CATS OPEN 2009 WITH A WIN
By Ben Jensen GEELONG opened their 2009 season with an easy win over Adelaide in the NAB Cup in front of a paltry 10,320 punters at Telstra Dome tonight. The Cats piled on six goals in the first quarter including one super goal and another six in the second to lead by six goals at half time, and eventually ran out winners by thirty-five points. The Cats now play the winner of Sydney and Port Adelaide next week at Skilled Stadium, and will not travel to Alice Springs for a practice match which will disappoint Geelong fans up there as well as relatives of Shannon Byrnes.
Gary Ablett took on the 'one man army' tag in the first quarter, despite spending the first seven minutes on the pine had ten touches and kicked three goals, including Geelong's only nine-point 'super goal' of the match. Cameron Ling, who skippered the side in place of the absent Tom Harley, Joel Selwood, Joel Corey and Jimmy Bartel gathered plenty of possessions. Paul Chapman, who has attracted criticism in some quarter after last year's fateful Grand Final, seems intent on playing a full role in the midfield this season, also had plenty of the ball, and kicked one goal.
Down back Harry Taylor, in just his second AFL season, stood out while rookies Simon Hogan and Dan McKenna performed admirably and showed signs they may figure in the season proper, let alone next week's match with the Swans or Power. Tom Lonergan and Ryan Gamble showed the absence of Cameron Mooney and Tom Hawkins isn't necessarily the end of the story although most fans would prefer to see Mooney and especially Hawkins back in the side by Round One.
GEELONG 1.5.3 1.11.4 1.15.5 1.17.8 (119)
CROWD: 10,320 (we kid you not) at Telstra Dome (Melbourne Docklands)