Kelly sends humiliated Dockers a message
BEFORE the game Geelong chief executive Brian Cook had a message to the two Western Australian clubs: hands off Tim Kelly.
Fremantle took it literally.
During a 10-goal second-quarter blitz that wouldn't have happened very often against Ross Lyon-coached teams, the architect was Kelly, the mature-aged WA recruit who has been the story of the year at Kardinia Park.
Almost from the moment he burst onto the scene, there have been whispers that he might be able to be lured home.
The reason being the 24-year-old has three children, including twins who were born in January, with his partner Caitlin.
The pull of family over in the west for support is what the Eagles, in particular, and the Dockers have been keen to talk up.
Kelly's manager has helped pedal that narrative, although it must be noted the kid himself has always declared he loves playing for Geelong.
Cook took out the one wood and went whack on radio pre-game, declaring Kelly, who is contracted next year, wasn't going anywhere: "At the end of this year we will not be considering (offers)".
That was music to the ears of Cats fans who at halftime got out of their seats (well, they had already started sprinting from the pouring rain just a couple of minutes earlier) to applaud the work of Kelly and his gang.
His stats read 14 possessions (eight contested), four tackles, four clearances, four inside 50s and two goals.
While his nickname is a pretty simple one - "TK" - it really should be "Clean" as his ability to not fumble in any circumstances sets him apart even when he's mixing in company which includes Patrick Dangerfield, Gary Ablett and Joel Selwood.
With Collingwood doing the right thing by Geelong at the MCG, the Cats knew they were inside the eight at three-quarter time.
By that stage the lead was a stunning 88 points.
It has to be acknowledged how bad Fremantle was. In fact, they've never been any worse.
The 133-point margin was the worst in the Dockers history.
Remarkably they led by nine-points at quarter-time before then failing to kick another goal for the rest of the afternoon.
This was seriously Auskick stuff from the visitors and in the last three quarters Geelong kicked a record 23 unanswered goals.
That included 10 goals straight in the second quarter, six in-a-row in the third and seven more in the last.
Given how easy it was for the Cats, the question which started to be asked was whether it was actually good preparation for September.
Those who love omens would point to Richmond beating Fremantle by 104 points in Round 22 last year.
With 17th-placed Gold Coast next week at home, there will be no issue about confidence for any Geelong player.
In particular Tom Hawkins, who is clearly at the peak of his powers. His six goals taking him within four of Richmond's Jack Riewoldt in the Coleman Medal race.
Others to join in on the party were Brandon Parfitt with four goals, Kelly three, while Daniel Menzel, Jack Henry and defender Zach Tuohy kicked two each.
The stats sheet was meaningless really, although interestingly no Cat had over 30 touches with Sam Menegola leading the way with 27 from Kelly and Gary Ablett on 26 possessions.
Fremantle captain Nathan Fyfe, in his return game from a hamstring injury, led his team with 37 disposals but that was irrelevant.
A more telling stat was the inside 50 count which read Geelong 73, Fremantle 30.
What would have impressed Chris Scott was the performance of some of the lesser names, a couple who were probably on their last chance.
Jordan Murdoch and Jackson Thurlow looked the part and maybe the bigger body and experience could be the way to go instead of the kids.
Second-gamer Ryan Abbott again showed he is more than capable of holding down the first ruck position in the absence of Rhys Stanley, while Rising Star judges need to seriously take a good hard look at Henry given he was again one of his team's best.
GEELONG 1.5 11.6 17.9 24.14 (158)
FREMANTLE 3.2 3.2 3.5 3.7 (25)
Cats: Hawkins 6, Parfitt 4, Kelly 3, Tuohy 2, Menzel 2, Henry 2, Taylor, Menegola, Murdoch, Ablett, Thurlow.
Dockers: Sheridan, Mundy, Hill.
Cats: Kelly, Hawkins, Parfitt, Dangerfield, Ablett, Murdoch, Menegola
Dockers: Fyfe, Neale, Mundy.
Umpires: Rosebury, Stephens, Hay
Official crowd: 24,507 at GMHBA Stadium
3 - Tim Kelly (Geelong)
2 - Tom Hawkins (Geelong)
1 - Brandan Parfitt (Geelong)
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