Geelong's VFL team returned to the winner's list with an eight-point victory in their Round 15 clash with Sydney at the SCG on Friday evening.
The Bendigo Bank Cats withstanding a final quarter comeback by the Swans to record a 12.5 (77) to 10.9 (69) victory.
Geelong led by a game-high 38 points at the start of the final term before Sydney kicked six goals in quick succession to draw within a point with only minutes remaining.
With the game on the line the Cats needed its experienced players to stand up and they did just that. Brandan Parfitt coming up with a big tackle before Sam Menegola found Brayden Ham in the pocket who slotted the sealer on the siren.
Parfitt finished as Geelong’s major ball winner with 24 disposals, 16 of those coming in a productive first half display. Mitch Knevitt was equally influential with 20 disposals, four clearances and a goal.
In their second games back from injury both Menegola and Shannon Neale had some big moments. Menegola finishing with 19 disposals and Neale contributing a game-high three goals including a couple of big pack marks.
The Cats dominated the inside 50 count in the opening term to take an 11-point lead into quarter time.
Mid-season draftee Mitch Hardie gave the Cats the perfect start with a goal inside the opening minute.
Debutant William Sheahan had an impressive start to the game with two first quarter goals. The Leopold product kicking a goal with his very first kick.
Sheahan benefitted from the work of Parfitt, Hardie, Knevitt and ruck Will Christie further afield. The latter finishing with an equal game-high seven clearances.
The Swans drew within a kick of the lead in the early stages of the second term when Dylan Stephens found Jack Buller inside 50.
Some nice hands from Knevitt in traffic setup Ted Clohesy for the instant reply. Moments later Hardie kicked his second goal of the match to extend Geelong’s lead to 16-points.
Much like Hardie up the other end, Jake Bartholomaeus replied for the Swans with a snap from a stoppage of his own.
Some excellent pressure on the chase from Clohesy forced a Swans turnover and Menegola showed his prowess going inside 50 finding Neale for his first goal of the day.
Neale followed up that goal with a big pack mark and added his second of the quarter on the half time siren to hand the Cats a 20-point lead.
Geelong extended their advantage to 31-points at three quarter time after restricting the Swans to just two behinds for the quarter.
The Cats looked set to coast to their sixth win of the season when Neale kicked his third major at the start of the final quarter to extend Geelong’s margin to a game-high 38-points.
However, the Swans had other ideas. After kicking only four goals across the first three quarters they piled on six goals within a 16-minute burst to get within a point of the lead.
Both sides exchanged minor scores before Parfitt was rewarded with a freekick after laying a big tackle. Parfitt then found Menegola in space before the experienced Cat found Ham on the lead.
The Cats holding off the Swans charge to record a heart stopping eight-point victory.
Geelong will return to GMHBA Stadium in Round 16 to host North Melbourne on Sunday 9 July at 5.35pm.
VFL ROUND 15
GEELONG 4.2 8.2 10.3 12.5 (77)
SYDNEY 2.4 4.6 4.8 10.9 (69)
Geelong: Neale 3, Sheahan, Hardie, Ham 2, Knevitt, Clohesy, Annand
Sydney: Morrison, Hall-Kahan, Buller 2, Warner, Magor, Fitzroy, Bartholomaeus
Geelong: Parfitt 24, Knevitt 20, Mullin, Menegola, Chalcraft 19
Sydney: Bartholomaeus 27, Rankin 26, Stephens 23, McCartin 22