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VFL: Cats fall short to Port

Michael Luxford impressed for the Cats
Michael Luxford impressed for the Cats

Geelong’s VFL side has recorded their third consecutive loss, falling agonisingly short against Port Melbourne, 13.20 (98) to 15.13 (103) at Simonds Stadium on Saturday.

In a game that had created much hype with the return of Nakia Cockatoo, Sam Blease and Josh Walker, the Cats’ inaccuracy throughout the game ultimately cost them the four points.

Despite controlling the first term, the Cats went in to quarter time facing a 12-point deficit. The home side’s waywardness in front of goal early cost them the chance to get ahead as Port Melbourne booted five goals, taking advantage of the minimal chances they were given.

The Cats made their impact on the scoreboard in the second term kicking five goals to two. In the highly intense quarter, VFL stalwart Jack Hollmer provided the highlight, kicking his first goal in his comeback match.

The third term was a scrappy affair as both sides went goal-for-goal early. The Cats accuracy woes continued as they went into the final break seven points down.

In a thrilling last quarter that saw both sides kicking five goals each, the Cats almost stole the game with the final three majors. It was ultimately not enough as the Borough ran out five-point victors.

Port Melbourne’s experienced side was able to pounce on the Cats’ poor kicking throughout the match and overrun the young Cats in the end.

“Credit to Port Melbourne, they never give up and they are a proud club. They deserved to win the game with the way that they fought out that last 15 minutes,” coach Paul Hood said after the match.

Hood was disappointed with his side’s accuracy, as the end result did not fully reflect the Cats’ performance on the day.

“As a coach, I’m really pleased about the work that the players did, but for them, I’d like them to be able to finish their work and walk off the ground feeling really happy about their efforts,” he said.

“Bad kicking is bad football and in the end, that was probably the difference.”

Jake Kolodjashnij was once again one of the best for the Cats, as he fought hard all day against a tall Port Melbourne forward line.

“(Jake) won some really important contests but was outpointed by his opponent on a few occasions too,” Hood said.

“He keeps trying, he’s such a great kid like that and I’m sure he learned a bit out of today.”

Despite only totaling 13 touches, Nakia Cockatoo was impressive with ball in hand and provided some highlights throughout the game. Hood is excited by the 18-year-old’s ability and expects him to keep improving.

“He is still a little bit rough around the edges but he’s got some fantastic talent and he will get better every time he plays,” Hood said.

“It’s terrific to see, we really embrace all the talents in his game. We want him to take the game on and find out exactly how good he can be.”

Hood was also pleased with the performance of Nick Dixon, who impressed in only his second game. Dixon collected 20 possessions and six marks whilst also kicking an important goal.

“Nick had a pretty impressive day. He’s a very determined young kid and works hard in the contest,” Hood said.

“His attitude is fantastic, he comes down, tries his hardest and wants to learn. He really relishes the contest each game and it’s great to see him play well.”

The loss to Port Melbourne makes it three in a row for the Cats, but the continual improvement has Hood opportunistic that with more development, his side will get the wins they need.

“We just keep trying to get better every week and we will find out the areas of our game that we can make the quickest improvements in.

“They are a pretty self-motivated group and we’ve just got to keep all working at getting better,” he said.

The Cats will return to Simonds Stadium next Saturday for an important clash with Williamstown.

 

VFL Round 6 – Bendigo Bank Cats 13.20 (98) def. by Port Melbourne Borough 15.13 (103)

Goals: Sheringham 3, Walker 2, Hollmer 2, Cockatoo, Jansen, Luxford, Paliouras, Dixon, Rees

Best: Maas, Ruggles, Kolodjashnij, Luxford, Gibbs, Rees

Reports: Nil

Injuries: Nil @ Simonds Stadium, Geelong

 

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs