Hawkins The Hero, AFL Cats Steal Thriller

Tom Hawkins goals after the siren for a Geelong win.

Robert Whiteby Robert White

Tom Hawkins stole the show, and the win, from Hawthorn by booting a goal after the final siren to secure a two-point with for the reigning premiers, their second two-point win against the Hawks this season.

Geelong was dominant in producing a nine goal first quarter, but fell away in the second and allowed the Hawks to gradually chip away at the lead. They completed the unthinkable when Brad Sewell kicked a goal with five minutes to go to put them in front, but it Hawkins that produced two goals over the final stretch to pull a desperate Geelong outfit over the top.

The Hawks dominated the footy after Sewell’s goal, but missed their opportunities. Four behinds and a missed free kicked gave Geelong just enough to win. Desperately running out of defence, Billie Smedts found Hawkins with a sly handball and he snapped in transition with a couple of minutes left on the clock. With their final run, Geelong raced out of defence and fed the ball into the run of Hawkins. He went back, ignored the siren as it sounded on his run up, and smashed home the winner from 50 meters as his teammates rushed him leaving the Hawks players to stand around in disbelief.

Hawthorn has been the dominant team of the competition since round 10 and they showed why after quarter-time. Paul Chapman led the Cats with three goals and Geelong took a 9-2-2.0 lead into the first break, but Gunston, Rioli and the other excellent Hawthorn ground level forwards brought it back.

They were within three goals at the half and hung around until they were eventually able to take the lead late in the fourth.

Joel Selwood was fantastic for the Cats, as was Mitch Duncan and James Kelly. For the Hawks, Sam Mitchell and Brad Sewell impressed on the ball.

Hawkins booted six and Chapman added four while Gunston had four of his own in the losing effort.