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VFL: Cats stun Casey

Tom Stewart celebrates a final quarter goal
Tom Stewart celebrates a final quarter goal

Geelong’s VFL side has caused an upset on Sunday, defeating second placed Casey 13.5 (83) to 10.12 (72).

After last week’s disappointing loss to the Tigers, not many would have given the Bankers a chance against premiership fancy Casey coming into the match.

In the first term, the ball was locked in Casey’s forward line for much of the quarter with the Scorpions applying immense forward pressure.

Despite this, the opportunistic Cats were able to kick three goals from only eight inside 50s to trail by a mere nine points at the first break.

The Scorpions were able to continue creating scoring opportunities in the second and third terms and even got out to a 33-point lead but the Cats fought hard to claw back the margin to 14 points at the final change.

The last quarter saw the home side play an inspiring brand of football whilst keeping Casey goalless to run out 11-point victors completing a remarkable 44-point turnaround.

Cats coach Shane O’Bree was impressed with the way his side was able to regain composure after a poor first half. 

“We just went back to playing our brand of football and the way we play together and use the ball more effectively,” O’Bree said.

“It basically comes off our pressure in the forward 50, we got it in there more often and that created pressure on them and we scored from it.”

The win was even more impressive due to the Cats being undermanned with the likes of George Horlin-Smith, Ryan Gardner and Mitch Clark all unavailable.

These significant outs saw the Bankers field a side with more VFL listed players than usual but the likes of Tom Atkins and Sam McLachlan were able to fill the void admirably. 

“Our VFL boys have been very good for us and today the guys we brought in are very experienced Geelong Football League players,” O’Bree said.

“Tommy Atkins and Sam McLachlan have done it all year for us as our mids, they’ve battled and some of their efforts, three or four in a row, to win that ball and get it forward was great.”

The Cats also benefitted from the return of Billie Smedts and Zac Bates who had both missed significant amounts of football due to injury.

“Smedts and Bates were sensational today both playing that high forward role,” O’Bree said.

“It just goes to show they have done the work in their rehab.”

Smedts was classy with ball in hand, racking up 16 disposals whilst also totalling four tackles.

Bates looked to be over his quad injury as he used his pace to fight for loose balls and tackle with an intensity that the Cats have missed in his absence.

“(Bates) would love to give his body a decent crack at it because he is elite at that when he is up and running,” O’Bree said.

After a few tough weeks Jordan Cunico compiled his best game since returning from injury.

Cunico was highly efficient playing as an inside midfielder, finishing with 22 touches, four tackles, seven marks and eight clearances.

The Cats will look to continue their strong form next week when they take on Port Melbourne with an opportunity to jump into the top four on offer. 

VFL Round 20 – Bendigo Bank Cats 13.5 (83) def. Casey Scorpions 10.12 (72)

Goals: Lucey 2, Dobson 2, Stewart 2, Cornell, Murdoch, Bews, Bates, Abbott, Haintz, House

Best: Atkins, Cunico, Abbott, Stewart, Dobson, Bews

Injuries: Nil

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