ryan joined The Age in 2017 having covered AFL as a senior reporter with AFL Media.

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