Hawkins stars as Geelong pip Port in AFL

·2-min read

Geelong's Tom Hawkins has booted two last-gasp goals to sink Port Adelaide by 12 points and keep the Cats top of the AFL ladder.

Geelong trailed by seven points at three quarter-time but triumphed 16.10 (106) to 14.10 (94) in a wildly swinging affair at Adelaide Oval.

The defeat leaves Port on the brink - they're six premiership points behind eighth-placed Richmond with four games remaining before the finals.

"It's not too hard for us; it's not too hard for me," Port coach Ken Hinkley said of his side's predicament.

"The reality is it might get taken out of our hands but ... whatever chance we have, we will stay in the contest as long as we possibly can."

The Cats retain top spot after Hawkins scored two clutch goals with four and three minutes remaining respectively - the final two scores of the thriller.

Geelong led by 34 points at halftime but Port's Charlie Dixon triggered an astonishing third-term comeback as the hosts booted eight goals to one.

Dixon booted two goals from 11 disposals, took five marks, had two score assists and two inside 50s in a brilliant quarter.

His feats propelled the Power to their seven-point lead at three quarter-time, when Geelong coach Chris Scott issued a simple directive to his Cats.

"Three quarter-time in a big game, in an environment which sometimes mimics a final, this is a situation that is impossible to recreate in training so let's embrace that moment and go after it," Scott said of his message.

His players responded instantly: spearhead Jeremy Cameron goaled just 13 seconds into the last term - the first of Geelong's four goals to Port's one.

But scores were tied with only four minutes remaining, when Hawkins stepped up with two game-winning goals in two minutes.

Hawkins finished with four goals for the game, Cameron kicked three, while defender Zac Tuohy collected a game-high 27 disposals and Tom Atkins and Cam Guthrie both had 24 touches.

The Cats lost Rhys Stanley to a knee injury which coach Scott said would sideline the ruckman for "the medium term".

Dixon (23 disposals, two goals) was a standout for Port along with Mitch Georgiades (three goals), Sam Powell-Pepper (19 disposals, two goals) and Aliir Aliir (23 touches, 11 marks).

But the Power will lose Dan Houston for next weekend's clash with Collingwood after the utility was concussed and substituted out of the loss to the Cats.

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