K rock Football

Easter Monday Memories

Harry Taylor pays tribute to Peter Burnett during the 2019 Easter Monday match. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

Easter Monday 2020 should have marked the 10th anniversary of one the most anticipated days on the football calendar – the annual now traditional clash between Geelong and Hawthorn.

First played in 2010, 18 months after the Hawks upset the dominant Cats in the 2008 grand final, early battles had the spectre of the “Kennett Curse” hanging over them, in which the men in the Hoops won 11 consecutive matches over their brown and gold rivals.

Veteran Geelong defender Harry Taylor has played in all but one of the ten match-ups, only missing 2018 due injury.

“A lot of Geelong fans and a lot of Geelong players have become so used to getting the privilege to play on Easter Monday against the Hawks,” he said.

“It’s been a building tradition for a long time, and it’s produced some of the more memorable moments in my career.

“Unfortunately, we’re not going to be doing it in 2020.”

Taylor provided one those memorable moments when he paid tribute to former Geelong board member and local publican Peter Burnett in last year’s win over Hawthorn.

After sneaking forward and kicking a goal, Taylor looked to the heavens and imitated taking a drink from a glass.

“It wasn’t pre-planned that celebration,” he said.

“As I was running in, it started coming into my head – I’m sure goalkicking coaches wouldn’t say that’s the best method approaching the goals; thinking about how you’re going to celebrate.

“But, I thought that would be a nice gesture for a very, very kind man.”

Twitter: @tom_king79

EASTER MONDAY – A SHORT HISTORY

2010 – Geelong 14.16 (100) def. Hawthorn 13.13 (91) Attendance: 68,628

The first Easter Monday clash. Hawthorn jumped to a 24-point lead at half time before Geelong hit back with a five-goal-to-two third term to cut the lead to four points. The Cats took the lead through Steve Johnson early in the final term. However, Jarryd Morton and Lance Franklin hit back for the Hawks. Geelong wasn’t done with, though, as Harry Taylor, Paul Chapman and Shannon Byrnes kicked late goals to help the Hoops over the line. Big man Brad Ottens picked up the three Brownlow Medal votes, while Cam Mooney finished with four goals.

2011 (Tuesday) – Geelong 17.15 (117) def. Hawthorn 15.8 (98) Attendance: 78,579

Played on Easter Tuesday with Anzac Day falling on Monday, a massive crowd was treated to another cracking clash in the burgeoning rivalry. Despite winning most key statistical categories, Geelong took all afternoon to shake Hawthorn, with the margin eight points when Chance Bateman goaled early in time-on of the final quarter. However, Mitch Duncan and James Podsiadly kicked late majors to ensure the Cats took the four points back down the highway. Veteran defender Matthew Scarlett scored the three Brownlow Votes – the last votes of his career.

2012 – Geelong 14.8 (92) def. Hawthorn 13.12 (90) Attendance: 69.231

James Podsiadly kicked the last three goals of the game as Geelong overcame an 18-point three-quarter time deficit to snatch a two-point win. Two of his five majors for the day came in time-on. Hawthorn did have the chance to snatch the lead back, but Jack Gunston – in just his second game for the club after crossing from Adelaide – missed his opportunity to be a hero. Jimmy Bartel was awarded the three Brownlow Medal votes.

2013 – Geelong 13.15 (93) def. Hawthorn 12.14 (86) Attendance: 76,300

Another thriller. Geelong led by just two points at three-quarter time but goals to Allen Christensen, 2012 hero James Podsiadly and Mitch Duncan to start the term proved to be enough. Luke Breust and Shane Savage kicked truly late, but it wasn’t enough for the Hawks. Despite the Cats claiming victory, the umpires deemed Sam Mitchell’s 37-possession game worthy of the three Brownlow votes. Mark Blicavs, who is now a two-time Carji Greeves medallist, debuted for Geelong.

2014 – Geelong 15.16 (106) def. Hawthorn 12.15 (87) Attendance: 80,222

The biggest crowd so far saw another Easter Monday clash in the balance at three-quarter time. However, as they had done in the previous four years, Geelong was able to hold off Hawthorn, which had regained the lead early in the fourth quarter. Leading by eight points, the Cats kicked six of the last eight goals, including three to Tom Hawkins. The star forward finished with five goals and was received the three Brownlow Medal votes.

2015 – Hawthorn 17.21 (123) def. Geelong 8.13 (61) Attendance: 73,584

Hawthorn finally got on the board on Easter Monday after completely outclassing the Cats. Geelong held a six-point lead at quarter time, but the Hawks kicked 14 goals to four from that point on. The margin could have been greater if not for Hawthorn’s inaccuracy. Jordan Lewis’ 35-possession performance caught the eyes of the umpire, and he received the three Brownlow Medal votes. Luke Breust was just as influential with five goals. Mitch Clark kicked three goals in his first appearance for Geelong, while Nakia Cockatoo made his debut for the Cats.

2016 – Geelong 18.8 (116) def. Hawthorn 12.14 (86) Attendance: 74,218

Patrick Dangerfield didn’t disappoint on debut for Geelong. The former Adelaide star, who just seven months earlier was being cheered as kicked for goal in the Crows final round clash with the Cats, was simply outstanding. He picked up 43 possessions (21 contested) as Geelong overcame a two-point deficit at three-quarter time to run away with a 3-point win. He polled the first three of 35 Brownlow Medal votes for 2016 – enough to win the award come late September. As well as Dangerfield, Zac Smith (Gold Coast) and Lachie Henderson (Brisbane Lions/Carlton) made their first appearances in the Hoops,

2017 – Geelong 20.14 (134) def. Hawthorn 6.12 (48) Attendance: 62,360

The Easter Monday match-up with the biggest margin attracted the smallest crowd. Geelong was in control for most of the afternoon and rammed home their advantage with an 11-goal final term. Steven Motlop, who had been dropped from the Easter Monday clash in 2015 for drinking in the lead-up to the game, picked up the three Brownlow Medal votes with a 33-possession, three-goal effort. In just his second game, James Parsons found himself in hot water for a stray elbow on Hawthorn great Luke Hodge that earned the young Cat a two-week suspension.

2018 – Hawthorn 17.16 (118) def. Geelong 18.9 (117) Attendance: 73,189

Maybe the best of the lot – unless you’re a Geelong fan. After a tight opening term, Hawthorn had the better of the second and third quarters to take an 18-point lead into the final change. The Cats fought back to level the scores thanks to a Brandan Parfitt goal at 26-minute mark. However, the final say belonged to Hawks veteran Jarryd Roughead, who kicked a behind with around a minute left on the clock. Tom Mitchell was outstanding with 40 possessions for Hawthorn and earned three Brownlow Medal votes. In his first Easter Monday game since 2010, Gary Ablett picked up one vote for a 35-possession effort. Jack Henry debuted for the Cats.

2019 – Geelong 17.11 (113) def. Hawthorn 13.12 (90) Attendance 66,347

Geelong maintained its unbeaten start to the season with a routine 23-point win. After wearing some early blows from Hawthorn, to lead by just one point at quarter time, the Cats were in control from that point on. Tim Kelly was sensational in racking up 29 possessions and three Brownlow Medal votes, while Gary Rohan’s impressive start to life as a Cat netted four goals.