GEELONG BACK ON TRACK WITH EASY WIN
By Anthony Jensen AFL 2009 ROUND 16 GEELONG CATS V MELBOURNE DEMONS GEELONG SAFELY REJOINED the winners circle on a windy Saturday afternoon down at Skilled Stadium in front of 21,160, fading away a little in the last but finishing 46-point winners over a somewhat respectable Melbourne.
In what was the launch of four weeks of celebrating the Cats' 150th anniversary, 21,160 fans were urged by big Billy Brownless to don white "collectors item" ponchos and pose for a helicopter fly-over commemorative photograph of the stadium. Not to be outdone, the Geelong players also had a different get-up for the special occasion; their traditional blue hoops were made up of the names of the more than 1000 past and present Geelong players.
7.4, 9.9, 14.13, 17.15 (117) DEFEATED
CROWD: 21,160 at Skilled Stadium, Geelong
FIELD: Hayden Kennedy (7) Shane Stewart (10) Chris Kamolins (19)
EM: Robert Findlay (23)
With Tom Harley a late withdrawal, Geelong won the toss through Cameron Ling and he decided to kick with the wind, a telling decision that would set up the eventual winning margin.
Mark Blake found himself back in the magoos so Shane Mumford was the sole recognised ruckman for the Cats, although stand-ins Harry Taylor and especially Tom Hawkins proved themselves possible pinch-hitters if we are ever again down a big man.
The Cats got off to a flyer when Joel Selwood booted a 55m goal with the 6-goal wind at his back, followed by some smart play and quick hands by Travis Varcoe to set up Mathew Stokes for his first of 3 goals for the day.
Harry Taylor followed this with a sensational goal, the best of his short career, when hard up on the boundary from 40m out his raking left boot steered one through with an intelligent use of the breeze. Paul Chapman set sail outside 50 for a goal as well and it looked all Geelong, with the Dees yet to score a major at quarter time, 44 points down with just the 2 behinds.
But from then on it was a more even match, Melbourne actually winning 2 of the last 3 quarters. A few clangers by the home side and a timely "clunk" grab but subsequent miss from Cam Mooney showed that this side still has a ways to go to reach the heights of just a few weeks ago when they looked unstoppable.
As if sensing things were turning ugly, Gary Ablett, who regularly played full forward throughout this match, out bodied his opponent under the ball and ran in from 50 for his first of 2 goals.
After half time, Kane Tenace killed truly from the arc and probably showed enough for reselection despite some early clangers. Simon Hogan was actually amongst Geelong's better players too and caused more selection dilemmas for Bomber Thompson and co. Tom Harley, spotted on the second tier of the new Hickey stand, always had a smile on his face but you could tell he wanted to be out there to steer his side to a win.
Max Rooke continues to show regard for neither his appearance nor the personal safety of others as he rammed headlong through Cameron Bruce and still managed to gather the ball.
Ablett linked up time and time again with fellow baldy Chapman through centre wing and both looked to have regained some touch.
One highlight in the last quarter was Liam Jurrah, the NAB Rising Star from last week, when he took a sensational one-handed mark of the day and deftly chipped a past to Russell Robertson who had been nonexistent until that point. Melbourne got a few late goals back as well, but the eventual margin probably gave them the respect they rightfully earned from the contest.
Next week Geelong face reigning premiers Hawthorn in a rematch to both the 2008 Grand Final and Round 1 2009. Jimmy Bartel will be a chance return while Mark Blake will be hoping he only spends a week in VFL-purgatory as he scored three behinds in a win over Coburg Tigers (see VFL Results - 4 in a row for VFL side).
GREAT NEW WEBSITE - FOOTYALMANAC.COM.AU
4.5 4.7 9.11 12.17 (89) DEFEATED
AFL PREMIERSHIP SEASON 2009, ROUND 16
GEELONG V MELBOURNE
SATURDAY 18 JULY 2009, 14:10 AEST
SKILLED STADIUM, GEELONG
ROUND 14 - FOUR IN A ROW FOR CATS
GREAT NEW WEBSITE - FOOTYALMANAC.COM.AU
GEELONG'S 150 YEAR ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATIVE JUMPER
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