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Five talking points: Geelong v Fremantle

Geel v Freo: Watch the last two minutes Enjoy the intense final moments of Geelong versus Fremantle
Harry Taylor of the Cats marks during the 2014 AFL Round 20 match between the Geelong Cats and the Fremantle Dockers at Simonds Stadium, Geelong on August 09, 2014. (Photo: David Callow/AFL Media)
Harry Taylor reeled in a remarkable 19 marks on Saturday night
1. One for the ages
It all came down to David Mundy attempting to kick a goal after the siren. He marked 50m out from goal with four seconds remaining and had to kick the goal to put the Dockers in front for the first time since the 10-minute mark of the first quarter. The siren went before he took his kick. Mundy kicked the ball long and straight but it just faded to the right side of the post, handing Geelong a two-point win. With two minutes to go Fremantle skipper Matthew Pavlich had hit the post from another long shot in an eerily similar moment to his long poster in round six, 2008, when Fremantle lost to Geelong at Subiaco Oval by one point.

2. Stevie J v Crowley
Steve Johnson v Ryan Crowley was the game's main event. Johnson is a brilliant, creative midfielder whereas Crowley is a tough tagger who never loses concentration. Both know their way to the Tribunal and both remain vital to their team's premiership chances. Crowley went straight to Johnson, assumed the role of villain and then followed the Cats star wherever he went. Part-vaudeville, part-uncompromising competitiveness, the battle was respectfully waged. Crowley annoyed but played within the rules and Johnson did his best to not become distracted, yet failed. Although Johnson had 15 disposals and won four free kicks, his influence was limited. Funnily enough Crowley has won a club best and fairest whereas Johnson has never been placed in one. Fremantle conceded 31 free kicks as the umpires jumped all over the Dockers, the most frees they have conceded all season.

3. No wonder Fremantle wanted Harry Taylor
In 2013, Fremantle put an attractive offer to West Australian Harry Taylor. He considered it long and hard before agreeing to stay at the Cats on a five-year deal. The big win for the Cats had never been so obvious before Saturday night. Taylor is the anchor in Geelong's defence. He began brilliantly taking four intercept marks in the first quarter, playing in front and repelling repeated Fremantle attacks. Corey Enright was equally brilliant, subduing Hayden Ballantyne and mopping up any deep attacking forays, while Andrew Mackie found space outside the contest and used it to great effect, kicking two goals and winning 14 uncontested possessions. Geelong's defence has been good all season but against Fremantle it was at its creative best and Taylor with 19 marks (nine intercept marks) was the general.

4. Hayden's absence makes heart grow fonder
Anyone uncertain about the importance of Hayden Ballantyne to Fremantle should read his statistics. Fremantle has a 65 per cent winning record when Ballantyne plays and a 27 per cent winning record when he doesn't. Of 29 games where the cheeky forward has kicked three or more goals, the Dockers have won 28. Whenever Ballantyne has been held goalless the Dockers have won just 52 per cent of the time. Ballantyne struggled against Enright but lifted the Dockers when he kicked a goal at the start of the last. Unfortunately for the Dockers the brilliant small forward had an off night with little going right. With Matthew Pavlich down, the Dockers found a goal source in Hayden Crozier who stepped up to kick three goals.

5. Can’t get enough of that wonderful Duff
Max Duffy became the 229th player recorded as kicking a goal with their first kick in the AFL. Duffy started as a substitute before coming on in the third quarter and kicking a goal from outside 50 to join the exclusive club. Duffy, 21, waited a long time to earn a chance after being an AIS-AFL Academy graduate and a talented junior basketballer. He was finally drafted at No.39 in the 2012 NAB AFL Draft after being overlooked. Duffy had trouble with hamstrings in his first season then took time to recover from a shoulder injury. His mum was unaware he had made his debut as she was climbing Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa as her son took the field. He had not been able to contact her to tell her the good news. Duffy chipped in with a second goal late in the game to put the Dockers within five points.
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs