Andrew Brayshaw celebrates a goal during the round 10 clash between Walyalup and Geelong on May 20, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

WALYALUP'S season is well and truly alive after the club claimed its biggest scalp yet and continued a hot run of form with a 29-point win against reigning premier Geelong at Optus Stadium on Sunday.

The Dockers were made to fight for their fourth win in six games, but they stood up in the big moments down the stretch to kick away and prevail 16.10 (106) to 11.11 (77) and square their season at 5-5.

Their third win in succession leaves the club just percentage behind top-eight teams Adelaide and the Cats and right back in the finals hunt after their season was on the ropes at 2-5.

DOCKERS v CATS Full match coverage and stats

Having built a 21-point lead in the third quarter, Walyalup conceded late goals to lead by 10 at the final change before Tom Hawkins had a chance to cut that to just four in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter.


The champion goalkicker missed however, and the Dockers didn't give the Cats another sniff, with James Aish and Jye Amiss kicking clutch long-range goals before Michael Frederick sealed the deal. 

Midfielder Andrew Brayshaw was enormous with 33 disposals, 10 tackles and eight score involvements, with the Cats unable to contain the hard-running star who is back to his best.

Caleb Serong was not far behind him with 28 touches (15 contested) and a game-high 11 clearances, doing the grunt work on the inside and combining with dominant ruckman Sean Darcy (43 hit-outs) superbly.


The performance of 19-year-old sharpshooter Amiss, who kicked three goals, was significant as the Dockers look to progress this season with a young forward line that also includes Josh Treacy, 20, and Luke Jackson, 21.

It was ultimately a win full of substance and built with a depth of contributors, with the Dockers holding the Cats, who were missing several key players, goalless in the final term. 


Dual Brownlow medallist Nat Fyfe started his first game since round one after two as the substitute and was in the thick of the midfield battles before being substituted in the third quarter.  

For Geelong, losing back-to-back games after last week's defeat to Richmond has left their premiership defence in need of a boost they will hope comes quickly.

Big-bodied midfielder Mark Blicavs (18 and five clearances) worked hard, while Isaac Smith (18 and two goals) had some key involvements and Hawkins finished with a team-high three goals in his battle with Alex Pearce.


The Cats did not have a single player win 20 possessions or more, however, and lost the disposal count by 107.

They were able to kick late goals in each of the first three quarters to get themselves back in competitive positions after letting the Dockers chain multiple goals together.

But that proved a draining pattern, with the team unable to compete with the rampaging Walyalup when the game was on the line late. 


Sharpshooting Brayshaw keeps lifting
When Andrew Brayshaw gets his opportunities in attack this season he is not wasting them, kicking 7.0 to put him on track for a career-best return in front of goals. And the scratchy form that accompanied a knee niggle is well and truly behind him, after another terrific performance on Saturday. Brayshaw's second quarter was immense, tallying 12 disposals and four clearances, while also drifting into the back half when needed. Hitting the scoreboard has been a key to Brayshaw's evolution as a midfielder, kicking 12.12 last season. It's been a prominent part of his game for the past month, with five goals from his past four games as Freo's season has turned around. 

Andrew Brayshaw celebrates a goal during the round 10 clash between Walyalup and Geelong on May 20, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Stoppage scores hurt Cats
Ranked No.1 in the AFL leading into round 10 for scores from stoppages, Geelong was beaten at its own game in the first half on Saturday. The Cats conceded a massive 5.0 from forward 50 stoppage clearances in the first half, while kicking just 2.4 themselves from stoppages all over the ground. Without injured premiership ruckman Rhys Stanley, the Cats struggled to contain Sean Darcy and Luke Jackson's influence around stoppages and paid a price they're not used to paying. The final hit-out ascendency of 56-38 contributed significantly to the Dockers' clearance wins, with Blicavs and Max Holmes the best of the Cats ground-level brigade with five each.

Fyfe burst gets Dockers rolling
Dual Brownlow medallist Nat Fyfe took another step forward in his return from a foot injury and produced his best patch of form yet at the start of the third quarter. Fyfe had nine possessions (four contested) and three clearances during a 20-minute burst after half-time before being tapped out of the game as planned and replaced by Matthew Johnson. The Dockers booted four goals and built a game-high 21-point lead during Fyfe's burst of form. The former skipper, who started in the first centre bounce and was a regular in the midfield, finished with 17 disposals and four clearances, also flying for a mark and showing he could be still be the athletic star he was when back to full fitness. 

Nat Fyfe fends off a tackler during Fremantle's match against Walyalup at Optus Stadium in round 10, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos


WALYALUP           3.2   8.4   13.6   16.10 (106)
GEELONG              3.4   6.7   11.8   11.11 (77)

Walyalup: Walters 3, Amiss 3, Frederick 2, Aish, Banfield, Brayshaw, Darcy, Schultz, Serong, Switkowski, Treacy
Geelong: Hawkins 3, Henry 2, Smith 2, Stengle 2, Blicavs, Bruhn

Walyalup: Brayshaw, Serong, Darcy, Amiss, Walters, O'Meara, Banfield
Geelong: Hawkins, Blicavs, Smith, Bruhn, Henry

Walyalup: Nil
Geelong: Nil  

Walyalup: Matthew Johnson (replaced Nat Fyfe in the third quarter) 
Geelong: Oliver Dempsey (replaced Sam Simpson in the fourth quarter)

Crowd: 45,811 at Optus Stadium