Jeremy Cameron celebrates a goal during the round seven match between Geelong and Carlton at the MCG, April 27, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

STAR FORWARD Jeremy Cameron has kicked five goals as Geelong held off a fast-finishing Carlton to extend its unbeaten start to the season with a pulsating 13-point win at the MCG.

But the Cats lost captain Patrick Dangerfield to a hamstring injury in the 18.10 (118) to 15.15 (105) victory in front of 87,775 fans on Saturday night.

Dangerfield (16 disposals, one goal) was explosive out of the middle before being forced off early in the third quarter as Geelong (7-0) went a game clear on top of the ladder.

CATS v BLUES Full match coverage and stats

It was Dangerfield's second game back after he sustained a separate hamstring injury in round two.


The injury-ravaged Blues were strong in the contest, but slipped to their second defeat of the season.

Carlton trailed by 33 points midway through the final term but rallied with four goals in time-on to trim the margin to eight points, before Cameron shut the gate with his fifth major from a set shot.

Cameron was well supported in attack by Zach Tuohy and Ollie Henry, who kicked three goals each, while fellow tall Tom Hawkins was well held by Jacob Weitering.


Max Holmes (26 disposals), Mitch Duncan (24) and Gryan Miers (22) were all busy for Geelong, and Cam Guthrie (27) was influential in his long-awaited return from injury.

Carlton ruckman Marc Pittonet continued his strong form with 19 disposals, 28 hit-outs and a career-high 11 clearances, while midfield stars Patrick Cripps (29 touches, two goals) and Sam Walsh (31 disposals) fought hard.

There was a pre-match blow for the Blues when goal-sneak Orazio Fantasia withdrew because of illness, paving the way for 19-year-old speedster Jaxon Binns to debut as the substitute.


Guthrie marked his comeback with an early hanger over Matthew Cottrell and Geelong led the wasteful Blues 5.2 to 2.8 at the first break, despite Pittonet's dominance in the middle.

Cameron reached the 600-goal milestone with his second of the night when he accepted an expert Hawkins hit-out from a ball-up and snapped truly, contributing to the Cats' 19-point lead at half-time.

Dangerfield's injury was a huge blow, but Geelong was still 11 points clear at the final change after Henry booted a controversial goal when his off-the-ball hold on Zac Williams went unnoticed by the umpires.


The Blues registered the first three scores of the last quarter, but they were all behinds, and Tuohy punished his former club with his third major on a fast break.

It was the first of four straight Cats goals that looked to have put the game beyond Carlton's reach.

But Geelong had to withstand one final surge, and Cameron stood up when needed in the dying stages.


600 and counting
Carlton fans over 50 are still likely to call out 'JEZZA!' anytime they catch a football or simply get their aging feet off the ground, but it was Geelong supporters who called out the name at full volume on Saturday as Jeremy Cameron slotted his 600th career goal in the second quarter. And he did it with typical style, roving to his forward buddy Tom Hawkins before snapping at right angles across his body and continuing to run towards the boundary to share the moment with the Cats' crowd.


Brotherly shove
When brothers come up against each other there's always a mention in the lead up to a game, and with Sam De Koning playing his 50th against big bro' Tom there was a little extra interest. Blues coach Michael Voss recalled facing his younger sibling Brett back in the day, saying his priority was to 'bash' the Lion-turned-Saint whenever he got the chance. It appears the Cats' De Koning paid more heed to the advice than Voss' charge Tom, with Sam's front-on contact in a marking contest late in the first quarter sending his brother from the ground for a concussion test. TDK looked shaky and started the second term on the bench but soon returned to the action, refusing to let his little brother take him out of the game.


The Blues' firestarter almost did it again
After six years at St Kilda and three at Fremantle it looked like Blake Acres was never quite going to realise the potential the Saints saw in him when they took him in the first round of the 2013 Draft. However, his two seasons at Carlton have seen him consistently at his best, more than once driving the Blues to inspirational wins, and he almost did it again on Saturday. With the lead four goals away and just minutes on the clock Acres decided it wasn't over yet, kicking two clutch goals to bring Carlton within eight points and on the verge of the most amazing comeback victory. Thanks to Jeremy Cameron they didn't get there, but Michael Voss knows that when he needs a firestarter Acres will always be there to provide the spark.



GEELONG    5.2    10.4    13.9     18.10 (118)
CARLTON    2.8     6.9    11.10    15.15 (105)

Geelong: Cameron 5, Tuohy 3, O.Henry 3, Miers 2, Bowes, Stengle, Holmes, Dangerfield, Blicavs
Carlton: Curnow 3, McKay 2, E.Hollands 2, Acres 2, Cripps 2, Cottrell, Carroll, Boyd, Kennedy, 

Geelong: Miers, Cameron, Holmes, Tuohy, C.Guthrie, Bruhn
Carlton: Cripps, McKay, Weitering, Acres, Walsh, Hewett

Geelong: Dangerfield (hamstring)
Carlton: Nil

Geelong: Nil
Carlton: Orazio Fantasia (illness) replaced in selected side by Jaxon Binns

Geelong: Tom Atkins, replaced Patrick Dangerfield in the third quarter
Carlton: Jaxon Binns, replaced Matthew Owies at three-quarter time

Crowd: 87,775 at the MCG