Round 1 – Geelong v Hawthorn: Cats get the chocolates

GEELONG VERSUS HAWTHORN
3:20, MONDAY 28 MARCH
MELBOURNE CRICKET GROUND

 

Easter is always a celebrated time of the year for my family. A big holiday with our cousins, chocolate eggs in baskets, smiles everywhere and the traditional Easter Monday Geelong, Hawthorn clash. From the crack of dawn on Easter Monday our attention changes immediately from Easter eggs and rabbits, to a hard fought up-coming game of footy between two fierce rivals. Our beloved Cats and those Hawks. When I have breakfast I ask my aunty, who’s sitting next to me if she could find out the score of last night’s game. As she is scrolling through the news we notice an article with the headline stating ‘Hawks too busy being great’. We’ll see about that we both thought.
After a fairly relaxing car trip home my parents and I are all eager for the football to begin. The Stawell Gift has just been completed and the focus now is well and truly on the footy. Both teams enter the field. The roar of the crowd is a little more subtle than I would have expected. The MCG is however full and ready for a great game.

 

Selwood and Dangerfield standing on opposite sides of the centre circle, who would have ever thought, picked up by Mitchell and Rioli. There’s no clear winner in the ruck contest, Zac Smith however gets the clearance and jabs it into the Cats fifty. The mark is intercepted by Taylor Duryea and the game instantly becomes a fast paced fight for the footy. Geelong are showing good signs however after about eight minutes of no score it’s Breust who strikes first for the Hawks.
Geelong almost instantly respond as Zac Smith goes flying over the pack after being nudged by Stratton, resulting in a free kick 15 metres out straight in front. At the next centre bounce the ball spills out in the boundary lines direction, before Jimmy gathers it and snaps it to a lively Lincoln McCarthy playing only his sixth game. He looks very rushed and as the umpire signals ‘play on’ McCarthy bombs the ball from at least sixty out in the Hawkins direction. As James Frawley is too busy restraining the Tomahawk contesting the mark the ball sneaks past the pair of them and McCarthy has his first goal (of many I presume) in the AFL. Very soon after, Zac Smith is in the action again and finishes claiming his second goal in the hoops.

 

The mood in our lounge room is great. The Catters lead the Hawks by two goals and it doesn’t stop there. Josh Caddy completes a set shot and gives the Cats a reasonably good lead at the quarter break. I take a break at quarter time jumping around with excitement ‘go cats’ is being yelled by all three of us as the second term begins. In the opening 30 seconds McCarthy is in the action again going up for mark of the year but spilling it. Motlop scores in the goal square (cleanly) them McCarthy (not as cleanly) scores in the square as well. The cats have a commanding 25 point lead. Only momentarily as Langford hits back making his set shot count. Zac Smith is in the action again claiming his third in the half on debut for his new club. Puopulo uses his soccer skills to gift Hawthorn another goal, soon after Langford bends one back and that big margin is decreasing. Our lounge room is a little bit tense knowing what Hawthorn have done to their opposition in recent times. Not to worry as two set shot goals to Hawkins and Caddy steady the ship. Jack Gunston someone who rarely misses set shots can’t hit his and the mood is calm. The Hawks score another before those trustworthy Cats respond with two majors. The half time siren goes and we have a strong lead of thirty points. If we were playing anyone else I would feel relatively comfortable, but not the Hawks, after what has happened in recent times. As play resumes my parents go out to Dads shed which is loaded with Cats posters from our triumphs in 07, 09, and 2011. As I make my way back into the lounge room I notice a wristband on the wall of the shed stating 2008 premiers and coloured blue and white. It must have been purchased before the game. I don’t know why in the world my Dad would keep that. It turns out his Sister Catherine had it made up in Thailand at the start of that season.

 

The third quarter is the mounting to a Hawks comeback, goals to Puopolo, Gunston and Burgoyne in the first ten minutes concerns me, come on cats I keep thinking. I don’t really want to leave the room to get my remaining Easter eggs from yesterday’s egg hunt, in which I was quite successful. An Easy goal to Hawks youngster Billy Hartung gets the margin to within a goal. Puopolo gives the Hawks the lead for the first time since the opening stages of the first quarter. The third quarter was the Hawks quarter no doubt about that as they are two points ahead going into the final quarter. My nerves are terrible, I don’t want to lose to the Hawks, again.

 

The last quarter was fairly free flowing but stressful none the less. It began with a beautiful Darcy Lang snap, followed up by a set shot from Jack Gunston. The ball is currently inside Hawthorn’s forward 50 and Dangerfield is clearly held to the ground by Shaun Burgoyne. No free kick is paid, our lounge room is puzzled and so is Danger so much so that he yells at the umpire and points at him fiercely. The umpire then signals a Hawthorn free kick, we all had no clue what was going on.

 

Langford lined up for goal but missed (to our delight). Cam Guthrie scores a lovely goal from outside fifty, then Danger misses a fairly simple shot. He follows up by taking an absolute screamer in the goal square, then missing that as well. ‘He’ll get the eight point play I bet you’ the commentator suggests. Although he didn’t the team ended up getting a ten point play when Lachie Henderson, also on debut in the hoops gets a set shot. Breust kicks one for Hawthorn the margin is five points again. The Cats never looked fazed in the end late goals to Caddy, Lang and Murdoch seal the deal.
We’ve done it, beaten the Hawks on Easter Monday. If Patrick Dangerfield isn’t on the front page of the Addy tomorrow I’ll be shocked. How would Adelaide feel, why did this guy leave us? A career high 43 possessions but playing for the Cats. If you were a Cats fan or any footy fan for that matter and hadn’t heard of the name Patrick Dangerfield before the game, you would now.

 

My votes

 

3 P.Dangerfield (Geel), 2 C.Enright (Geel), 1 M.Duncan (Geel)

About John Sullivan

John Sullivan is a 12 year old cats fan. He loves the cats and would love 2016 to be year of the cats. He also plays and follows many different sports, but footy is his favourite

Comments

  1. Great job, John – the Shed lives!

  2. John Quelch says

    A well written and balanced report, great work. But come on, 2 votes to C. Enright…stretching it a bit and not even 1 to Z. Smith. Maybe you don’t see him as a real Cat yet?

  3. Cat from the Country says

    Great story. I relived it with you

  4. Wonderful report John. The Cats looked on and ready to play. Lets hope 2016 works out well.

  5. Paul Spinks says

    On yer, John. It was great to see the boys playing with spark again, and with enthusiasm for the chase and tackle. Long may it continue.

  6. What a fantastic well written account John, so exciting, you have sent me back to the MCG again by reading your words. I can see a future sports writer in the making here… Well done and GO CATS!!!!

  7. John, this is an excellent piece, which has described the game really well. I look forward to reading more of your accounts of the Cats’ season!

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