Cats hold on for nine-point AFL win

Geelong have held off a late Richmond charge to win their AFL match by nine points at the MCG.

Trailing by 32 points midway through the last term, the Tigers kicked the last four goals before the Cats held on 12.13 (85) to 11.10 (76) on Saturday.

Cats veteran James Kelly was taken to hospital after he suffered a knee to the back in the third term.

Geelong defenders Jared Rivers, Tom Lonergan and Harry Taylor starred in a scrappy game, while key forward Tom Hawkins kicked three goals and had a hand in several others.

It was a better effort from Richmond after last week’s poor loss to Melbourne, but they paid for wasting too many scoring chances.

The two teams now have two wins from five games.

Cats captain Joel Selwood had a quiet match before he played a crucial role at the start of the final term.

He had two centre clearances that led directly to goals that gave Geelong enough breathing space.

A week after he was the sub, Geelong veteran Steve Johnson had an error-filled game.

But he also kicked an important goal early in the final term.

Captain Trent Cotchin was best for Richmond with 28 disposals, 11 of them contested, and six clearances.

Richmond had plenty of the ball early in the match, but only had five points to quarter-time.

Shane Edwards scored at 14 minutes in the second term to bring the Tigers to within two points.

But inevitably they paid dearly for not making the most of their chances.

Geelong broke the game open with four goals in six minutes, blowing the margin out to 28 points at the main break.

The Tigers hit back in the third term, moving David Astbury forward.

As Cotchin had 11 disposals, Richmond kicked four goals to two and reduced the gap to 19 points at the last change.

The MCG evacuation alert sounded at the start of the third term, but it was a false alarm.

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