CATS FLY AWAY FROM CROWS, SECURE MINOR
By Ben Jensen AFL ROUND 19 2007, GEELONG CATS V ADELAIDE CROWS GEELONG kept their engine humming this afternoon with a routine win over the Adelaide Crows in front of 21,267 at Skilled Stadium. Their fourteenth win in a row secured top spot on the ladder and the 'minor premiership' for the Cats, guaranteeing home finals come September. Jimmy Bartel just nudged aside Joel Corey as best on ground. Joel Selwood's performance should put paid to any suggestions he will miss out on the NAB Rising Star award. Matthew Scarlett and Tom Harley ensured most forward forays by the Crows were repelled. Cameron Mooney was handy up forward and while coach Mark Thompson lamented he didn't have his kicking boots on, he dished off goals to teammates.
GEELONG 5.3 6.5 11.8 15.13 (103) DEFEATED
GEELONG: G Ablett 2, Bartel 2, Selwood 2, N Ablett,
Enright, S Johnson, Kelly, Ling, Mackie, Mooney, Ottens, Scarlett
GEELONG: Bartel, Corey, Scarlett, Selwood, Mooney,
Before the match, as expected, Travis Varcoe was an inclusion for a ruckman - Mark Blake the unluckiest of players after playing well all season only to lose his spot to Steven King.
The first quarter was all Geelong. Jimmy Bartel, Joel Corey and Steve Johnson were lively early on, all involved in the first three goals. The Cats kicked five goals three while the Crows only managed one goal, the Cats in front by twenty-seven points. The quarter was played in mild, sunny conditions with little wind. However the wind picked up at quarter time, not only blowing dark rainclouds over Skilled Stadium but the wind favored the city or Gary Ablett Terrace end. So it was the Crows who came out of the gates in the second quarter and had a decent crack; only Matthew Scarlett's goal right on half time saved the Cats from the goalless quarter. Geelong's lead at half time was cut to fifteen points.
Geelong again faced a challenge in the third quarter but midway through the quarter put the foot down to the pedal. After outscoring the Crows two goals to one up until the twentieth minute, the Cats let loose with a three-goal volley. Corey Enright, Joel Selwood and James Kelly each kicked truly. The Crows pegged one back deep into time on to cut the Cats' lead to thirty-one points at the final break - the game as good as over.
Geelong put paid to any suggestion the Crows were indeed in with a shot at a miracle win with the first two goals of the quarter, through midfielders Gary Ablett and Cameron Ling. Jason Porplyzia kicked a couple for the quarter, while Nick Gill and Andrew McLeod also kicked goals to bring the winning margin back to thirty-three points.
Steven King rucked satisfactorily but didn't really go near the ball; Ottens had much more of an influence on the game, taking several marks and kicking one goal. Both had an easy day against the Crows' inexperienced pairing of Ivan Maric and Jonathon Griffin.
Next Sunday Geelong play the Kangaroos at Telstra Dome, an 'away' game. Paul Chapman may make his long awaited return from a groin injury. All eyes will be on the Geelong selectors' decision on the ruck division, and whether or not Mark Blake will return at the expense of Steven King, or the Cats field an unprecedented three specialist ruckman.
The Cattery will be there to cover the match, but may experience a delay of two-three hours reporting the scores.
VFL ROUND EIGHTEEN 2007
In the VFL yesterday the Bendigo Bank Cats flogged Kangaroos affiliated North Ballarat to the tune of seventy-one points, at Ballarat's Austar Arena. The win did come at a cost - Steven Owen suffering what is feared to be a season ending knee injury just minutes from the final siren. Owen tried to change direction, with no other players near him, and while his body went one direction his left foot remained rooted to the turf.
GEELONG 8.7 12.9 16.14 21.15
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