Tom Hawkins lights up MCG as Geelong overcomes Hawthorn

Lightning delays Cats-Hawks match

Source: AFL

Not even a 43-minute lightning delay could stop Geelong from taking down Hawthorn by 36 points in club legend Tom Hawkins’ 350th game.

The Cats were cruising with a six-goal advantage before players were told to leave the field just before the start of the final quarter in the traditional Easter Monday MCG fixture.

Play resumed at 6.11pm, after the match was due to finish, with Geelong doing enough in torrential rain to win 17.4 (106) to 10.10 (70) in front of 67,020 fans.

After a stunning seven-goal opening quarter, the Cats had to contend with a fierce fightback when the Hawks reduced the margin to four points early in the third term.

But Geelong broke away again by kicking six of the next seven goals before heavy rain set in during the third quarter.

Officials were told by the Bureau of Meteorology that lightning was within a 10-kilometre radius, and the call was made to stop the match.

Once the teams left the field, AFL rules state they had to be off for at least 20 minutes.

Play was stopped in a 2021 game between West Coast and Melbourne at Optus Stadium due to lightning.

Power forward Hawkins was a valuable contributor in his milestone match, kicking two first-quarter goals and finishing with an equal game-high four.

Hawkins – who will become Geelong’s games record holder in six weeks – overtook recently-retired Richmond great Jack Riewoldt (787) to move to 13th for most goals kicked in VFL/AFL history.

Young Cats forward Ollie Henry, who looked sore in the warm-up before the match, complemented Hawkins perfectly with four goals of his own.

After missing the finals last year for the first time since 2015, Geelong have raced out of the blocks at 3-0 following previous wins against St Kilda and Adelaide.

Hawthorn remain winless, but coach Sam Mitchell would have been happy with the response after his men looked on course for a thumping at quarter-time.

In a blow for the Hawks, key forward Mitch Lewis injured his hamstring and failed to take any part in the last quarter.

Recruit Mabior Chol gave Hawthorn supporters some hope of an upset with three goals in an exciting burst during the second quarter and early in the third term.

No.5 draft pick Nick Watson thrived in the wet, kicking an opportunistic goal in the last quarter and going close to adding another for the Hawks.

But Watson was helped from the field by trainers with a suspected left ankle injury with just seconds remaining.

Geelong will face the Western Bulldogs in Gather Round on Saturday night, while Hawthorn (0-3) will play reigning premiers Collingwood at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday.


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