GEELONG has continued its up-and-down season and ended Port Adelaide's four-game winning run with a 35-point victory at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Cats improved to a 6-4 record, having gone win-loss-win-loss-win-loss-win across their past seven games with the 11.16 (82) to 7.5. (47) triumph to stay in touch with the top four, while the Power slip to 4-6.
Port Adelaide led by one point at half-time before Geelong kicked away with five goals to one in the third quarter led by Tyson Stengle with two majors.
Patrick Dangerfield was subbed out of the game in the fourth quarter with calf tightness, having battled illness during the week but didn’t seem too concerned post-game.
Cameron Guthrie was exceptional for the Cats with a game-high 37 disposals including 15 contested possessions and 12 score involvement, while Tom Stewart was brilliant in the backline with 27 disposals, eight marks and a game-high 13 intercepts.
CATS V POWER Full match details and stats
Stengle finished with three goals along with Jeremy Cameron, who booted a sensational set shot barrel from 55m after the three-quarter time siren.
Geelong was wasteful in front of goal having dominated the inside 50s 57-43, including 17-5 in a lopsided third term.
Power midfielders Ollie Wines (29 disposals), Dan Houston (30 disposals) and Travis Boak (25 disposals) all gathered plenty of footy for the Power, but they lost the contested possession count 150-120.
Kane Farrell (460 metres gained from 18 disposals) offered several highlights for Port Adelaide with two long left-footed goals along with a piercing pass for Robbie Gray's second quarter major.
The opening goal took 20 minutes in the first term before Jeremy Finlayson kicked truly from a tough angle. Geelong kicked three goals in a row to lead by 11 points at the first break. Port responded with the next three in the second term to hit the lead before Tom Hawkins' goal stemmed the momentum prior to half-time.
The Cats, however, were dominant in the third quarter, with five unanswered goals including a rare goal to defender Jake Kolodjashnij, just his third of his career in his 142nd game. Hawkins nailed a classy snap from the boundary in the last as Geelong ran out comfortable winners.
Cats re-assert home dominance
Geelong had lost three of its past five games at GMHBA Stadium coming into this clash, including a narrow defeat to Fremantle three weeks ago, creating doubts about whether the Cattery is still a fortress. The Cats have traditionally been dominant on their home deck in Geelong, arguably the toughest place to win for traveling sides. There were nervous moments but the Cats cruised home, putting the rest those doubts, for now.
Cameron's third-quarter time barrel
It's not often in modern footy that you see the torpedo deployed but the licence usually gets issued after the siren from long range, with nothing to lose and everything to gain. Cameron was afforded one of those rare opportunities after marking just outside the 50m arc upon the three-quarter time siren. In a similar range to where Duncan bombed home against West Coast last year at the same venue, Cameron's shot never looked like missing and opened up an unassailable 26-point lead.
Port bashed around the contest
The one glaring discrepancy with statistics was contested possessions (150-120), with four Geelong players topping the individual list led by Guthrie (15). Port's onballers may have accumulated plenty of touches but not enough were contested. Only nine of Brownlow medallist Wines' 29 disposals were contested, while Butters, Houston and Willem Drew only had eight, with Connor Rozee having seven.
GEELONG 3.6 4.8 9.11 11.16 (82)
PORT ADELAIDE 2.1 5.3 6.3 7.5 (47)
Geelong: Stengle 3, Cameron 3, Hawkins 2, Close, Kolodjashnij, Selwood
Port Adelaide: Farrell 2, Marshall 2, Gray 2, Finlayson
Geelong: Guthrie, Stewart, Close, Duncan, Stengle, Cameron
Port Adelaide: Farrell, Houston, Wines, Butters, Boak
Geelong: Dangerfield (calf)
Port Adelaide: Marshall (eye)
Geelong: Rhys Stanley and Quinton Narkle replaced in selected side by Francis Evans and Cooper Stephens
Port Adelaide: Nil
Geelong: Gryan Miers (replaced Patrick Dangerfield in fourth quarter)
Port Adelaide: Martin Frederick (used)