THOMAS Berry took a spectacular mark and kicked truly to get the Brisbane Lions within six points of Geelong at the 11-minute mark of the second quarter at South Pine Sports Complex on Friday.

Then Connor Ballenden dribbled a stunning goal off the outside of his right boot while running towards the boundary at the 12-minute mark of the last.

Unfortunately for the listless Lions, what happened in between those two highlights was nothing short of embarrassing as the Cats rattled off a remarkable 18 goals without reply, in fact scoring 113 unanswered points on their way to the 26.16 (172) to 8.6 (54) annihilation.

VFL TEAMS Willy gets the guns out

Keen to bounce back from a second-half fadeout against Footscray last week, Geelong took a while to find its groove, trailing by three points midway through the first term, but gradually worked its way into the ascendancy.

Berry’s mark should have been a spark for a home team coming off a century belting from Southport last week, but it instead woke the sleeping giant with the Cats kicking the last four goals of the quarter before piling on eight in the third and the first five of the last in an emphatic display.

In fact, the only downside for Geelong was a shoulder injury suffered by Jordan Clark in the third quarter that saw him finish the match on the bench in a sling.

Conversely, the only positive for the Lions was a solid return from a groin injury for star midfielder Jarrod Berry, who entered the fray in the second quarter and compiled 22 disposals and eight tackles in his first game for 10 weeks.

In the absence of full forward Josh Jenkins, the Cats shared the cream with 12 goalkickers, headed by four each to young forwards Francis Evans and Jackson McLachlan and ruckman Shannon Neale, while Ben Jarvis kicked three.

They feasted on another powerful display from Charlie Constable, who finished with another dose of leather poisoning in racking up 44 disposals – the second most for the Cats in the past decade behind Sam Menegola’s 46 in 2016 – plus nine marks, 10 clearances, six inside-50s and a goal.

Oscar Brownless continues to improve with 32 touches, while Quinton Narkle again answered his unlucky AFL omission with 26 and a goal.

Youngster Jy Chalcraft (25), McLachlan (25), Max Holmes (23), Stefan Okunbor (21) and Zach Guthrie (20) also topped 20 disposals as Geelong won disposals 420-306, marks 107-56, hitouts 47-28 and inside-50s 62-34, boosting its percentage by 22 points and moving back into the top four.

The Lions did lay 71 tackles to 64, led by Toby Triffett’s 11, while Rhys Mathieson had 33 touches, Thomas Berry 27 and Tom Joyce 27.

Twitter: @BRhodesVFL

FRIDAY, JUNE 25
Brisbane Lions 8.6 (54) lost to Geelong 26.16 (172) (Match Centre)

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