Cat’s celebrate the return of the Saturday Arvo Blockbuster

Still sick, I had to miss Waaia’s match with Katamatite. I had planned to go up and watch it, but Dad declared it too cold for me to go. As I waited around the house for the afternoon, I waited for ‘it’.

Finally, it’s back. A Saturday afternoon blockbuster at the MCG, how we’ve missed you. I hope Andy considers the fans who want to see Saturday afternoon games regularly when deciding the fixture for next year. Channel 10 were also showing this big game on just a 20 minute delay, not the usual 50 minutes. It’s still not live, but I’ll take it.

But I was devastated when, halfway through Tim Lane’s intro to this match, the coverage switched mid-sentence to Jimmy Bartel snapping at goal with just four minutes to go in the first quarter. What the hell? Don’t tell me they’ve just cut out the entire first quarter to show the footy live. Luckily, they quickly changed back to the teams running out on the ground, although I had the current scores spoilt. Poor effort Channel 10.

Bartel, in the long sleeves (“I think he’s wearing long sleeves to protect his arm injury.” Thank you, Robert Walls) took a great grab and kicked the opening goal. Jarryd Roughead got onto the end of a long bomb by Clinton Young to mark and run into the open goal, before Carl Peterson tapped the ball out in front of Xavier Ellis who ran into an open goal. We were brought back to the 2009 Grand Final as Travis Varcoe handballed to Paul Chapman at the head of a large pack and Chappy snapped high towards goal, splitting the middle. Not quite the Grand Final winner, but it cut the margin to two points. Jordan Lewis marked and goaled, then intercepted an errant handball in the defensive Geelong goalsquare to ram home his second before giving Corey Enright an earful. James Podsiadly marked strongly one-out on the goal-line to put through his first just before quarter time, with Hawthorn leading by seven points, 4.4 to 3.3.

The second quarter started and Varcoe won a free kick with a tackle, before being gifted with a free kick, then Gary Ablett gathered and snapped towards goal, putting it through. Geelong led by five points, and continued to tighten its grip on the quarter. Two late goals to Lance Franklin however, one from a big mark and another from a free kick and 50m penalty, saw the Hawks back in front with a seven point lead, 6.7 to 5.6 at half time.

The second half began and Mathew Stokes found himself one-on-one in the goalsquare with Mark Blake running into goal in front of him. He didn’t look confident, slowly going through the motions of kicking the goal and handballing over the top of Ben Stratton to Stokes. He went with the latter option, and Geelong were back within a point. Roughead goaled from a free kick, but a great kick by Ablett saw Varcoe mark, play on, handball to Stokes who ran into the open goal for his second, cutting the deficit to four points. Shannon Byrnes copped the ball in the eye, but effected the smother as Geelong won the ball forward, Mitch Duncan handballing to the running Stokes who put through his third, giving Geelong the lead by just a point. Stokes was white-hot, but a great goal to Young from one-step around the body saw the Hawks leading by six points at the final change, 8.14 to 8.8.

The game billed to be a titanic struggle was living up to the expectations. Byrnes found his way to the front of a big pack and marked, before putting through the goal to give Geelong a two-point lead. Franklin took a great mark on the lead though and kicked his third. Stokes received from Chapman and, from 40m out near the boundary, snapped towards goal and found the middle. He had his fourth, and Geelong were back in front. Podsiadly snapped his second, but Luke Hodge showed his leadership with a crucial goal. Chapman received a free kick and kicked the goal, extending the margin out to eight points, and the Hawks were running out of options. Buddy was still running hot though, and when he got the ball facing away from goal tight in the forward pocket, he saw what other players wouldn’t have saw. An opening between the clusters of players around him, with a teammate streaming towards goal. He handballed to that teammate, Brad Sewell, and Sewell put the running-checkside into action, goaling to cut the margin to just three points. Young had his chance to be Jimmy Bartel, shooting at goal but it was put through for a rushed behind. Harry Taylor also played déjà vu, taking a towering grab on the same half-back flank from a kick-in, but not quite saving the game for Geelong. Young won the ball again, and kicked for goal, only for it to slew off the side of the boot and miss. Geelong by two points. Hawthorn won the ball back again, Franklin marking 70m from goal. He looked for options, then roosted the ball long towards goals. The siren sounded, the crowd took cover as the ball sailed out on the full. I’ve missed Saturday afternoon footy.

Geelong 3.3—5.6—8.8—12.13.85

Hawthorn 4.4—6.7—8.14—11.17.83


Geelong-Stokes 4, Podsiadly 2, Chapman 2, Byrnes, Ablett, Varcoe, Bartel

Hawthorn-Franklin 3, Roughead 2, Lewis 2, Hodge, Sewell, Ellis, Young


Geelong-Bartel, Stokes, Selwood, Ling, Mackie, Taylor, Ablett

Hawthorn-Rioli, Gilham, Sewell, Franklin, Burgoyne, Bateman


69,220 at the MCG


3: Jimmy Bartel (G)

2: Cyril Rioli (H)

1: Mathew Stokes (G)

About Josh Barnstable

21 year old North Melbourne supporter from country Victoria. Currently living in Melbourne studying a Bachelor of Sports Media. Dreams of becoming a sports journalist and broadcaster.

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