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Irish glory in AFL Grand Final as Zach Tuohy and Mark O'Connor win with Geelong

Geelong Cats cruised to victory over Sydney Swans today.

afl-grand-final Zach Tuohy, Mark O'Connor and Geelong celebrate. Source: AAP/PA Images

ZACH TUOHY AND Mark O’Connor were crowned AFL Premiership winners, joining Tadhg Kennelly in the list of Irish champions, as their Geelong Cats team cruised to success in the AFL Grand Final against Sydney Swans.

The Cats were dominant at the MCG, running out 133-52 winners, with Portlaoise’s Tuohy and Dingle’s O’Connor both involved and helping their team to triumph.

Kennelly was the only Irish player to have previously won a Grand Final, succeeding in 2005, and he has now been joined by Tuohy and O’Connor in that illustrious bracket.

Collage Maker-24-Sep-2022-08.00-AM Zach Tuohy and Mark O'Connor. Source: PA

The pair helped atone for their 2020 loss to Richmond Tigers with 32-year-old Tuohy celebrating glory as he made his 250th AFL appearance. 

25-year-old O’Connor was drafted into the team beforehand in place of the injured Max Holmes, with both Irishmen impressing.

The Cats capped a stellar, dominant season with an 81-point Grand Final thrashing, claiming their 16th consecutive win and adding the 10th cup of its history.

The Grand Final was back at the MCG for the first time since 2019, with Robbie Williams providing the pre-game entertainment.

afl-grand-final Zach Tuohy during the AFL Grand Final between the Geelong Cats and the Sydney Swans. Source: AAP/PA Images

Geelong dominated the game from pillar to post, with Chris Scott notching his second Premiership as coach after his debut triumph in 2011. Surely this one was sweeter, given the Cats’ close runs and near misses in previous campaigns.

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Surely, too, for captain Joel Selwood, who secured his fourth Premiership but first as skipper in a brilliant 26-disposal typically hard-edged performance.

afl-grand-final Mark O'Connor of the Cats tackles James Rowbottom of the Swans. Source: AAP/PA Images

It was a first quarter that will live on in the memories of Cats fans forever. After dominating the first nine minutes without getting the scoreboard reward, Geelong then banged home six goals in the next 21 minutes to set up a 35-point lead at quarter-time – the biggest in a Grand Final since the 1989 classic.

That set them on the road to glory, with Tyson Stengle (four), Tom Hawkins (three), Isaac Smith (three), Jeremy Cameron (two), Brad Close (two), Mark Blicavs, Sam De Koning, Mitch Duncan, Cameron Guthrie, Brandan Parfitt and Joel Selwood the goal-scorers.

- Additional reporting from AFL.

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Fintan O'Toole

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