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Menegola, Clark impress in VFL loss

VFL Highlights: Cats v Zebras Watch the best VFL bits from Geelong v Sandringham match at Simonds Stadium

Geelong’s VFL side has gone down to an impressive Sandringham outfit on Sunday, falling agonisingly short against the Zebras, 15.9 (99) to 15.11 (101), at Simonds Stadium.
 
With an abundance of AFL listed players, the Cats went in to the contest full of optimism despite playing an in form Zebras side.
 
The game started with a shootout as both sides played an attacking brand of footy from the first bounce.
 
Timm House kicked two first quarter goals for the Bankers whilst Trent Dennis-Lane was proving a handful at the other end, with three of his own.
 
After a fast start by the Zebras in the second term, consecutive goals to Mitch Clark gave the Cats a handy lead that they held at the main break.

That lead was challenged throughout the third term as the Cats were unable to put the Zebras away, taking a seven-advantage into the final term.
 
The thrilling last term saw the lead changes hands several times before the Zebras kicked three quick goals late to run out two-point victors in a thrilling finish.
 
Cats coach Shane O’Bree sees injuries to Billie Smedts (leg), Josh Cowan (knee) and Ryan Williams (concussion) as costly in terms of the match result.
 
“To get three injuries in the first half to the guys that were fresh and up and running, who were playing some good footy, credit to our boys to stick it out,” O’Bree said.
 
The Cats will face an uphill battle to make the finals now as they sit a few games behind the pack with three wins and four losses.
 
It was a game of returns for the Cats with Mitch Clark, Sam Menegola and Jake Edwards all returning to football following varied stints on the sidelines.
 
Clark played his first game in over 12 months after an extended rehabilitation program for a calf injury and kicked three goals from 13 possessions.
 
Menegola collected 21 possessions and seven inside 50s in an impressive outing.
 
The athletic midfielder hadn’t played since the NAB Challenge where he suffered an unfortunate knee injury and O’Bree praised the performance of both players as they push for an AFL return.
 
“(Menegola) looked really clean and composed around the contest and Mitch provided a target,” He said.
 
“With a fit Mitch Clark, we have a dangerous forward up our sleeves and might need to fit him in our AFL team.”

Edwards made his debut in the hoops, playing his first VFL game in five years and was important to the defensive unit, collecting 11 touches and kicking a goal.
 
Another Geelong VFL debutant, Timm House, was also prolific in his role up forward with five goals and eight marks.
 
“He held himself pretty well today, the marks he took, he is a big guy. We have been playing him as a back all season so we have obviously got that wrong because he impacted the forwards,” O’Bree said.
 
“He is competitive and just wants the contest and just the ball in his hands and he provided that today.”
 
The VFL Cats will face another tough task next week when they take on Footscray at Whitten Oval on Saturday.
 
VFL Round 9 – Bendigo Bank Cats 15.9 (99) def. by Sandringham 15.11 (101)

Goals: House 5, Clark 3, Smedts, Gregson, Parsons, Williams, McLachlan, Edwards, Rees

Best: House, Tsitas, Luxford, Menegola, McLachlan, Sexton

Injuries: Cowan (knee), Smedts (leg), Williams (concussion)

Reports: Nil

@ Simonds Stadium, Geelong.

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