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VFL: Cats run over Dolphins

Nathan Vardy returned for the Cats in the big win over Frankston
Nathan Vardy returned for the Cats in the big win over Frankston
The Bendigo Bank Cats have emulated their AFL counterparts, securing a fourth straight win to start the season thanks to a last quarter demolition of the Frankston Dolphins at Frankston on Sunday.

An eight goal to nil fourth quarter- five of those to an electrifying Joel Hamling, silenced the vocal Frankston crowd to the tune of 79 points, Geelong: 19.17 (131) defeated Frankston 7.10 (52).

Hamling banged home two goals in the opening two minutes of the final term to put the game beyond doubt, unleashing a rampaging Cats on the hapless Dolphins who had given the Cats a cracking contest for the first three quarters.

The game saw the successful return of crowd favourites Nathan Vardy, Shane Kersten and Ryan Bathie. Vardy was satisfyingly athletic in his assault on the ball, leaping over packs and taking solid contested marks. A goal in the opening term started the day well for Vards and he got through his allotted game time without concern.

Fans will also be delighted with the performance of debutant Tom Gribble, who impressed with his workrate and ability to provide a link across the ground with 19 of his 30 disposals as handballs.

The addition of Cam Eardley to the midfield rotation paid dividends for the Cats as he bullocked his way to a sterling four quarter effort racking up 31 touches and 3 majors. Widely regarded as completely fearless, Eardley had his head over the ball at every occasion, and took his fair share of wince inducing knocks as he threw himself at packs- well earning his nickname ‘the flying brick’.

Sully, Murdoch, Hunt and Flannagan all had great runs in defence, with Hunt demonstrating he is getting ever closer to his best form. Sully was a rock for the Cats providing a wall against Frankston inside 50’s, which enabled the likes of Flanagan and Murdoch to rebound and put the Cats back into attack. Flannagan in particular is continuing to impress with his ability to perform week in week out in his trademark no nonsense hard attacking style of football.

The star of the day however was Joel Hamling who threw the gates open in the last quarter with a freakishly accurate boot. There wasn’t an area in the Cats forward 50 that he could not score six points from. His five last quarter goals could well be the most goals kicked in a quarter by a Geelong player in the VFL in recent memory.

This is the second time this year Hamling has gone on a last quarter rampage to lead the Cats goal kicking, bettering his overall 5 goal effort against Williamstown in round two.

Bendigo Bank Cats: 19.17 (131) defeated Frankston Dolphins: 7.10 (52)
Goals: Hamling 6, Eardley, Raidme 3, Hollmer, Barham 2, Brown, Vardy, Kersten.
Best: Eardley, Sully, Murdoch, Schroder, J.Hunt, Hamling, Gleeson, Banjanin.
Injuries: Sheringham (shoulder), Barham (Hamstring)
Reports: Nil
@Frankston Oval, Frankston.
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs