CATS KICK CROWS ASIDE AND BACK INTO
By Ben Jensen twitter.com/thecattery GEELONG CATS V ADELAIDE CROWS GEELONG defeated Adelaide by 27 points on a wet Simonds Stadium this afternoon in what we'll dub the Ayres-Sanderson-Lindner Cup. Steve Johnson was taken out by Crow Scott Thompson at the opening bounce and took no further part in the game, Thompson going on to gather 40 disposals and at least twice as many boos throughout the match. 250 gamer Joel Corey was in form for the first half but thanks to a hamstring injury played no role in the second. Despite this the Cats had the better of the Crows for most of the day, and should have been further ahead at the quarter and half time breaks. The Crows however got into gear in the third quarter outscoring the Cats five goals to one and kicked the first goal of the final quarter to get to a two point margin before the experience and youth of the Cats kicked in, Geelong booting five straight goals to seal the victory. In the VFL the Geelong side thrashed coach Matthew Knights' old side Bendigo by a good eleven goals.
Tom Hawkins with three goals and a 11 marks was on fire, setting up several other goals and hitting the post once. Other top players for the Cats were skipper Joel Selwood, veterans James Kelly and Jimmy Bartel, and newer generation Allen Christensen, Matthew Stokes, Mitch Duncan. Hawkins opponent and so-called All Australian full back Ben Rutten was taken from the ground and reappeared towards the end of the first half up forward, kicking a goal courtesy of a 50m penalty. .
Young guns were all fantastic, Billie Smedts, Jackson Sheringham, Josh Walker all playing their roles. Cam Guthrie had a more difficult task down back, often finding himself out of position and outmatched on a resting ruckman or third tall. After missing last week Christensen lapped up another big game at home and was about equal for BOG. Andrew Mackie has been good all season and today all but sealed the match with consecutive goals to give his side a 14 point buffer. Paul Chapman who has had an indifferent year was pretty much back to his best. Trent West owned the ruck, the job made slightly easier with the withdrawal of Crow Sam Jacobs, who I must admit I had never heard of. Thompson and Patrick Dangerfield were the Crows' best on the day. Taylor Walker, talked up pre-game by the Adelaide Advertiser as one of the 'next generation' of big forwards along with Hawkins didn't fire a shot.
Despite the first half dominance, the game could very easily have ended badly for the Cats but experience and steady heads kicked in, Geelong very much back in the hunt.
Pre-match Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson snuck his way into the ground while Essendon's assistants Matthew Egan and Sean Wellman made less of an effort. Ronnie Burns was outside the ground filming for this week's Marngrook Footy Show wearing a hybrid Cats-Crows jumper. Premier Ted Baillieu like one of my companions turned up at the very last minute, perhaps avoiding Clarkson. Next Friday night of course the Cats face the Hawks at the MCG in a Hawthorn home game. Geelong moved to sixth on the ladder after today's win.
4.3, 9.7, 10.10, 15.12 (102) DEFEATED
FIELD: Luke Farmer (4) Troy Pannell (28) Shane McInerney
(30) EM: Michael Jennings (24)
CROWD: 18,377 at Simonds Stadium, Geelong
PRE-MATCH TIP: "Cats by 5 or 6 goals" - damn you Bernie Vince for scoring the last one!
2.5, 5.8, 12.9 18.12 (120) DEFEATED