HAWTHORN has pulled off an Easter miracle, holding off a resurgent Geelong to win by 12 points on Monday afternoon.

While the Cats have won nine out of the past 11 Easter Monday encounters, this time it was the youth of Hawthorn instead of experience of Geelong that got the chocolates, with Sam Mitchell's side outlasting the Cats in the 14.8 (92) to 11.14 (80) upset at the MCG.

It couldn’t have started any better for the Hawks. Jai Newcombe set the tone in the opening seconds of the game by winning a huge contested ball steaming into Tom Stewart. It led to a Mitch Lewis goal 49 seconds into the game. Dylan Moore kicked a second goal minutes later and added a second from a second head high free kick to make it three goals before Geelong had registered a disposal six minutes into the game. 

07:47 Mins
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Highlights: Hawthorn v Geelong

The Hawks and Cats clash in round five

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Hawthorn got to the first break 23 points up and could have been much further ahead, with the quarter ending just after play stopped for minutes after Hawthorn ruckman Ned Reeves dislocated his shoulder and was helped from the ground.

HAWKS v CATS Full match coverage and stats

Just when the Hawks threatened to put some space between the two sides, after withstanding Geelong's momentum, Max Holmes stood up for the Cats, hitting Tom Hawkins with a clever snap which resulted in a goal, before snapping one of his own shortly after to reduce the margin to less than two goals. Then Moore kicked number four, this time crumbing and dribbling a goal at the city end as the rain started to tumble at the MCG. 

It took until the fourth minute mark of the third term for Chris Scott's side to lead for the first time and it felt like they would dig in and run away, just like they always do in these games. 

But these this is a different Hawthorn, under a new coach, forming a new identity. Now they have their most impressive win yet under Mitchell. A win against the odds on one of the biggest days of the fixture.

It all came down to a moment in the dying 90 seconds when Luke Breust mopped up a contest in the centre of the ground and found Mitch Lewis all alone deep inside 50 before kicking the sealer. 

03:41 Mins
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Last two mins: Lewis the hero as Hawks win Easter Monday thriller

The thrilling final moments between the Hawks and Cats in round five

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While Good Friday is yet to produce a truly memorable game – the past three games have been decided by an average margin of 85 points at Marvel Stadium – Easter Monday always delivers. The first game was decided by a single digit in 2010. Three others have been decided by less than ten points. 

These games have a habit of resembling a final and this was no exception. It was ferocious from the opening seconds to the final. And games of these intensity and importance amongst the supporter bases are about key moments, just like Lewis’ goal to put the game out of Geelong’s reach.

A week after being smashed by St Kilda on the same patch of grass, Hawthorn has moved north of the win-loss ledger to 3-2, level with Geelong.

00:34 Mins
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Gunston grabs his chance with left-foot special

Jack Gunston puts his side in the lead with this clever finish

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Hawthorn facing a ruck headache
Hawthorn has a problem right now. Ben McEvoy is out for at least the next couple of months with a neck injury and now young ruckman Ned Reeves could be out for an extended period after dislocating his shoulder in the opening quarter. The 209cm ruckman was dominating Rhys Stanley when he landed outstretched attempting to spoil and popped his shoulder out. With off-season recruit Max Lynch managing less than a half in his only appearance for the club – back in round one before he suffered a concussion – and only just cleared to return after entering health and safety protocols before exiting concussion protocols, Hawthorn might be forced to get creative – or start thinking about the mid-season rookie draft on June 1.

00:51 Mins
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Hawks lose ruckman in cruel shoulder blow

Hawthorn has been dealt a worrying injury concern with Ned Reeves hurting his shoulder following this awkward landing

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Poowong product on the rise
If last Sunday was his best game yet, this was something else by Jai Newcombe. The man who was signed from Box Hill after just six VFL games in last year's mid-season rookie draft is rapidly becoming Hawthorn's best midfielder. He isn’t yet, but his output is remarkable for someone who wasn't on a VFL list, let alone an AFL list at the start of last year. His first possession set the tone for the day when he won a hotly contested ball with three-time All-Australian Tom Stewart. And by the end of the day, he finished with a career-high 31 disposals. For someone who was playing on his 12th game, the Poowong product from West Gippsland might be much better than first thought.

Stengle shines on the big stage
With players young and old – Shaun Higgins and Ollie Dempsey – breathing down his neck, Tyson Stengle produced a timely high quality performance at the MCG. The former Tiger and Crow kicked four goals in round one but only one in the next three rounds. This time Stengle, who kicked 44 goals for Woodville West Torrens last year to earn another chance at AFL level, kicked three goals to provide Geelong with the spark they needed at times, dining out at the feet of Tom Hawkins and Jeremy Cameron.

HAWTHORN         5.3       8.4       10.4       14.8    (92)

GEELONG             1.4       6.6       11.10     11.14   (80)

GOALS  

Hawthorn: Moore 4, Gunston 3, Lewis 3, Breust 2, O'Meara, Mitchell

Geelong: Cameron 3, Hawkins 3, Stengle 3, Dangerfield, Holmes

BEST
Hawthorn:
Newcombe, Sicily, Mitchell, Moore, Scrimshaw, Impey
Geelong:  Stewart, Cameron, Smith, Selwood, Hawkins, Duncan

INJURIES

Hawthorn:
 Reeves (shoulder)

Geelong: Guthrie (corked quad), Bews (shoulder) Henry (foot)

SUBSTITUTES  

Hawthorn: James Worpel replaced Ned Reeves in second quarter

Geelong: Jake Kolodjashnij replaced Jack Henry in fourth quarter

Crowd: 48,030

More to come