Hawkins finds form as Cats crumble

By Daniel Hughes

Finley's Tom Hawkins found some form on the oval against Carlton on Saturday despite a narrow two point loss to the Blues in the dying seconds, finishing 12.7 (79) to 11.11 (77).

From the first bounce the Cats found themselves on the back foot largely from the outstanding hustle from Blues’ Eddie Betts.

The Blues stormed ahead in smothering display of defense and in their final 50, moving to a 5.3 (33) to 1.2 (8) lead at the end of the first.

Hawkins and the Cats witnessed much of the same intensity from the Blues who continued to dominate, the half time siren sounding with a 9.5 (59) to 4.6 (30) margin.

With the Cats trailing by 42 points during the third term, Hawkins looked to get his side back in the contest.

His set shot from 50m out looked to be sailing through but a complete brain fade from teammate Esava Ratugolea prevented a score.

Instead of shepherding the ball through on the goal line Ratugolea bizarrely fisted the ball back into play.

Footage from the game clearly shows his frustration with his teammate after the goal was spoiled.

Despite a short burst of offense from the Cats late in the third, after back to back goals from the boots of Gary Rohan and Hawkins, the Blues held a 35 point lead heading into the final term.

The Cats finally woke up on both ends of their home ground in the final stanza.

After only giving away a single point in the fourth, the Cats put together a 34 point quarter to come storming back.

The Cats brought it within a two point difference with scrambling play that lead to a Tom Atkins goal with about one minute left on the game clock.

The home side was unable to capitalise on final opportunities as Carlton superstar Eddie Betts laid a match winning tackle in the middle of the ground to secure victory for the Blues.

Hawkins had a solid game, finishing with two goals, one behind, 11 disposals, four marks and two goal assists.

His side will head to the MCG on Sunday to face off against North Melbourne.