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VFL Cats end run of outs

Sam Dobson celebrates a goal with his teammates in Geelong’s seven-point VFL win over Richmond at Simonds Stadium. (Geelong Cats Image/Arj Giese)

GEELONG has ended its five-game VFL losing streak with a rousing victory over finals bound Richmond in Saturday’s curtain raiser at Simonds Stadium.

The Cats led for the majority of the game, withstood a Richmond final quarter surge where it looked like the Tigers might run away with the result, and ultimately claimed a seven-point victory.

A Ben Moloney goal after the siren rubber stamped the 12.12 (84) to 11.11 (77) win.

It was a 56-point turnaround from the result when the two sides met back in Round 9 at Punt Road.

A relieved VFL coach Shane O’Bree said he was pleased to see his players get reward for effort in what’s been a tough season.

“There’s been a few six, seven, eight-goal losses over the last month, but the effort has been there and intent, and they’ve tried to implement structures,” O’Bree said.

“Last week (against Box Hill) we lapsed in the first half, but today they played a four-quarter effort, played the way we wanted to play, won a lot of critical contests when they needed to, and they got rewarded for that.

“Richmond are a really good team so (I’m) just pumped for the boys that they got the reward.

“There was 23 leaders out there.”

AFL-listed trio Timm House, Jamaine Jones and Ryan Abbott continued their strong late season form, while Aaron Black kicked three goals.

House took some crucial marks deep in defence in the last term, Jones worked hard to create opportunities for his teammates and Abbott gave his midfielders first use.

House filled the void down back left by the absence of Ryan Gardner (unavailable) and O’Bree said he had plenty of support when the game was on the line through the likes of Tom Ruggles and Campbell Floyd.

“Our whole backline, there was a few times we were scrambling and they had guys ahead of the ball and we found a way to stop and nullify the situation,” O’Bree said.

“(I’m) really pleased for Housey. There’s a lot of guys in the same boat (as him) that had an interrupted pre-season with little niggles and they’re just finding their form now.

“It’s disappointing we mightn’t have enough weeks for those guys to really show their full potential.

“We’ve got at least half a dozen to eight players in the team like that who are just getting wound up now.”

Tom Atkins (24 possessions, 18 contested, 12 tackles, nine clearances) showed why the Cats missed his hardness around the contest, while Moloney and Sam McLachlan also impressed of the VFL list.

Darcy Lang had 10 of his 15 touches in the opening term in his return game from injury after six weeks on the sidelines and laid nine tackles.

Big man Trent McMullan had 11 touches in his VFL debut while Bendigo Pioneer Brent Daniels collected nine disposals playing as 23rd man.

The Cats are on the road for the final time in 2017 next weekend, facing Collingwood at the Magpies’ Olympic Park base on Saturday morning.

MEANWHILE, Geelong’s VFL Women’s team has kept alive its finals hopes with a 32-point win over VU Western Spurs at Anthony Costa Oval.

After a scrappy first half where no goals were scored, the Cats turned the game on its head with a five-goal-to-nil third quarter.

Coach Paul Hood was full of praise for his team, which now faces Eastern Devils in consecutive weeks to end the home-and-away season.

“The players have put a lot of work into playing to a plan and to see it click like that for a quarter of footy today was outstanding,” Hood said.

“But it clicked because of the hard work they did in the lead up.

“Our players were really switched on around the contest and did a great job.”

Kate Darby finished with three goals to give her 14 for the season, while Maddie Boyd kicked two goals in an impressive performance.

Lily Mithen, Lara Williams, Richelle Cranston and ruck Erin Hoare also impressed.

Twitter: @GreenBradley

VFL MEN

GEELONG 4.5 6.8 8.11 12.12 (84)

RICHMOND 1.2 4.7 7.9 11.11 (77)

Goals: Geelong: Black 3 Buzza 2 McLachlan Capiron Moloney Webb Atkins Jones Dobson. Richmond: Lennon 3 Bolton 2 Lloyd 2 Mannagh 2 Moore Stengle.

Best: Geelong: Atkins House Ruggles Jones Moloney McLachlan. Richmond: Townsend Graham Short Hunt Lennon Maric.

At Simonds Stadium.

VFL WOMEN’S

GEELONG 0.4 0.4 5.5 6.5 (41)

VU WESTERN 0.0 0.1 0.1 1.3 (9)

Goals: Geelong: Darby 3 Boyd 2 Fedele. VU Western: Gogos.

Best: Geelong: Mithen Boyd Williams Cranston Burchell Hoare. VU Western: Tessari Morgan Hardeman White Lampard Mifsud.

At Anthony Costa Oval.