CATS POWER PAST PORT INTO PRELIMINARY
FINAL AGAINST HAWKS
AFL FINALS GEELONG CATS V PORT ADELAIDE POWER GEELONG was tested to the max tonight but did get over the line against Port Adelaide at the MCG tonight to reach at Preliminary Final against Hawthorn next Friday night. The Cats came out after half time really fired up trailing by nearly four goals at the main break. Veterans Paul Chapman and Joel Corey led from the front to will their team past an impressive Power. A five goal to one third quarter got the Cats back into the match, taking a seven point lead into the final change. Kenny Hinkley's boys went down tonight but have certainly earned the respect of the entire AFL this season with their turnaround from last season and finals performance.
It was certainly not a night of accurate kicking, both sides missing some absolute shockers throughout the night. But there were plenty of courageous efforts from both sides, none less than Cats skipper Joel Selwood who had to leave the field twice with a bloodied eye and nose. His goal with five minutes remaining put the icing on the cake and the game beyond Port's reach with the margin 23 points and all but impossible to deny the Cats the Preliminary Final berth.
Even Justin Westhoff's miraculous third goal from the boundary line 45 metres out on the wrong side for a right footer left the Power without a hope, still 16 points behind; soon to be ten points with . Still, it was a nervous few minutes in the Geelong coaches box with Chris Scott even more animated than he had been in the first half.
Stevie Motlop kicked what was pretty much the third 'sealer' with 16 seconds on the clock from outside 50, snuffing out what was a far more closer game that Geelong fans would have liked but neutrals would have loved.
A crowd of just under 53,000 headed down to the MCG, plenty of them Port Adelaide supporters who made the trek over for the second week in a row. Certainly around Southbank there were plenty of the Power clad supporters from lunchtime onwards enjoying the finer things in life.
Tickets for the final against Hawthorn go on sale Monday 9am.
Tomorrow afternoon at Port Melbourne's North Port Oval the Cats' VFL side plays their Preliminary Final against Williamstown; tickets on sale at the gate.
2.2, 3.6, 8.12, 13.18 (96) DEFEATED
FIELD: Matt Stevic (9) Matt Stevic (9) Simon Meredith
(21) Shane McInerney (30) EM: Troy Pannell (28)
CROWD: 52,744 at Melbourne Cricket Ground
PRE-MATCH TIP: "Cats by 29 points"