Sloppy Cats push past plucky Tiges

Geelong coach Chris Scott.

Geelong snapped its worst losing streak in 18 years with an unconvincing 30-point win over Richmond, charging home after facing a monumental upset at GMHBA Stadium.

After starting the match as $1.05 favourites with bookmakers, the Cats trailed by 29 points late in the second quarter, but finally started to lift with two goals just before halftime to trail by 16 points at the main break.

Geelong slammed through six goals in the third quarter to lead by three points at the final change, finally steamrolling the plucky Tigers in the final term to win 15.9 (99) to 10.9 (69).

After taking the lead for the first time 20 minutes into the third quarter, the Cats dominated the second half, scoring 14.6 to Richmond’s 3.2.

The result broke a four-game losing run – their worst in Chris Scott’s 14 seasons as Geelong coach – after starting the season 7-0.

It also allowed the Cats to avoid losing three straight at their Kardinia Park fortress for the first time since 2006.

Although Scott would have been fuming with the Cats’ first half, he would have been pleased how Geelong turned the game around.

It was not the Cats’ stars such as Tom Stewart, Jeremy Cameron and Mitch Duncan who got them back in the contest.

Athletic forward Ollie Dempsey dominated with three goals and 27 possessions, while Tom Atkins got busy in the midfield.

Former Gold Coast midfielder Jack Bowes surged out of the centre with 10 clearances and was regularly dangerous in his best game for the Cats.

Geelong forward Ollie Henry is facing a stint on the sidelines after being subbed out in the second quarter with a hamstring injury.

Two weeks after being pummelled by 119 points by the Brisbane Lions in what coach Adem Yze hoped was rock bottom, Richmond were brave at a venue they had not ventured to since 2017.

But they were made to pay for some sloppy errors that let Geelong back in the game late in the second quarter.

Dual Richmond premiership utility Marlion Pickett had a dirty night, giving the middle finger to Cats supporters after being subbed out in the last quarter.

Already injury-hit, Richmond will be without Mykelti Lefau after the forward did an ACL in the final term.

The Tigers slumped to 1-11 with an eighth consecutive defeat – their worst losing streak since 2010, triple premiership coach Damien Hardwick’s first season in charge.