Geelong’s VFL side has overcome Sandringham in a low-scoring affair, defeating the Zebras by 26 points on Saturday.
The Cats were the better side when it counted in the 10.7 (67) to 5.11 (41) win.
Clinging onto eighth spot on the VFL ladder and with a tough run home to come, the Cats needed the win against the Zebras to consolidate their position.
The match started with an arm wrestle of a first term where the Cats had more chances but couldn’t convert those into any scoreboard dominance.
It was much of the same in the middle two quarters as both sides set up well behind the ball to ensure the game would remain a scrap.
The floodgates opened early in the final term as the Cats kicked three goals in the opening five minutes.
They were able to finally play their free-flowing style of football and hold onto that lead to run out 26-point winners.
Coach Shane O’Bree’s decision to swing Aaron Black forward during the third term paid dividends as the Cats skipper kicked important goals when the game was on the line.
In less than two quarters forward of the ball, Black finished with four goals and nine marks to be named best on ground.
The Cats skipper was the only multiple goalkicker for the home side as scoring was scarce for large parts of the match.
The Cats fielded a strong side with 18 AFL listed players and a handful of them pushed their respective cases for a senior return.
Ruckman Zac Smith totalled a game-high 27 hitouts and took seven marks, often behind the ball, and was an important player in the win.
The returning duo of Lachie Fogarty (25 disposals) and Charlie Constable (28) were the Cats’ major ball winners in the match.
A trio of first-year Cats also impressed, showing glimpses of the Cats’ bright future.
Midfielder Jacob Kennerley continued what has been an impressive first VFL season, totalling 21 touches and eight tackles.
Kennerley set the tone for the midfielders in the match, collecting 12 possessions in the first quarter of the game.
Oscar Brownless also started hot, kicking the game’s opening goal and finishing with 17 disposals and six marks.
At the other end of the ground, Stefan Okunbor was rock solid down back and also set up numerous attacking plays in his 18-disposal performance.
The Cats will travel to Casey in round 16 to take on the Demons.
VFL Round 15
Bendigo Bank Cats 10.7 (67) def. Sandringham 5.11 (41)
Goals: Black 4, Brownless, Fort, Jones, Parsons, Schlensog, Z. Smith
Best: Black, Z. Smith, Brownless, Okunbor, Kennerley, Henderson
Injuries: Selwood (Ribs)
@ GMHBA Stadium