Geelong was forced to fightback to win their opening match of the season against the Bombers at the MCG on Friday night. As the Cats struggled to gain momentum, Essendon jumped away but the Cats hit back in the final quarter to run away by 31 points.

AFL Rd 1 - Geelong Cats v Essendon

A four goal burst in the second quarter saw the Bombers kick away to an 18 point lead but the Cats replied with four of their own to take a five point lead into the main break.

The Cats look to crumble under the Bombers pressure after half time as Matthew Knights’ men booted the first four goals of the third term to take a 24 point lead, but the Cats hit back again to cut the deficit to just six points at three quarter time.

Geelong then slammed on eight goals to two in the final quarter to seal a comfortable win.

Geelong – 2.5, 8.7, 11.8, 19.11 (125)
Essendon – 2.3, 7.9, 11.14, 13.16  (94)

Mooney 3, Bartel 2, Ablett 2, Hawkins 2, Byrnes 2, Johnson 2, Kelly 2, Selwood, Ottens, Ling,
Essendon: Davey 2, Watson 2, Zaharakis 2, Monfries 2, Neagle, Reimers, Fletcher, Stanton, Howlett.

Selwood, Ling, Byrnes, Bartel, Ablett, Lonergan, Johnson
Essendon: Pears, Fletcher, Davey, Watson, Prismall, Howlett

Essendon: Neagle (knee)

Reports: Hille (Essendon), reported for charging Bartel in the fourth quarter.

Umpires: Vozzo, Farmer, Meredith

Official crowd: 57,772 at MCG

Dreamteam – Top 5

Brent Stanton – 145
Shannon Byrnes – 141
Gary Ablett Jnr – 129
Jimmy Bartel – 114
Joel Selwood – 107