K rock Football

House impresses in VFL loss

Geelong’s Timm House marks in the VFL loss to Sandringham. (Marcel Sports Photography Image/Marcel Berens)

KEY position player Timm House could be edging closer to a potential AFL debut after another impressive performance for Geelong’s VFL side as the Cats lost a two-point thriller to Sandringham.

House was again solid down back as the Cats lost to the Zebras 9.10 (64) to 9.8 (62) in the curtain raiser at GMHBA Stadium.

The 194cm House took eight marks and had 26 possessions and is playing with a lot of confidence, something the Cats’ hierarchy will be noticing as they possibly consider him for a senior call-up in coming weeks.

“He got back to marking the ball and that’s what we drafted him for, his marking ability,” Geelong VFL coach Shane O’Bree said of House’s game.

O’Bree admits the Cats’ stop-start VFL campaign hasn’t helped House or Ryan Gardner’s cause to replace injured pair Harry Taylor and Lachie Henderson in the AFL side. But he has faith that both are in the selection mix.

“You’ve got to work for your spot and the draw probably hasn’t helped Housey and `Gards’ (Gardner) out much as tall defenders,” O’Bree said.

“It’s about them putting a good month together and being really confident in their game and knock the door down basically to get a game as a key back.”

CATS: McCARTHY MAKING PROGRESS

Jackson Thurlow was another on the fringe of selection that caught the eye, gathering 29 touches and nine marks.

He provided the Cats with lots of run through the midfield, especially when shifted into defence in the second half, while George Horlin-Smith was at his usual accumulating best with 31 disposals – of which 19 were contested – laid six tackles and had seven clearances.

Youngster Charlie Constable was busy early and finished with 24 touches, 12 of which were contested, and six tackles.

Zac Smith and Ryan Abbott battled hard in the ruck while Aaron Black didn’t return after suffering a shoulder injury early in the game.

In slippery conditions, Geelong began strongly with the first four goals of the game before the Zebras hit back.

Geelong led narrowly at thee-quarter time and early goals to VFL-listed Jackson Mclachlan, who again impressed, and Stewart Crameri stretched the Cats lead to 14 points and raised the excitement levels in the ever-building crowd.

But the Zebras hit back with two goals to goalsneak Beau Bailey and then majors to Jonothan Haidon and St Kilda-listed Maverick Weller put them 10 points clear late in the game.

Recruit Luke Kiel – the hero of Geelong’s opening round win a fortnight ago – goaled at the 30-minute mark to cut the deficit to just two points. But the Zebras held on for their fourth consecutive win over the Cats.

O’Bree would be left to rue an opportunity that the Cats let slip. They had 53 more touches and nine more inside 50’s than Sandringham.

The Cats are back at GMHBA Stadium next Saturday afternoon to take on Footscray.

MEANWHILE, Werribee was unable to christen its return to Avalon Airport Oval with victory against Casey Demons.

The Tigers fell short of the Demons by 16 points in the first VFL match since the completion of the $11.75m redevelopment.

Coach John Lamont was typically upbeat despite the loss.

“Over the last few weeks – in the practice matches and round one – we haven’t had great starts to the game; but today, we started well and were in front for the first half and much of the third quarter, he said.

“The Casey Demons, credit to them, were unfortunately a bit strong for us in the last quarter and ran out deserving winners, but there were some real positives from our guys.

“After eight debutantes in round one, Jack Brauman made his debut tonight and acquitted himself really well, so we’re getting games into players and the group is still coming together.

“We had a really good debrief after the game with some good input from the players. They’re disappointed but at the same time feel they’re on the right track, so there’s still a really good feeling among the playing group.”

Twitter: @GreenBradley

GEELONG 3.1 4.1 6.4 9.8 (62)

SANDRINGHAM 0.3 2.5 5.8 9.10 (64)

Goals: Geelong: Kiel McLachlan Buzza Black Miers Jones Smith Siggins Crameri.

Sandringham: Wright 2 Bailey 2 Longer Haidon Weller Battle Lamb.

Best: Geelong: House Thurlow Horlin-Smith Buzza McLachlan Reid.

Sandringham: Joyce Armitage Longer Answerth Weickhardt Cook.

At GMHBA Stadium.

CASEY 2.1 3.5 7.8 10.11 (71)

WERRIBEE 3.1 5.4 7.6 8.7 (55)

Goals: Werribee: Corbett 3 Gribble Robinson Barrack Munro Hooper.

Casey Demons: Scott 2 Pedersen 2 King Hunt Maynard Balic Weideman Smith.

Best: Werribee: Gribble Moloney Corbett Nott Hanson McFarlane.

Casey Demons: Hunt White King Lockhart Stretch Smith. At Avalon Airport Oval.

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