There are big moments in every match that can have a huge influence on the result. When certain players are presented with the opportunity to stand tall and take hold of the game.

On Saturday night one of those key moments fell to new Cat, Jack Bowes midway through the third quarter.

With Port Adelaide kicking three quick goals to jump out of the blocks in the second half, the Cats found themselves trailing after a goalless 30-minute stretch of footy.  

Enter Bowes who ran the length of the ground to find pace 30-metres out from goal, collected an entry pass from the skipper, turned, and calmly slotted a crucial goal to ignite Geelong and the crowd at a pivotal time in the match.

On the surface, the goal alone was brilliant from Bowes, but the mountain of work he did to get into that scoring position was equally as impressive.


Cameron Ling and Meg McDonald discussed Bowes’ goal on this week’s episode of the ‘To the Final Bell’ podcast.

"It was such an important moment,” McDonald said. 

“Looking at the footage behind the goals, he was open the whole way down the ground because of his work rate. 

"The finish wasn't made easy for him either, the kick was a bit of a mongrel. His gather on the bounce and then the composure to finish was so important.

"I think his reaction said that he probably felt like it was his moment.”

After crossing over to the Cats after the 2022 season, Bowes has played 14-games this year in an impressive first year at Geelong. 

The versatile 25 year old has played a number of positions this year from wing to half back, proving his ability to find the footy and distribute cleanly with excellent skill. 

Cameron Ling reminisced on a similar moment from his playing days, recalling when Cats legend Mathew Stokes had his ‘Welcome to Geelong’ moment during his first AFL season.  

"I can still clearly remember the moment when Matty Stokes became adored by the fans as a young player,” Ling said. 

“We were playing Port Adelaide here in his first season, maybe around half a dozen games in and he had a moment where he put in five consecutive efforts in a row. 


"It was this little, tiny Matty Stokes against a good Port Adelaide side and he just hunted and pressured them to win it back. He forced the turn over then took off running, went back with the flight, got hit hard and got back up.

"I think we might have scored off it, and he jogged to the bench absolutely spent and exhausted. 

"But the whole crowd got on their feet and cheered him off, that moment still stands in my mind." 

Bowes and Stokes’ big moments carry plenty of similarities, with the Cats kicking four goals to two in the final quarter of both games to hang onto a pair of narrow wins.  

One thing that has not changed in nearly two decades is the unwavering support of the Cats faithful, who were in full voice against Port Adelaide on both occasions. 

Ling was complimentary of the crowd at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday night, and the way the supporters lifted with the team in such an important game for the Cats season. 

"Occasionally we get the start of the game here, once the ball is bounced everyone goes a little quiet and chills out a bit; it wasn't that on Saturday night,” Ling said. 

“The atmosphere was more 'we've got to win this,’ and it had that feel right throughout the game. 

"For Jack to have his moment in front of that sort of home crowd, it would certainly feel pretty special.”