Geelong kicks off to perfect start
February 24 2003

GEELONG yesterday defeated the Western Bulldogs in emphatic style at home by 59 points in front of a crowd of 8,400. The Cats were genuinely challenged by the lackluster Bulldogs. The match featured six 'Niners', the only part of the game the Bulldogs dominated, the Dogs booting four with Geelong players Paul Chapman and Cameron Ling kicking a niner each.

Highlights for Geelong fans were the return of David Spriggs, who received a knee reconstruction after injuring his knee in an incident at Lorne last pre-season, Steven King's leadership in his first competitive match as Captain, and former Captain Ben Graham's game. Graham was rock-solid in defense in what was described as a very 'professional' performance by Coach Mark Thompson.

Last season's leading goalkicker Kent Kingsley led from the front with four goals, supported by Cameron Mooney and Steve Johnson (three apiece), Peter Riccardi (two) and Gary Ablett (pictured), who in a cameo performance chipped in with two quick goals in the final quarter.

The victory may have come at a cost, however, with Cameron Ling falling heavily and being carried off appearing to be suffering from intense pain. However the club medicos have since confirmed that there is no structural damage and new deputy-vice-captain Ling is still expected take part in the round one fixture, also against the Bulldogs. Bulldogs Captain Chris Grant was forced from the field in the third quarter after suffering a bruised hip while Simon Garlick received bruised ribs.

Meanwhile, Geelong's membership has fallen short by over 11,000 members on the records achieved in 2000 and 2001. The Club needs you NOW. Think now of what the club can for you, but what you can do for your club. SIGN UP NOW.

Round 1 Wizard Cup:

Geelong 2.19.14(146)
Western Bulldogs 4.7.9(87)