HAWTHORN 2.0 7.6 11.8 17.14 (116)
GEELONG 9.3 10.5 14.9 18.10 (118)
In yet another classic game of football between the two sides, Tom Hawkins of Geelong booted a goal after the final bell to give his side a three-point win over modern rivals Hawthorn.
Hawkins’ goal meant the Cats extended their winning streak over Hawthorn to nine in a row, continuing the infamous “Kennett Curse” of 2008.
The Cats had the best of it early, gaining an incredible nine -goal lead in the first quarter against a highly-fancied and blatantly shell-shocked Hawthorn.
The Hawks, without Lance Franklin, had no answer to Geelong’s early dominance as the Cats of old came out to purr one again.
Paul Chapman was monumental in front of goal with three big ones in the first, while the midfield contributed a sizeable amount between them.
Returning from their date with what would have been a indescribably distressed Alistair Clarkson at quarter-time, the Hawks looked rejuvenated in the second quarter and pegged the game back to 17 points at half-time.
Despite the mini-resurgence, everything Hawthorn had been praised for in their recent run seemed absent in their performance.
Jarryd Roughead and David Hale looked lost in the ruck, Ryan Schoenmakers lost all confidence and the midfield was steam-rolled by the mixture of youth and experience in the Geelong core.
Still, despite the loss of the underdone Luke Hodge, Hawthorn continued to re-group amid worries that Geelong had run their race in a premature fashion akin to a late night infomercial.
The Hawks hit the front for the first time midway through the final term and held a 10-point lead before a clever Bill Smedts handball led to a Hawkins snap.
Then came the defining moments; Paul Puopulo tried to soccer the ball through the goals but only managed to send it across to a Geelong player deep in defence with 30 seconds on the clock.
Cyril Rioli then tackled Smedts but the umpire called play on despite an apparently illegal ball release.
The ball found its way to Joel Selwood with seconds to go in the middle, who promptly delivered the ball to the hulking Hawkins; 55 metres from goal.
Steadying himself, Hawkins was unfazed by the siren and released a monster punt that split the big sticks.
The Hawks players didn’t utter a noise whilst watching the celebrations and cooling down in the rooms afterwards.
And in yet another monster battle between Hawthorn and Geelong, the Cats proved their threat and find themselves just four points off their rivals in the Top 4.
Hawthorn: Gunston 4, Breust 2, Burgoyne 2, Puopolo 2, Rioli 2, Hale, Lewis, Roughead, Sewell, Whitecross
Geelong: Hawkins 6, Chapman 4, Duncan 2, Johnson 2, Christensen, Mackie, Walker, Podsiadly
Hawthorn: Bailey (illness) replaced in the selected side by Savage
Geelong: Hunt (quad)
Hawthorn: Shane Savage replaced Luke Hodge at three-quarter time
Geelong: Steven Motlop replaced Josh Hunt (quad) during the third quarter
Umpires: McBurney, Rosebury, Nicholls
Official crowd: 65,287 at the MCG