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VFL: Cats continue winning streak

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 11: James Parsons of Geelong runs with the ball during the round ten VFL match between the Footscray Bulldogs and Geelong at Whitten Oval on June 11, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Scott Barbour/AFL Media)
James Parsons was amongst the Cats' best in the VFL on Sunday.

Geelong’s VFL side has continued its march towards September on Sunday, defeating Essendon 15.22 (112) to 5.4 (34).

The Cats lost to the Bombers by 21 points earlier in the season and were out for revenge against Matthew Egan’s side.

The match began with a flurry of goals in the first five minutes but both sides reacted by locking down and shifting their focus to defensive pressure. 

The Cats took a 17-point lead into the first change but the quarter was soured by an ankle injury to Nathan Vardy.

Despite kicking against the breeze in the second term, the Cats took control before two late Essendon goals cut the Bankers’ half time advantage to 32.

The visitors were not able to carry that momentum into the third quarter as the Cats stamped their authority with a six goal term. 

The foot was taken off the pedal in the final term but the Bankers maintained their defensive intensity to run out 78-point victors.

Cats coach Shane O’Bree believes that his side’s ability to defend strongly for the entirety of the match allowed them to control the contest.

“Defending well, as the third quarter showed, we were able to kick a few more easy goals and it made the game easier to play,” O’Bree said.

AFL hopefuls Darcy Lang, George Horlin-Smith and Scott Selwood all pushed their cases for senior selection with excellent performances.

Lang continued his strong VFL form with 32 disposals, two goals and a game high nine clearances in a best afield performance. 

Selwood was also damaging with a goal and 31 touches whilst Horlin-Smith had 26 of his own.

Despite suffering a concussion in last week’s big victory, Cam Delaney’s second match since returning from an extended stint on the sidelines was a successful one.

The former North Melbourne defender played out the full match and was consistent down back with seven marks and three rebound 50s.

Two other Cats talls, Wylie Buzza and Padraig Lucey were also admirable in the big win.

Lucey recorded a game-high 30 hitouts and took 10 marks to go with his 21 disposals. 

“(Lucey’s) ruck craft has come a long way with his ability to position himself against bigger ruckman,” O’Bree said.

“He does the work on his game Padraig so he does get reward for effort and he is building nicely.”

Buzza was not as damaging with ball in hand but O’Bree was impressed with his ability to influence the contest as a defensive forward.

The 20-year-old may have only had eight disposals and two marks but he totalled 10 tackles, the most of any Cat in the match.

“As soon as we drafted him we knew we had a competitive forward,” O’Bree said.

“His game is built on his pressure and he will start clunking those marks which he could have caught today.”

The Cats will look to continue their winning streak next week when they take on Collingwood at Victoria Park.


VFL Round 16 – Bendigo Bank Cats 15.22 (112) def. Essendon Bombers 5.4 (34)

Goals: Goals: Clark 3, Lang 2, Parsons 2, Murdoch 2, Atley 2, Selwood, Hayball, House, Luxford

Best: Best: Lang, Horlin-Smith, Selwood, Sexton, Lucey, Parsons

Injuries: Vardy (ankle), Atkins (ankle sprain)

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