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VFL: Cats record convincing win

An exciting Cats side took down Frankston on their home track
An exciting Cats side took down Frankston on their home track

Geelong’s VFL side have kept their finals hopes alive with a resounding victory over last-placed Frankston, defeating the Dolphins 16.20 (116) to 6.9 (45).

A vital coin toss victory saw the Cats kick with the wind in the first quarter, using it to their advantage by kicking three goals whilst keeping Frankston goalless. Dawson Simpson was on fire early with eight disposals and 16 hitouts in the first term.

The Cats lifted in the second, kicking six goals against the strong breeze to take a 40-point lead into the main break. Daniel Menzel provided the highlight of the quarter, pulling down a huge screamer to complement his three first half goals.

The heavens opened in the third quarter but not even the rain could halt the Cats’ momentum as they piled on five goals to the Dolphins’ zero.

The final term was a scrappy affair as both sides struggled with the conditions but two goals against the wind saw the Bankers run out 71-point victors.

Coach Paul Hood was impressed with his side’s ability to play consistent football for the whole match, something that has eluded them in the past weeks, and achieve a big win in the wet conditions.

“Really good four-quarter performance is what we are happy with, we have been chasing that for a while,” he said.

“Defensively we were pretty solid for the whole day, attacked off the back of that and our guys around the contest winning contested ball in each of the quarters was a good performance for us.”

Nathan Vardy followed up from last week’s comeback game with a strong performance against the Dolphins. Vardy was potent up forward and finished with 12 disposals and a goal.

“It was great to see him flying for the footy, cutting on his leads and looking really dangerous and hard to match up on, a really good performance from Nathan,” Hood said.

Dawson Simpson was the dominant big man on the ground totaling 53 hitouts against Frankston’s debutant ruckman Jayden Bubb. The big Cat also gathered 15 possessions in conditions not suited to big men.

“(Dawson) took a few nice marks in the first half and looked like he was going to be a threat in the air.

“He gave us first use going forward and his tap work was really good, Dawson had a really solid game,” Hood said.

Young Cat Dean Gore continued his impressive debut VFL season with a classy four-quarter performance. Gore had the ball on a string for most of the day and finished with 32 possessions, 10 marks and a goal.

Gore played across half-back for the first time in 2015 and Hood was impressed with his ability to adapt to the position so quickly.

“(Dean) across half-back was excellent. For his first performance there, he looked like he understood his role really well today,” Hood said.

Daniel Menzel was dangerous up forward, kicking three goals, taking nine marks and tallying 21 touches in his fourth game back from injury.

“He was lively, he was very dangerous and obviously very hard to play against throughout the day,” Hood said.

Geelong’s ‘23rd player’ Nick Dixon continued his strong run of form with another solid outing. The 18-year-old is proving himself to be a ball magnet for the VFL Cats, as he finished with 32 disposals, 26 by hand.

“Today he took another step forward, he got (the ball), he won it and he shared it with his teammates really well, so it was a terrific performance from him,” Hood said.

George Horlin-Smith put up his hand for a senior recall with a best afield performance. Horlin-Smith had a game-high 43 touches, eight marks, eight tackles and eight clearances.

“Massive game for George, he really loves theses conditions, works really hard and he got from contest to contest really well. He kept putting his body in and it’s terrific to see him get rewarded,” Hood said.

“He’s working hard on his game every week, he’s also working on his leadership and trying to bring the other guys along with him.”

Veteran duo Jared Rivers (20 disposals) and Mathew Stokes (28) both pushed their respective cases for an AFL recall as they played key roles in the Cats’ big win.

Another milestone was achieved for the Cats with Matthew Farrelly playing his 50th VFL game. Farrelly had 24 possessions, six marks and his defensive pressure was paramount to the Cats’ keeping the Dolphins a mere six goals.

“As a defender, he’s a real pest. He’s always there, he’s making it difficult for his man to get a kick and if he’s not making it hard for his man, he is making it hard for someone else’s.

“That’s why we love having Matty in the team, he’s just a real desperate player and played another desperate game,” Hood said.

The VFL Cats will look to take their winning form into next Sunday when they take on North Ballarat at Eureka Stadium.


VFL Round 16 – Bendigo Bank Cats 16.20 (116) def. Frankston Dolphins 6.9 (45)

Goals: Menzel 3, Stokes 2, Gore, Vardy, Horlin-Smith, Jansen, Luxford, Lucey, Bates, Sheringham, Farrelly, Paliouras, Haintz

Best: Horlin-Smith, Stokes, Gore, Dixon, Menzel, Simpson

Reports: Nil

Injuries: Nil @ Frankston Oval.

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