CATS SLAY LIONS;
FIRST WIN AT GABBA SINCE 1993; VFL
TEAM WINS AGAIN
By Ben Jensen GEELONG's season remains alive, after a win over the Brisbane Lions at a balmy GABBA this afternoon. In front for most of the game but keeping the Lions in the game through inaccurate kicking, the Cats didn't make the most of their opportunities in front of goal but got over the line by seventeen points. The VFL team also had a win, defeating next Sunday's opponent St Kilda's affiliate team Casey Scorpions and jumping to third spot VFL RESULTS.
AFL ROUND 18, GABBA
Steve Johnson started the game with a bang, kicking the first goal of the match with a typical miracle snap from a tight angle. His second goal was also from close to the boundary line, but Johnson was able to employ a more conventional drop punt, albeit with pinpoint accuracy. Johnson finished with four goals.
Peter Riccardi opened his goal account for the season, with three goals including two in a row during the second term, when the game hung in the balance. Riccardi's third was also impeccable timing, halting the Lions' advance that saw them briefly snatch the lead after spearhead Daniel 'Carrie' Bradshaw bang through a couple goals from general play.
Teammates in Geelong's 2002 VFL flag Jimmy Bartel and Paul Chapman were two of the Cats' best, Chapman playing further up the ground than usual, and kicking two goals. Bartel was simply everywhere.
Brent Prismall and Shannon Byrnes, who both earned a recall on the back of their VFL performances, earned their keep, Prismall earning a place in the best players. Fellow inclusions Henry 'Hank' Playfair and Mark Blake were solid, Playfair more so than Blake. Importantly though Blake was able to take the centre bounces leaving Brad Ottens and Steven King to play up forward (or rest on the bench in King's case).
Josh Hunt should be congratulated in turning his season around. Six weeks ago Hunt was almost at the crossroads, if not with the match committee certainly with the Geelong court of public opinion. He was one of the best and for once had more possessions than Matthew Scarlett.
David Johnson starred across the half back line, along with Matt Egan. Johnson, who debuted along with Gary Ablett Junior in round one 2002 but broke his ankle in the same game, would be the most improved player of the past two seasons. Egan is another diamond in the rough, and along with Johnson is now rarely in doubt for AFL selection.
Next week Cameron Mooney should return to face the Saints at Telstra Dome, who will be missing Matt Maguire who broke his leg in two places in their loss to the Eagles on Friday night. Kent Kingsley, who kicked another bag in the VFL, the club likely to make just the one change.
GEELONG'S VFL TEAM defeated St Kilda affiliate Casey Scorpions by twenty-nine points at Casey Fields this afternoon. Kent Kingsley kicked his second bag in a row, five goals to go with six last week. Fellow discarded forward Matt McCarthy kicked four, after three unproductive weeks in the AFL following his five goals in Round 14.
THE CATS kicked an amazing eleven goals straight to half time to lead by thirty-five points. The lead blew out to fourty-nine points by three quarter time, the Scorpions pegging the lead back in the final quarter.
The win puts Geelong at ten wins five losses, a record the AFL team would envy. Quite a turnaround from last season, that saw the Cats win a wooden spoon with not even a draft pick as a reward.
GEELONG 6.0 11.0 16.4 20.6 (126) DEFEATED