CATS PREVAIL OVER KANGAROOS IN NAIL BITER AT THE
By Ben Jensen GEELONG hung on the defeat a gallant and undermanned North Melbourne at Telstra Dome last night, thanks largely to Gary Ablett and Cameron Mooney. The Cats dominated the opening half but the Roos got right back into the game and trailed by only eight points at the main break. Unfortunately the win came at a cost, All Australian backman Matthew Scarlett twinging a hamstring, almost certain to miss at least a couple weeks.
Ablett Junior must surely be ahead in the Brownlow Medal by now; the boy wonder's star continues to rise. Ablett had 21 possessions and two goals to half time, finishing with 39. Fellow All Australian Mooney, in his first game back after missing last week due to injury, booted seven goals, including three by half time.
Ablett, dispatched to full forward five minutes from the final break, conjured up a miraculous goal thirty seconds before three quarter time that all but culled off the Kangaroo hopes. Leading by two goals, Steve Johnson's third goal barely three minutes in was crucial and gave the Cats breathing space that ultimately wouldn't be breached by the Kangaroos. David Hale provided heart palpitations as he kicked the Roos' only goals of the final term, while the Geelong players peppered the goals but produced only behinds, until the final goal of the match by Cameron Mooney. Mooney's seventh goal came with just under four minutes left on the clock, the margin now fourteen points.
GEELONG 7.0 11.6 17.7 19.13 (127)
UMPIRES: McInerney, Wenn, Ryan
CROWD: 38,373 at Telstra Dome (Docklands), Melbourne
INJURIES: Geelong: Selwood (virus) replaced in selected side by Prismall. Scarlett (hamstring) North Melbourne: Pratt (shoulder)
Geelong coach Mark Thompson reflected on the game, admitting all that mattered was the four points. "It was a weird sort of a game. The last two times we've played North Melbourne we've beaten them by a lot and they never, ever give up and they didn't tonight. To walk away with the victory is really the only thing that matters."
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