Hawkins pips Hawks in match of the year

GEELONG 9.3 10.5 14.9 18.10 (118)
HAWTHORN 2.0 7.6 11.8 17.14 (116)

3 Hawkins, 2 Sewell, 1 Mitchell

For a Geelong fan, beating Hawthorn with a goal after the siren is one of the sweetest tastes life offers. Only a big finals win beats it.

There’s no point building it up. Tonight the Cats won after being 51 points up, losing the lead with 2 minutes to go and getting it back with a Hawkins goal from 55 after the siren.

How do games like this happen? How do they keep happening?

The media and the AFL build genuine rivalries up and pump them for all they’re worth. There are few of them these days and as Rohan Connolly pointed out in The Age the Cats v Hawks rivalry is just about the footy…

…which is complete crap.

With all the advantages being of the most fashionable, wealthy address in Melbourne, its wonderful that Hawthorn have the ugliest guernsey in footy. Geelong has nothing aesthetic going on for it, but those horizontal stripes are gifts of deception and beauty.

It started in the 80s before the 89 Grand Final; Leigh Matthews’ hit on Bruns, knocking us out of the final five, getting Ablett snr, all this came before that big day in 89.

As Noel Gallagher once said of Blur during their rock ‘n’ roll class war, “the dirt under your fingernails isn’t a badge of honour, but it does make our souls fundamentally purer than theirs.”

From there, it’s built to here and we hate each other as much as it’s possible to hate another.

But for all that I tipped the Hawks by a lot and their start to game showed they had as well. The Cats were all over them, Johnson, Chappy and Hawkins slamming through the goals from the grunt of Kelly and Selwood in the middle.

But having amassed a huge lead so early in the game every Cats fan knew it couldn’t last and the Hawks had them back in their sights by half time, thanks to great work from Mitchell, Rioli and Roughead.

Geelong had been pinned back to a three-goal lead at the long break.

The third went back and forth like an arm wrestle with a howler of a free kick against Burgoyne missed by the ump and the ball flying back up the ground for a Hawks goal close to the bell.

The final quarter was like one of those Geelong eighties nightmares as the Hawks just never looked like doing anything other than running away with it. But only one man had been a winner over 98 minutes and he was wearing blue and white. And his name was Hawkins

After Sewell put the Hawks 8 points up they didn’t get enough men behind the ball and the swollen ken doll was able to snaffle a handball and curl one across his body for a goal.

Then came the final hand. Puopolo (who was magnificent most of the night) took a wild kick at goal and missed everything, Mackie squeezed a kick out of the 50 to Duncan who got it to Johnson who kicked it to Selwood in the circles who hit Hawkins on the chest on the 50.

The man, who until three weeks ago was the worst kick for goal in football, went straight back and slammed in through after the siren.

… and back to the Olympics. Oooo look trampolining, is that Michael Slater calling the diving?

About Hamish Townsend

Hamish Townsend was born and raised in Geelong, supports the Cats and lives in Brisbane.


  1. A beautiful piece. Beautiful hoops. And the beauty of surf and sky and dirt under the nails in the navy blue and white.

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