By Jason Phelan 5:20 PM
Sat 25 July, 2009
JIMMY Bartel has kicked a behind after the siren at the MCG to secure a one-point win for Geelong over Hawthorn in one of the games of the season.
The Hawks led by 28 points early in the final term, but could not halt a late surge by the Cats, who kicked the last five goals of the match to record a stunning 15.9 (99) to 14.14 (98) win in front of 64,803 fans.
Max Rooke booted the goal that drew the Cats to within a point and set up the frantic final minutes of a final term in which Hawthorn's Lance Franklin, Cyril Rioli and Josh Kennedy all missed shots on goal.
The ball was mired in the Geelong forward line in the last minute of a match that looked destined to be a draw until Bartel marked a tentative shot on goal deep in the right pocket at the Punt Road end.
With a wall of players lined up on the goal line the Brownlow Medallist pushed his shot wide of the left goal post to spark jubilant scenes.
Making the win even more praiseworthy was the fact that Geelong played out the majority of the second half without both key defenders as Matthew Scarlett then Harry Taylor left the game with groin injuries.
Joel Selwood played the game of his life with 42 possessions and 11 tackles, with Gary Ablett (33) and Jimmy Bartel (23) working hard in support.
Sam Mitchell was equally prominent for the Hawks with 38 touches with Brad Sewell (29) and Brent Guerra (26) also important.
Lance Franklin was clearly the most dangerous forward on the field with five goals.
Hawthorn's intent to harass the Cats at every opportunity was almost immediately evident as the Hawks earned two holding the ball decisions within the first minute and a half of the match.
But Geelong's response to the challenge was swift and telling with a Joel Corey tackle on Ryan Schoenmakers forcing the turnover that led to Max Rooke's opening goal.
Cameron Mooney's issues with set shots are well documented, but he sent his first attempt sailing through the middle from outside 50 and when Rooke added his second the Cats were up and about.
The beleaguered Hawks had to find something at 17 points down and 100-gamer Jarryd Roughead provided the spark when he whipped past Darren Milburn and Scarlett to gather a loose ball and slot a superb snap.
Franklin opened his account from his favoured spot, near the left boundary line just on 50, soon after and when Michael Osborne got on the end of a lightning-quick centre break the Hawks hit the front.
Hawkins is warming to his role as part-time ruckman and that confidence was evident when he took a good contested mark which he converted to send his side in with a five-point lead at quarter time.
Jordan Lewis made the most of an uncharacteristic Joel Corey fumble to bounce through the first goal of the second term, which largely belonged to Hawthorn.
Hawkins continued to grow in stature as he booted his second, but it was the calm before the Buddy storm as the big forward got hot with three goals in succession.
The first was a 50m dart from open play, the second an amazing snap hard up against the boundary line and the third an almost anti-climactic regulation set shot that saw Taylor moved in favour of Scarlett.
That match-up was a brief one, however, as Scarlett hobbled to the bench soon after to take no further part.
With the Hawks well on top around the stoppages, Geelong was in need of some luck and got it in the form of a poorly directed Guerra kick that Mooney intercepted and sent back over his head for a goal.
One sensed the Cats had weathered the storm and would have been happy to go to half time eight points down, but a rare Selwood error allowed Campbell Brown to goal as the siren sounded.
Taylor's day was soon over in a further blow to Geelong, but the Cats fought bravely to stay in the match after the main break.
Paul Chapman's goal to start proceedings preceded one each to Roughead and Franklin, but Cameron Ling and Selwood stepped in with a goal each to take up the slack left by Hawkins and Mooney, who faded badly after the main break.
There was still only 10 points in it when Ablett converted from point-blank range late in the quarter, but majors to Brown and Chance Bateman in the shadows of the siren pushed the lead out to an imposing 22 points.
Guerra's goal to open the final term appeared to have settled the debate, but the Cats were not to be denied and put on one of the most stirring late comebacks to seal a memorable victory. Geelong 4.2 6.5 10.6 15.9 (99)
Hawthorn 3.3 8.7 13.10 14.14 (98)GOALS
Rooke 3, Mooney 2, Hawkins 2, Chapman, Varcoe, Stokes, Corey, Ling, Selwood, Ablett, Hogan Hawthorn:
Franklin 5, Roughead 2, Brown 2, Rioli, Osborne, Lewis, Bateman, Guerra BEST
Selwood, Ablett, Ling, Mackie, Bartel, Mumford, Chapman, CoreyHawthorn:
Mitchell, Franklin, Sewell, Guerra, Lewis, Bateman, TaylorINJURIES
Scarlett (groin), Taylor (groin).Hawthorn:
Chamberlain, Jeffery, McInerneyOfficial crowd:
64,803 at MCGThe views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs
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