Cats have right mix for successMonday, April 29
Gelong Advertiser

EXPERIENCE and youth combined superbly at Skilled Stadium yesterday, as Geelong ran away with its biggest ever win over Fremantle.

In his second consecutive best on ground performance, Peter Riccardi helped set up the 62-point win with 15 first-half possessions while James Bartel continued his outstanding form and was the top possession getter for the match with 28.

In a scrappy encounter, the pair ensured Geelong got away to a flying start and despite being outscored in the final term, the Cats were never headed.

Geelong kicked the first two goals of the match and its intensity on the ball only wavered in the fourth term when the game was out of Fremantle's reach.

The win elevated Geelong to third on the ladder but coach Mark Thompson said his players could not afford to get carried away despite putting together three consecutive wins for the first time since 2000.

``I think St Kilda had a bad day last week, they copped a lot of injuries early and Fremantle never really perform well down here. It's difficult for them to travel and this is a pretty hard place for them to play,'' he said.

``I think we've still got a long way to go and I'm certainly not getting ahead of myself because our form can slip just as quickly as we've made it.''

The Dockers had more possessions throughout the match, the 10-goal margin highlighting Geelong's effectiveness with the ball. But it was the Cats' dominance of the midfield which proved the main difference.

Riccardi and Bartel each added two goals while Cameron Ling accounted for Freo match winner Peter Bell.

``This team, this club, is going to have a very solid midfield and I can see Cameron Ling, Corey Enright, David Spriggs, James Bartel and young Gary Ablett, David Clarke . . . they're on board with what we're trying to do,'' Thompson said.

``Bell was certainly the main constant there (midfield) and he was our only target.''

Thompson also praised the efforts of Tom Harley, Matthew Scarlett and Daniel Foster in defence, while at the other end of the ground, skipper Ben Graham, Kent Kingsley and Cameron Mooney found some form, booting seven goals between them.

Fremantle coach Chris Connolly said the efforts of Steven Koops aside, he was disappointed with his team's performance, saying Geelong's intensity at the ball made the difference.

``They're playing with a lot of confidence, they're well coached and it could be an exciting year for Geelong.''

The only area of concern for Geelong was its injury list, losing Glenn Kilpatrick with a torn hamstring, Ronnie Burns with cramp and Darren Milburn with concussion throughout yesterday's match.