Paul Chapman kicked a match-high three goals and was named the game's most valuable player as the Geelong Cats won their second Australian Rules football title in three years, beating the St Kilda Saints 12.8 (80) to 9.14 (68) today. Playing before 99,251 fans in rainy conditions and on a soggy oval at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the Cats, from an industrial port city about an hour south-west of Melbourne, overcame a seven-point deficit after three quarters and prevented the Saints from scoring a goal in the final quarter.
St Kilda, which had the best regular-season record in the Australian Football League this year, was attempting to win its second league title in its 113-year history, having won its only grand final in 1966. Geelong won the AFL title in 2007 before losing last year's championship match to Hawthorn, bringing the teams total of titles to eight. Cats forward Max Rooke clinched the victory with a goal after the final siren, with the end margin of 12 points the biggest that had separated the two teams all day. "We were very, very lucky and we're very proud of what we've done," Geelong coach Mark Thompson said after his side kicked the only three goals of the final quarter. * AP