AFL Irish round-up: Tuohy and O’Connor part of Geelong’s win over North Melbourne as victims of Sydney attack are remembered

Callum Brown relatively quiet as GWS Giants maintain unbeaten start to the season

Zach Tuohy is set to make the record number of appearances by an Irish player in the AFL
Zach Tuohy played in Geelong's win over North Melbourne

Callum Brown’s Greater Western Sydney Giants survived an almighty scare to defeat Saint Kilda 80-79 in Round 5 of the AFL season at Manuka Oval in Canberra on Saturday to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.

The ‘Orange Tsunami’ retain top spot on the season ladder and Brown’s pre-season prediction that they could go through the season unbeaten remains on track.

Trailing by 35 points (6 points for a goal) Saint Kilda booted five of the last six goals in a stunning comeback which rocked GWS. It took a heroic defensive mark from substitute James Peatling with just 41 seconds on the clock remaining to save the host’s from a shock loss.

Former Derry underage footballer Brown had a relatively quiet game by his recent sky-high standards.

The Limavady Wolfhounds man collected two disposals (three kicks & four handballs), two marks, and three tackles in the GWS forward line.

Despite missing out on a place in the Grand Final, Limavady man Callum Brown has established himself as a mainstay of the GWS Giants this season in the AFL
Callum Brown's prediction that the Giants could go through the season unbeaten is so far still on track but it's early days yet

Injuries to key players including Sam Taylor, who was taken to Canberra Hospital following a sickening head collision, dampened the GWS victory, but they remain the standout side in the AFL so far this year.

On Sunday, Zach Tuohy and Mark O’Connor helped Geelong to become only the second team alongside GWS to notch five consecutive victories this season after the Cats demolished bottom side North Melbourne 139-64 at Simmonds Stadium.

There were emotional scenes pre-game when North Melbourne coaches and players wearing black armbands paid tribute to Dr Ashley Good who was slain in the Sydney stabbing massacre on Saturday.

Dr Good was the daughter of former North Melbourne player and club director Kerry Good. Good’s nine-month-old daughter Harriet remains in a “serious but stable condition in hospital” following stabbing injuries to her stomach.

In the third quarter, Kerry’s Mark O’Connor (27) marked inside Geelong’s forward 50m arc and made no mistake with his set shot from close range to extend the host’s lead.

In the fourth quarter, Tyrone defender Aidan Corr attempted to clear the ball from inside North Melbourne’s defensive 50m arc but only succeeded in turning it over.

O’Connor marked but shanked his set shot wide when he should have booted a second goal.

O’Connor, who started on the interchange bench, collected 15 disposals (11 kicks & four handballs), nine marks, five tackles, and one goal.

Portlaoise veteran Zach Tuohy (34) finished the four quarters with 13 disposals (seven kicks & six handballs), three marks, and one tackle.

Mayo defender Oisin Mullin was left out of Geelong’s match-day squad.

Corr tallied 15 disposals (nine kicks & six handballs) and seven marks in winless North Melbourne’s back six.

On Saturday, the Adelaide Crows won their first game of the season in a 98-100 thriller against previously unbeaten Carlton at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium.

The Crows, who kicked the last three goals of the game in a pulsating contest, are now 1-4 for the season with their finals’ aspirations still alive.

Cork dual star Mark Keane (24) collected 14 disposals (11 kicks & three handballs), and four marks in the Crows backline.

Also on Saturday, Meath’s Conor Nash (25) was in the Hawthorn side that was hammered 109-56 away to the Gold Coast Suns at People First Stadium.

The second bottom Hawks remain winless, and their finals hopes are doomed.

Nash notched 10 disposals (four kicks & six handballs), four tackles, and one behind in the Hawks midfield.

Conor McKenna’s Brisbane Lions produced one of the results of the season on Thursday when they defeated the Melbourne Demons 60-82 in their MCG backyard.

The mid-table Lions are now 2-3 for the season and are beginning to play the sort of football that took them all the way to the Grand Final last year,

McKenna was unavailable as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury, but he is scheduled to return for next week’s blockbuster round six showdown at home to Geelong which could feature four Irish players.