Hayek's Challenge

Brisbane continue to apply fierce pressure though and Geelong cannot clear forward, forced instead to go sideways and crab their way down the boundary line. Have we ever had both QF losers make the Grand Final? Q4: 3 mins remaining: Brisbane 6.6 (42) v 9.14 (68) Geelong - The Cats could rack up a much more realistic-looking scoreboard in these closing stages if they want. And this time Ablett does the business! No rung on the ladder, from position No 1 through to position No 8, was set in stone at the start of the round. When the ball comes back in McStay beats Stewart 1-1 on a marking contest and looks odds on to kick the set shot from 35m out. Chris Scott will be rueing some poor decision making from Gary Rohan and Sam Menegola, and poor skill execution from Gryan Miers.

Q4: 15 min remaining: Brisbane 5.5 (35) v 8.11 (59) Geelong - Selwood wins the opening clearance and Stanley launches it miles inside 50 but after a tussle Rohan is pinged for holding the ball.

Let’s do it one more time with feeling. Western Bulldogs and Collingwood will fancy their chances at the elimination stage, and perhaps beyond. That Miers missed mark a minute ago will really sting now for the Cats.

Q2: 10 mins remaining: Brisbane 3.1 (19) v 4.5 (29) Geelong - Another clearance win brings the crowd to life and a sense the momentum could be shifting slightly. Despite Cameron’s best efforts Geelong clear, but only as far as Brisbane’s midfield. Q3: 10 mins remaining: Brisbane 4.4 (28) v 5.8 (38) Geelong -Miers misses again - the lot this time - with a snap from 45m in front after McInerney fails to hold a simple-looking intercept mark.

The former Swan has had his share of errors tonight. They fly the opposite direction and look threatening but Brisbane hold firm. The final round of the season can be a damp squib. What was that about 10-2 free-kicks? The effort is always skinny and the teams leave the arena. Q2: 7 mins remaining: Brisbane 3.1 (19) v 4.5 (29) Geelong - Another free-kick, this time to Martin, should set up the Lions, but the big ruckman dallies and he’s called to play on before being hunted down.

But while one does not have to go too far back – to the Dogs of 2016 – to reference a flag winner from outside the top four, the focus must remain on those with the double chance. It was Ablett who profited, and the veteran was the key figure in that quarter, kicking 2.1 to hand Geelong a three-goal lead at the final break. QT | Stat LeadersGoals: Hawkins, ParfittDisposals: 6 - Duncan, O'Connor, Simpson, 5 - Dahlhaus, Dangerfield, Parfitt#AFLLionsCats #GeelongStrong, Available for everyone, funded by readers. By midway through that second quarter the game was on an even footing, and with the help of an incredible 10-2 free kick count in their favour, managed to trim the deficit below a straight kick. Q3: 6 mins remaining: Brisbane 5.4 (34) v 7.8 (50) Geelong - Bounce: Selwood, Guthrie, Duncan in tight, the latter offloads to Ablett on the burst, he skips out of the centre square towards the 50m arc, unloads and... goals! “I’m not even convinced we’re in the best just yet, but we have got the opportunity to prove that.”. That was as bad, if not worse, than Hipwood’s earlier. One win from their remaining two games will be enough to make the eight, but that could all come down to the last game against the Giants. Let’s hope he figures it out before his career’s over. Q3: 15 mins remaining: Brisbane 4.3 (27) v 4.8 (32) Geelong - Lyons catches Selwood holding the ball in the process of executing the clearance from the opening bounce of the quarter. Geelong clear along the right wing but it’s slow and the throw-in on centre-wing is inevitable. Finals berths, double chances, places in the pecking order: these things can find themselves cemented, in part, before the final act of the regular season, in spite of the AFL’s insatiable thirst for a grandstand finish. Geelong kick the first goal of the quarter. That Hipwood miss made my heart slump, I hate moments like that, especially after taking such a thumping mark. Which leaves us with Brisbane and Port Adelaide. Stewart has to mark smartly in the goalsquare in defence but his clearance soon comes straight back with interest. Q3: 14 mins remaining: Brisbane 4.3 (27) v 5.8 (38) Geelong - Henry takes a hanger just inside 50 for the Cats after a floaty centring ball for Dangerfield. Eventually Blicavs takes control, steps around a tackle and snaps on his left, but it’s wide. Predicted finish: 6th Melbourne's Max Gawn takes on … Ablett can’t cleanly crumb two taps though and Brisbane clear their lines. He tries to recover off the deck but his hurried snap is also wide.

AFL finals 2020, preliminary final: Geelong Cats beat Brisbane Lions – as it happened Geelong win 11.16 (82) to 6.6 (42) at the Gabba Richmond await in next weekend’s grand final However, despite reports the Saints’ request would be rejected and they’d be made to play in the City of Churches, the AFL had a change of heart and its official fixture announcement on Tuesday afternoon confirmed St Kilda will get its wish to play in Queensland. It seemed so far away and now here it is: Finals Footy. His second long-ranger of the night. But they still haven’t been able to kick clear and Brisbane are not out of it yet. I'm wondering if Meier's miss is indicative of what might happen after half time. Port have been top of the pops since round one, all the way back in March, but they face Collingwood in second place and will stay there if they fail to beat the Pies. Dusty v Danger, Tom Lynch v Tom Hawkins, skipper Selwood v captain Cotchin - it’s going to be a big week. They settle for a behind with a Lions defending spoiling a Hawkins snap. And it’s called for a push in the back! Got all that? 12 seconds from the umpire’s hands to a 16-point Geelong lead. Yet again, the Lions kick a goal to keep them interested. They had their share of performances though, Harris Andrews contained Hawkins for most of the contest, Lachie Neale forced himself into the game after a slow start and kicked two glorious goals, while Lincoln McCarthy was tigerish against his former side. Q4: 9.30 mins remaining: Brisbane 6.6 (42) v 9.11 (65) Geelong - The Cats take their time clearing their lines, eating up the clock, then Dangerfield asserts himself, showing his strength to mark under pressure then drill a decisive entry to the leading Tuohy. Geelong continue to press and force the quick turnover. He takes all his allotted seconds before heading for the top of the square which results in a ball-in. Geelong’s midfield has regrouped and their forward pressure is denying Brisbane a clear exit. Brisbane get inside 50 but it’s loopy and Stewart gobbles it up. A positive prognosis on Josh Kennedy’s left ankle will help, as will the imminent return of A-listers such as Jeremy McGovern, Elliot Yeo and Luke Shuey.

They close out the season with a narrow win over Carlton, three straight defeats and an off-season agenda that includes soul searching, soul searching and soul searching.

Q4: 7 mins remaining: Brisbane 6.6 (42) v 9.11 (65) Geelong - Zorko threatens to break the midfield open but Bews mops up for the Cats and clears for a boundary throw near halfway. Geelong switch from left to right but Brisbane match them stride for stride and force the turnover on halfback.

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