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VFL: Kersten boots winner for Cats

Menzel stars in return Daniel Menzel has returned in style for the Cats via the VFL
Shane Kersten celebrates the winning goal against Werribee
Shane Kersten celebrates the winning goal against Werribee

Geelong’s VFL side has claimed a nail-biting victory over Werribee at Avalon Airport Oval on Saturday. The Cats came from behind to win 7.11 (53) to 7.9 (51).

Shane Kersten’s late game heroics won the game for the Cats on a tough day at the office for Paul Hood’s side.

The Cats were strengthened by Daniel Menzel’s return to football, along with the likes of Kersten, Jordan Cunico and Nakia Cockatoo all back in the fold. 

The first half saw both sides struggle with the slippery conditions but it was Werribee who adapted first. The home side got the jump on the Cats and kicked five first-half goals to take a 16-point lead into the main break.

Hood must have given his side a spark at half time as the Cats lifted in the third term, kicking three goals to head into the final break only four points down. 

The final term saw young Brant Haintz kick an early goal to give the Cats their first lead of the match before the Tigers hit back almost immediately. 

The final few minutes were tightly contested before Kersten marked with only seconds remaining. To the delight of the Geelong fans, Kersten converted to give the visitors a two-point victory.

“I knew the scores were pretty close and I had to kick it or it was probably going to be a loss for us,” Kersten said after the match.

“I was happy that I just did my small part and everyone’s enjoying the win in the rooms and it’s a good feeling.”

Kersten was buoyed for teammate Menzel, who played his first match in over two years. 

“I’m pretty close with Daniel, I’ve seen what he’s had to go through. I’ve spent a little bit of time in rehab but nothing like he has.

“I’m bloody happy that we got over the line and did it for Daniel on the day,” Kersten said.

Menzel was one of the Cats’ best performers on the day finishing with 17 disposals, two marks and two tackles. He also had a game-high 10 clearances, despite leaving the field midway through the third term.

“It felt real surreal and even now to have played it and got through it is just an amazing feeling,” Menzel said.

Another young cat, Dean Gore, continued his impressive debut season with another strong performance. 

The 19-year-old finished with 21 possessions, nine tackles and seven clearances in one of his best games for the Bankers.

Padraig Lucey was a dominant force in the ruck in the absence of Dawson Simpson. Lucey totaled 45 hitouts, along with eight disposals and three clearances.

George Horlin-Smith pushed his case for an AFL recall, as he collected 26 possessions and had seven inside-50s in a four-quarter performance.

VFL stalwart Ben Raidme also continues to perform for the Cats, totaling a game-high 29 possessions, seven marks and seven clearances in the narrow victory.

The Bankers will aim to continue their winning form, as they take on Footscray next Sunday at Simonds Stadium.


VFL Round 13 – Bendigo Bank Cats 7.11 (53) def. Werribee Tigers 7.9 (51)

Goals: Kersten 2, Bates 2, Luxford, Raidme, Haintz

Best: Ruggles, Kolodjashnij, Horlin-Smith, Menzel, Smedts, Jansen

Reports: Nil

Injuries: Fort (hamstring) @ Avalon Airport Oval, Werribee

Key Cat stats:

George Horlin-Smith – 26 disposals (17 contested), four tackles, seven inside-50s

Sam Blease – 24 touches, eight rebound-50s

Dean Gore – 21 disposals, nine tackles, seven clearances

Billie Smedts – 18 disposals, six tackles, four marks

Nakia Cockatoo – 12 disposals, six marks, four tackles

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