DEE-STROYED; CATS PUSH RECORD SCORE
IN THRASHING OF DEMONS
By Ben Jensen twitter.com/thecattery GEELONG CATS V MELBOURNE DEMONS GEELONG may have just missed beating their own record VFL-AFL score but in doing so comprehensively thrashed Melbourne, kicking 37 goals and winning by 186 points in the fourth highest score in AFL history. With two minutes to go the Cats needed just one goal to equal their own record score of 37.17 (239), but could not score again as the Demons belatedly kept the Cats at bay. Still their tally of 37 goals equalled their record for the best ever, and it was certainly the highest score ever at Skilled Stadium / Kardinia Park. Cameron Mooney enjoyed his first game in some time with five goals to half time, helped in no small part by Steve Johnson who spent most of the first half giving off goal assists before joining the fun himself, finishing with seven goals. Tom Hawkins was the next highest goal kicker with five, while Mitch Duncan, Matthew Stokes and Travis Varcoe all had three apiece. FINAL SCORES
The match may yet not be without serious consequence for the Cats if the AFL's Match Review Panel chooses to look closely at Paul Chapman's clashes with Lynden Dunn. Dunn did or said something that Chapman disagreed with and soon found felled to the ground with his head ground into the turf (twice). Chapman and Dunn continued to clash before the former was finally taken from the field, coach Chris Scott making a rare visit to the interchange bench to talk with Chapman before sending him back into the rooms minutes before half time.
As predicted by The Cattery, Dean Bailey's tenure at the helm of the Demons may be about to come to an end. To his credit he fronted up to a packed press conference half expecting a battlefield resignation, and expressed his disappointment at his charges' performance, stating it was a "kick in the arse" amoung other things.
Got to the ground to meet the Old Man and younger Bro, first of all undertook the now ritual 'Hooker Watch', Hooker being club legend Russell 'Hooker' Renfrey who as regular readers of The Cattery will know parks his shiny white Merc pretty much wherever he pleases, but normally in a spot you probably shouldn't park. Amazingly, he was in a different spot but we soon found out why - somebody a tad over-officious had erected a series of witches hats (resembling the Melbourne side) around the area with a 'no cars beyond this point' sign. A bit stiff! The man himself made his thoughts loud and clear upon taking his seat, too, about not being under cover. "Jesus Christ!" he said.
The Cats started the game out of the blocks, Jimmy Bartel banging through the first of eight first-quarter goals inside 75 seconds. Johnson was on fire during the quarter although didn't score a goal, but played a hand in most of the rest, including a couple to crowd favourite Mooney and singles to Varcoe, James Kelly, Joel Corey who was brilliant, Andrew Mackie with a long-ranger, Brad Ottens and Hawkins. The quarter time score was an imposing 8.3 to just the 0.3, with Andrew 'Gigs' Gigacz predicting the Cats would have a total score of 32.12 (204) to the Demons' 0.12 (12). He ended up being a bit short though at half-time his prediction was 40.8 (248) to 2.8 (20) so if you average the two he wasn't far off at all.
The game threatened to get boring but perhaps with the assistance of Gigs' predictions the crowd sensed it could be a record-breaking day, not just the piddly records like highest score on a cold day in late July but a BIG record such as that day at Carrara in 1992. It was as if the team thought so as well, the foot really going to the metal in the second quarter during which the Cats scored an amazing 12 goals including the fifth for the day to Cameron Mooney. Stevie J finally registered his first and as eluded to earlier, went on with it from there, with two for the quarter. At half-time the Cats were 20.4 (124) to the Dees' pathetic 1.4 (10) as cheers went up for Mooney as the side left the field, with the Dees absolutely bolting off the ground to get into the changerooms as quick as they could. To their credit the cheer squad stood up and didn't boo but held their quaint flags as high as they could. I know where I'd have been if the tables were reversed.
It was the OId Man's shout at the main break as the league's largest yet least-busy bar behind the Premiers Stand got some decent action for the first time in its history, punters toasting an entertaining, 1990s like half of football.
For a while the second half went goal for goal, Hawkins' early goal cancelled out by Matthew Bate, Jeremy Howe doing the same for Stokes' third. But then the Cats really got going, banging home eight goals to the Demons' four for the quarter, including a ripper off no steps from substitute Allen Christensen, who came on for Harry Taylor after half-time. Johnson had three for the quarter putting the Cats 28.8 around ten goals off the record, 28.8 (176) to 5.4 (34).
Skipper Cameron Ling took a couple goes but joined the goal scorers a few minutes into the final term. Selwood became the fourteenth goal kicker as he and Corey, Hawkins, West and Duncan all kicked goals by the 20 minute mark. Johnson kicked two more as the Cats approached the record, with Hawkins kicking the 37th and final goal with 28 minutes 42 seconds elapsed. But it wasn't (quite) to be, a rushed behind at 31:08 the final score for the Cats. By this stage the dim lights turned or were turned off, making it noticeably darker but as Johnson said after the game, actually allowed the players to see a bit easier as their eyes quickly adapted.
Next Saturday Gary Ablett's Gold Coast makes their first trip to Skilled Stadium. Selectors will have a difficult few decisions to make regarding which of the talls James Podsiadly, Cameron Mooney and Tom Hawkins retains their places in the side along trying to squeeze Josh Hunt back in down back.
CROWD: 22,716 at Skilled Stadium, Geelong
AFL 2011, ROUND 19
GEELONG V MELBOURNE
SATURDAY 30 JULY 2011 14:10 AEST
THE MATCH FINISHED IN THE DARK
HOOKER RENFREY'S USUAL CAR PARKING SPOT WAS OFF LIMITS