Top Four Geelong Fall to North Melbourne in Semi-Final
Geelong 13.14 (92)
North Melbourne 14.14 (98)
In a real nail biter that went down to the wire sixth placed North Melbourne took out, top four finisher, Geelong in Friday night’s semi-final.
The ABC reported the action
A massive mark in defence from ruckman Todd Goldstein helped North Melbourne advance to its first preliminary final since 2007 after upsetting Geelong by six points their semi-final.
The Kangaroos led by 32 points at the 14-minute mark of the final term of Friday night’s clash before the Cats booted the last four goals of the match to almost force a draw.
North won 14.14 (98) to 13.14 (92) and were led in midfield by Nick Dal Santo and Sam Gibson while Drew Petrie had a big game up forward with four goals.
Key forward Tom Hawkins was almost the match-winner for the Cats with five goals, including three in the final term, while Josh Walker booted three majors.
Josh Caddy, Mitch Duncan and Joel Selwood were busy for the Cats in midfield in a tense finish in front of 65,963 fans at the MCG.
Lindsay Thomas kicked all three of his goals for North in the first term as the Kangaroos booted seven majors.
A sloppy kick-out from full-back by Geelong’s Andrew Mackie gifted Todd Goldstein a goal as the Kangaroos hopped to a 30-point lead at the 28-minute mark of the first quarter.
The Cats stopped North’s momentum however with three late goals including one after the siren to Tom Hawkins to reduce the margin to 12 points at the first break, 7.1 (43) to 5.1 (31).
The Kangaroos added only two goals in the second term but they still doubled their lead as the Cats were held goal-less.
North were ahead 9.6 (60) to 5.6 (36) at half-time and the Kangaroos booted three goals to Geelong’s three in the third term to hold their 24-point advantage at three-quarter time.
Jack Ziebell kicked two goals in three minutes to seemingly make a hero of himself for the Kangaroos. But Hawkins responded with three consecutive goals to make the margin 12 points.
Geelong’s September specialist Jimmy Bartel kicked a goal with two minutes and 26 seconds left and it was just a goal the difference.
The Cats were surging late before Goldstein took a huge pack mark in defence with less than 30 seconds on the clock to hold back the home side from one final attack.
Brent Harvey, returning from a three-game suspension, had 25 touches and was also a key player for North who will play the Swans at Sydney’s Olympic stadium in next Friday night’s preliminary final.
Fremantle and Port Adelaide battle it out in Perth on Saturday evening for the chance to meet Hawthorn in the other Preliminary Final.
By Max Power
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