A brisk, overcast Colac afternoon faced Geelong and Essendon on Labour Day Monday.
The Cats had their ups and downs but ultimately fell short after a resurgence in the final quarter from the Bombers, with the final score 7.12 54 to 8.9 57.
Geelong’s defensive pressure held Essendon to only two goals in the first ten minutes.
Strong ball movement provided plenty of scoring opportunities, only converting on one of their chances from Charlie Sprague.
Sam Simpson looked sharp, while Blake Schlensog showed off his vertical ability with some quality intercept marking.
An uneventful second term saw Essendon kick one major, while Sam De Koning and Tom Feely had a snag each.
Both teams struggled to convert off inside 50s, trying to work the ball down the wing with little success.
The half finished with Geelong leading by a point, 24 to 23.
Essendon were held to one goal in the third term while Geelong kicked four themselves.
Francis Evans made effective use of the footy and kicked two goals, including a massive drop punt from the centre square.
With a 23-point lead, things were looking promising for Geelong, but Essendon weren’t finished.
They kicked four unanswered goals to lead by three in the final minutes of the game.
Again, inside 50s were an issue for Geelong in the fourth quarter, barely getting the ball past the centre circle.
With several weeks until round one of the VFL season, the Cats will be right ready for a competitive season.
Geelong 1.6 3.6 7.11 7.12 (54)
Essendon 2.1 3.5 4.6 8.9 (57)
Goals – Evans 2, Jarvis, De Koning, Sprague, Feely, Hill
Best: Constable, Fogarty, De Koning, Stephens, Schlensog, Taheny
Injuries – Tarca (shoulder)
Reports – Nil