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VFL: Cats fall short

First-year Cat Jacob Kennerley flies high against the Hawks. - Geelong Cats
First-year Cat Jacob Kennerley flies high against the Hawks.

Geelong’s VFL side has suffered a tough loss to Box Hill on Saturday, going down by 10 points.

The Cats staged a fightback late in the game, but ultimately fell short in the 11.9 (75) to 13.7 (85) defeat.

The two sides came into the clash clinging onto spots in the VFL’s top eight, but the first three quarters of the match turned out to be more lopsided than the Cats would have hoped.

While the Cats had their fair share of opportunities, an early fourth quarter goal saw the Hawks jump out to a game high 24-point lead.

Despite only having recorded six majors up to that stage, the Cats slammed on five more in the space of 15 minutes to take the lead late in the match.

The Cats had opportunities to ice the game, but ultimately Box Hill’s two late goals proved to be the difference and the home side ran out 10-point victors.

Cats coach Shane O’Bree lamented his side’s poor start to the match and how much of a contrast it was to the final term.

“I thought our first three quarters were really poor in regard to how we used the ball,” O’Bree said.

“I thought we lacked polished around stoppages and contests, sat off and got led to the ball.

“The last quarter, the way we played and fought back, kept having a go, and we implemented what we wanted to do at the start of the day.”

A key difference was how the Cats were using the ball early in the game as they had a statistical dominance over the Hawks but just couldn’t convert it into scoring opportunities.

“We had more inside 50s in the first half, just every time we kicked to a forward it was to their feet, it’s just those finishing touches,” O’Bree said.

The Cats were well beaten around the stoppages as tall Hawk Jonathon Ceglar (48 hitouts, 24 disposals) was the standout player on the ground.

Despite the Cats inability to win the clearance battle, midfielders James Parsons and Scott Selwood were heavily involved around the ball and were the Cats’ two best performers on the day.

Parsons racked up 22 touches and six score involvements while chipping in with two goals.

“Parso has had an amazing six weeks and the last two weeks he has looked a class above VFL level,” O’Bree said.

Wylie Buzza was imposing up forward and could have been the most influential player on the ground if not for his wayward kicking on goal.

Midfielder Dean Gore made his return from injury and got through the match unscathed.

Gore racked up 17 disposals and will look to keep building on his game in the latter part of the season.

“I thought Gorey was good first up, it was good to get him back in the team with his experience, he is a team player and can play any role for the team,” O’Bree said.

The VFL Cats will look to get back on the winners list next week when they take on Sandringham.


VFL Round 14
Bendigo Bank Cats 11.9 (75) def. by Box Hill Hawks 13.7 (85)
Goals: Buzza, L.Smith, Parsons 2, Narkle, Browlness, Tarca, Simpson, Abbott
Best: Parsons, Selwood, Buzza, Brownless, Kennerley, Simpson
Reports: Nil
Injuries: Nil
@ Box Hill City Oval

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