GEELONG survived a massive scare from the tough tackling Gold Coast before running out 27-point winners at Metricon Stadium.
The Suns trailed the AFL ladder-leading Cats by only two points at the final break, but four unanswered goals in the final quarter was enough to hand them 13.13 (91) to 9.10 (64) victory.
Key forward Tom Hawkins’ four-goal haul was instrumental for the Cats, including the first two of the last quarter to help seal the game, while Tim Kelly again starred with 35 influential disposals.
The ladder-leading Cats were also well supported by Cameron Guthrie (21 possessions, 11 tackles), Mitch Duncan (two goals, 27 disposals, eight tackles) and Gary Ablett, who worked his way into the game after a quiet start, scoring two goals.
The former Suns captain was booed by the 13,144 strong Gold Coast crowd and let his frustration boil over late in the third quarter when he gave away an off-the-ball free kick for what appeared to be high hit on Anthony Miles.
Suns co-captains David Swallow (29 disposals) and Jarrod Witts (51 hit outs) starred for the home team, while Alex Sexton (three goals) was a threat in front of goal.
Gold Coast jumped out of the blocks early and looked on track to take a lead into the first break before late goals to Mitch Duncan and a classic Ablett left-footed snap levelled the scores.
It was the first time Geelong had not been in front at quarter time since round one.
Hawkins threatened to tear the game open for the Cats with two goals in the second quarter, but three first half goals to Suns’ forward Alex Sexton kept the home team in touch and only three points down at halftime.
Neither team could break the shackles in the third quarter, with Geelong heading into the final term with a two-point lead.
Hawkins’ fast start to the last quarter effectively helped seal the win for the Cats in coach Chris Scott’s 200th AFL game in charge.
© AAP 2019
GEELONG 4.3 6.8 9.10 13.13 (91)
GOLD COAST 4.3 6.5 9.8 9.10 (64)
Goals: Geelong: T Hawkins 4 M Duncan 3 G Ablett 2 J Parsons 2 J Clark T Atkins. Gold Coast: A Sexton 3 B Ainsworth D Swallow J Bowes J Martin J Witts P Wright.
Umpires: Robert Findlay, Andre Gianfagna, Cameron Dore.
Official Crowd: 13,144 at Metricon Stadium.