CATS KNOCK MAGPIES OFF TOP PERCH
By Ben Jensen twitter.com/thecattery GEELONG CATS V GEELONG CATS V COLLINGWOOD MAGPIES GEELONG defeated Collingwood by three points in front of over 81,000 fans at the MCG tonight. The Cats started off in control but seemed to be kicking themselves out if it as the Magpies came back to boot five goals in the second quarter. But Geelong were too good when it counted, outscoring the Wobblers in the second half to remain undefeated and take top spot on the AFL ladder for the first time this season. MATCH PREVIEW
In his 100th game, Joel Selwood was so good it almost wasn't funny; well certainly not for the rabid Collingwood fans who flocked to the coldest caldron around in Australia right now. He and Brad Ottens were consistent throughout the game and kept their side in it during the testing second quarter. Dane Swan was good for the Magpies but for ours has dropped right off since last season, and appears to be carrying a bit (but we can sympathise with that).
The Cats led at quarter time but would rue their inaccuracy in front of goal when the Magpies struck back with four goals in the second quarter to lead by 11 points at half time. But the Cats certainly weren't disheartened, went back at it in the second half with Travis Varcoe getting it off to the best start possible with his first. The Wobblers then booted two themselves before Jimmy Bartel's first and then another from Allen Christensen just before three-quarter time put the Cats back within a goal for the final break. In between the two goals, Collingwood Alan Toovey was stretchered from the field after a terrible but brave collision with Tom Hawkins, and took no further part in the match.
The last quarter saw the Wobblers kick the first goal to lead by 11 points but from then on it was pretty much all Geelong. First Steve Johnson got on the end of a great passage of play by Dan Menzel and Joel Selwood, and shortly after James Podsiadly had the chance to put the Cats in the lead for the first time since midway through the second term. But Bartel kicked a ripper from near the boundary line just inside fifty, on the 'wrong side', and didn't he love it! Cats up by 3 points. Podsiadly exorcised whatever ghosts or demons that were left after his earlier shot for goal by confidently booting the ball deep into the stand to put the boys 10 points clear, with a tad over 6 minutes to go. They were certainly nervous minutes for Geelong supporters as the Magpies threw everything at it. Harry Taylor stopped a couple attacks though in a minute or two after nearly gave away two goals, cutting the lead to just 2 points.
Young Collingwood ruckman Cameron Wood had a chance to snatch the game back but couldn't quite make the distance from a tough shot 50 metres out, the Cats instead (eventually) running the ball with the margin 1 point. Geelong scored another couple behinds, Varcoe narrowly missing his second by a skillful soccer from an angle of about 89 degrees, but it didn't matter as the Cats wound down the final minute before Harry Taylor marked the ball in about the same spot Bartel had it to get the lead in the first place. Taylor would kick after the siren from right on the 50 metre line, and wasn't able to score, the final margin remaining 3 points.
Geelong play Carlton next week at Etihad Stadium; hopefully it won't be as cold as tonight! But for certain, the AFL will miss a good ten thousand or more fans and you have to wonder if Channel Seven will (temporarily) axe Better Homes and Gardens for the privilege of footy fans who can't make it to the game.
2.9 2.10 5.12 8.17 (65) DEFEATED
CROWD: 81,691 at MCG, Melbourne
FIELD: Ray 'Razor' Chamberlain, Shaun 'Ronald'
Ryan, Scott 'Smithy' Jeffrey EM: 'Billy' Pannell