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VFL: Cats fall to Hawks

Zac Smith was a standout for the Cats with 20 disposals and 10 clearances - Geelong Cats
Zac Smith was a standout for the Cats with 20 disposals and 10 clearances

Geelong’s VFL side has come up short in their semi-final clash with Box Hill, falling to the Hawks, 8.13 (61) to 13.12 (90).

The loss sees the Cats bow out of the VFL finals in straight sets as the Hawks played an efficient brand of football from the first bounce.

In similar fashion to their qualifying final loss, the Cats started the match slowly, with Box Hill jumping out to a four-goal lead by quarter time.

The Cats had the breeze in the second term but struggled to convert in front of goal which saw them trailing at the main break.

The inaccuracy continued into the second half and despite dominating play in the third term, their opponents converted their chances to keep the Cats at arm’s length.

The lead was trimmed back to 29 points by the final siren, but the day belonged to the Hawks as they comfortably ended the Cats’ season.

It was a disappointing finish to what had been a year full of promise for Shane O’Bree’s side.

The coach lamented the fact that his side had opportunities throughout the game but couldn’t take full advantage on the scoreboard, when they were in control.

“We didn’t take our opportunities, I thought the first ten minutes of every quarter we controlled it and we just couldn’t get that goal,” he said.

“That deflates you when you work so hard and don’t get the finishing touches.”

Zac Smith led the way on the stats sheet, finishing with 20 touches, 41 hitouts and ten clearances.

“(Smith) was aggressive with his ruckwork, followed up and got a lot of the ball as well,” O’Bree said.

Jordan Cunico was also a strong contributor, finishing the match with 20 disposals, six tackles and a goal to be named the Cats’ best.

“Cunico on the wing, he spoiled the contest, took the game on, played to his strengths and I was really pleased with Jordan and the way he played today,” O’Bree said.

Small defender Zach Guthrie was swung forward throughout the match and performed admirably in the new role.

Guthrie finished with a goal from 11 touches, whilst racking up four tackles and six marks.

“We needed another more mobile forward and Zach was the one, I just had a gut feeling,” O’Bree said.

“It worked pretty well, he presented well and looked comfortable so that was pleasing.”

Lachie Fogarty capped off a great first year in blue and white with a solid outing.

The small forward racked up 16 touches, seven tackles and a goal playing through the midfield and across half forward.

VFL Semi Final
Bendigo Bank Cats 8.13 (61) def. by Box Hill Hawks 13.12 (90)
Goals: McCarthy, Fogarty, Narkle, Cunico, Guthrie, Jones, Siggins, McMullan
Best: Cunico, Smith, Jones, Keras, Fogarty, Atkins
Reports: Nil
Injuries: Nil
@ North Port Oval

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