CATS BEAT BLUES IN YET ANOTHER HEART STOPPER

GEELONG defeated Carlton by 16 points in front of a bumper 43,241 crowd at Etihad Stadium tonight to go three and nil for the season, with the win and luckless Blues the opposite.

One of The Cats’ best, Taylor “Poodle” Hunt tackles Carlton’s Andrew Walker. Photo copyright: www.zimbio.com

In fact new coach Michael Malthouse now has four losses from his past six games as coach – THREE of those coming courtesy of the Cats. The win came at a cost however with Travis Varcoe likely to be out for anything up to 12 weeks if he has to have surgery on an injured shoulder, suffered in the first quarter. The Blues also lost a key player early, Matthew Kreuzer incurring a suspected broken thumb.

Geelong led at every change but with four minutes to play in the opening quarter trailed four goals to one. Four goals later they led by eight points at quarter time. Carlton again started better in the second quarter but could not sustain it for long, the Cats soon jumping to an 18 point lead. But the Blues weren’t giving up, nudging in front after three in a row only for Geelong to go on another four goal streak to lead by 19 at half time.

The buffer hovered around the 20 point mark during the third term before the Cats finished the quarter strongly with three unanswered goals to take the biggest lead of the match, 33 points, into the final break. One more goal would have sealed it, but the Blues were having none of it, booting four unanswered goals, one about every five minutes to cut the lead back to just 11 points. Finally the Cats got back into gear, the steadier and sealer coming from Steven Motlop, coolly receiving the ball just outside fifty before threading it through to pretty much put it beyond doubt.

Not the result Blues fans are looking for but there were some positive signs for those following the bearded team, Dylan Buckley, son of club legend Jim kicking a goal with his first kick in the opening seconds of the second quarter, coming on as sub for Kreuzer. Second gamer Sam Rowe kicked two first half goals, and Brock McLean who copped a lot from Blues fans in 2012 really stood tall.

Taylor Hunt delivered the best game we’ve seen from him yet, bagging three goals including two in the opener quarter. Geelong’s other Taylor, Harry, equally delivered, surprisingly finding himself down forward quite often with two goals himself. Allen Christensen, Matthew Stokes and Steven Motlop were outstanding, the Cats wouldn’t have won without their efforts. Tom Hawkins who equal top scored with Hunt on three goals had a decent match, he was double teamed for most of the match but still managed to hold the ball up and more often than not get it out to a teammate.

Andrew Mackie and Steve Johnson pulled up sore after some knocks but according to coach Chris Scott should be all right for next week’s match against Sydney at the SCG. Jimmy Bartel, playing down back again with Corey Enright, got a fair bit of the ball and was Mr Clutch when he needed to be. He did find himself mismatched at times on the likes of Shaun Hampson and gave away a few free kicks resulting in shots at goal. For the Blues in addition to our pick McLean it was usual suspects Bryce Gibbs, Chris Judd, Andrew Walker and to a lesser extent Marc Murphy who kept them in the match.

GEELONG: 5.5, 12.6, 17.7, 18.11 (119) DEFEATED
CARLTON: 4.3, 9.5, 11.10, 15.13 (103)

GOALS
GEELONG: Hunt 3, Hawkins 3, Christensen 2, Taylor 2, Smedts 2, Motlop 2, Podsiadly, West, Stokes, Selwood
CARLTON: Rowe 2, Yarran 2, Lucas 2, Scotland, McLean, Buckley, Garlett, McLean, Judd, Murphy, Hampson, Armfield

BEST
GEELONG: H Taylor, T Hunt, Stokes, Motlop, Christensen, Bartel, Hawkins
CARLTON: Walker, Gibbs, Judd, Robinson, Jamison, Rowe, McLean

CHANGES
GEELONG
: Nil CARLTON: Nil

INJURIES
GEELONG
: Travis Varcoe (shoulder)
CARLTON: Matthew Kreuzer (thumb)

UMPIRES:

Kenny Dalgleish, Matthew Nicholls, Shane McInerney

CROWD: 43,241 at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne Docklands

By Ben Jensen twitter.com/thecattery