Gary Burton, Sam Ryan (8) and Justin Cortorillo of Bell Park combine to thwart North Geelong’s Nathan Cook (32)
North Geelong struggle to subdue Bell Park and Geelong downs Corio
By Roy Hay
The City of Greater Geelong Cup reached the half-way stage at Stead Park this week and the pattern of the competition is becoming clearer.
Tournament favourite North Geelong leads the table with nine points from three games, with Geelong Rangers in second place and Geelong third after two games apiece.
On Wednesday night North Geelong ran off to a quick two-nil lead against Bell Park but a long-range goal by Justin Cortorillo brought the Batesford boys back into the game.
In the second match, Geelong and Corio were locked at two-all at half time, but the host club powered away with three unanswered goals in the second period.
Callum Ferguson’s cross cleared the defence and Daniel Roksa headed in at the far post in the second minute for North Geelong.
Fourteen minutes later Aaron D’Antino lofted a high ball into the penalty area and Kristian Edwards got a neat headed deflection to beat Angelo Di Mauro in the Bell Park goal.
It seemed that North would run away with the game, but Justin Cortorillo found space and time about 35 metres out and fired the ball over Daniel Zilic, who had replaced Tom Dunn in the North goal at half-time.
Di Mauro made a brilliant flying save to deny Edwards and North skipper Mijo Trupkovic got his marching orders for something he said to the referee.
North held on to win with ten men.
James Agius scored a hat-trick for Geelong against Corio starting with a cross-shot from wide on the right which deceived everyone and finished in the far corner of the net.
Garrison Grigg must have been watching the earlier game because he brought Corio level with a goal from distance which flew over the stranded keeper.
Agius did another run down the right and this time dinked the ball over the keeper into and then through the net.
Corio came back again as Daniel Wilson ran straight at the defence and released a low shot which beat the unsighted keeper.
The second half belonged to Geelong as Agius completed his hat-trick, then Michael Trigger rounded substitute keeper Simon Smyth and scored neatly.
The final goal came with only a couple of minutes left as Matthew Nikolic took a pass from Agius and knocked the ball home.
On Friday, Geelong Rangers takes on Geelong at 7 pm, followed by Bell Park against Surfcoast at 8.20pm.