June 15 2003

GEELONG's continual ability to look a gift horse in the mouth was largely behind their demise at Subiaco last night. Despite dominating the first 20 minutes of the third quarter, the Cats could only manage one goal and five behinds. The Dockers closed off the quarter with four straight goals to lead by 26 points at 3/4 time. In the final term the Dockers opened up with a goal to ball magnet Peter Bell, but after then the Cats got to within 5 points of the lead. Finally the Dockers won by 16 points after the Cats could not quite run out the match.

Some puzzling umpiring decisions raised the ire of Geelong supporters and one Mark Thompson. Geelong Coach Thompson, on Tom Harley being denied a mark despite being in front, stating "One ball.. (pause) they both had their hand on it, they usually pay it to the man in front". Just before half time, Cameron Ling, minutes after being struck in the head by Matthew Carr, booted a goal to regain the lead. But the goal was denied, apparently Kent Kingsley gave away a free kick after the ball had gone through for a goal. (We are not sure if this is in the rules, if the free kick was there it should have been taken by the Dockers ruckman in the centre of the ground). Instead, the Dockers rebounded and kicked another goal to take a 7 point lead into half time.

David Spriggs, Cameron Ling, Kent Kingsley, Peter Riccardi and Tom Harley were Geelong's best. Spriggs enjoyed his time on the ball, gathering some 27 possessions, including 10 in the first quarter. Cameron Ling, who's opponent Matthew Carr is sure to have more than just the one week's break, was Geelong's most prolific on baller, with just under 30. Ben Graham was knocked out in the opening minute, courtesy of an accidental Brenton Sanderson forearm. Kent Kingsley presented well all day, and kicked accurately with 5 goals, a total of 28 for the season. Peter Riccardi, once again playing more in the midfield than earlier in the season, contributed well.

Geelong has a week off before facing Essendon at Telstra Dome on Friday week (June 27). The Bombers, their backs at the wall after two losses on the trot, are sure to bounce back. Geelong must fight for respectability, tiring of 'spirated losses'. For the Cats to earn respect and improve, they must stop their habit of going to sleep in quarters and their inaccuracy in front of goal.

FREMANTLE: 3.3, 6.4, 10.6, 13.10.88 defeated
GEELONG: 2.3, 4.5, 5.10, 10.12.72

GOALS: Fremantle: Pavlich 4, Medhurst, Hasleby 2, McManus, Bell, Cook, Croad, Cunningham.
Geelong: Kingsley 5, Riccardi 2, Lord, Ablett, Spriggs.