YOUTHFUL CATS GET OVER LINE
YOUNG CATS, lead by Gary Ablett, Shannon Byrnes, Henry Playfair and Kane Tenace outlasted a near full strength Essendon under lights at Bendigo's Queen Elizabeth Oval last night. In front of a full house (some fourteen thousand) the Cats lead at every change, but only by a few points until finally breaking free in the final term.
The loss itself had little significance for the Bombers, but the loss of the velvet sledgehammer Matthew Lloyd to a broken arm has set back their season before it begins. Of consolation was the return to the team of Sir James Hird.
Gary Ablett booted three first half goals while new boy on the AFL list, Shannon Byrnes, kicked two in the last quarter to get his team over the line. Henry Playfair continues to put his hand up for a permanent role up forward, and should take Ben Graham's spot at centre half forward in Round 1.
In just over two weeks Geelong faces Richmond at the MCG. By then Steven King and James Kelly should be ready, although Steve Johnson, who kicked four goals against the Tiger last time, will be missing.
GEELONG: 4.2 7.4 10.6 14.6 (90) DEFEATED
TWO OF GEELONG'S BEST AGAINST RICHMOND LAST TIME, LOCAL BOYS GARY ABLETT AND JAMES BARTEL SING A MUTED VERSION OF 'WE ARE GEELONG'