Cats toy with out-classed Eagles

Geelong moved one step closer to a top-two finish and effectively ended West Coast’s season with a one-sided 66-point win at Patersons Stadium on Saturday night.

Photo: James Kelly celebrates a goal – Credit:Theron Kirkman

The Cats flew out of the blocks with the first five goals inside 13 minutes and never relented, with Joel Selwood leading the way with 29 possessions and four majors, on a miserable night for the Eagles who went down 16.11 (107) to 6.5 (41).

Steve Johnson (37 possessions), Jimmy Bartel (32), Mathew Stokes (30) and Allen Christensen (29) all racked up big numbers as Geelong dominated in midfield.

Second-placed Geelong move to 64 points with the win, six clear of Sydney and Fremantle who play St Kilda and Melbourne respectively tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the defeat leaves West Coast languishing in 11th, three wins behind eighth-placed Port Adelaide with two games to play, meaning their only remaining hope of making the finals is an Essendon points deduction.

It was a miserable evening for the 34,394 Eagles fans who turned up on a wet night at Patersons Stadium, only to see a very small number of highlights from the hosts, who lost their eighth game at the venue this season.

West Coast managed only six goals for the game, with Coleman Medal leader Josh Kennedy kept goalless, but the hosts’ main problem was in midfield.

After Geelong’s early five-goal burst, West Coast replied with two goals before the opening break, but the Cats snuffed out any hope of an Eagles fightback with the next six majors before half-time.

It was one-way traffic throughout with the Cats dominant across the ground, best indicated by the lopsided inside 50-count of 58 to 36.

Bartel swept up everything as the loose man in defence, while Steven Motlop was outstanding in the first-half with two goals and 16 touches before being substituted at the main break following hamstring tightness.

West Coast’s night of misery was topped off by a third-quarter report to ruckman Dean Cox for striking Selwood off the ball, while key onballer Luke Shuey struggled and was substituted 11 minutes into the third term.

Motlop was the star early as Geelong raced to a five-goal lead inside the first 13 minutes, before goals from Will Schofield and Bradd Dalziell hinted at an Eagles rally.

Josh Walker congratulates Joel Selwood who led the way with four goals: AAP Images

However, Cats skipper Selwood kicked a steadying goal before the opening break and the visitors then piled on the majors in the second quarter, including two from James Kelly, to open up a 56-point gap at half-time.

After Cox was reported for his off the ball clash with Selwood, West Coast kicked the first goal of the third term through Josh Hill.

But the Cats simply put that behind them as they maintained their dominance, Selwood adding insult to injury by booting two goals as Geelong stretched their lead out to 70 points.

The final term ended up being a a procession but West Coast still managed to win the quarter thanks to goals from Sharrod Wellingham and Jack Darling.

WEST COAST: 2.1, 2.3, 4.5, 6.5 (41)
GEELONG: 6.1, 11.5, 15.9, 16.11 (107)

GOALS: WEST COAST: Schofield, Dalziell, Hill, S. Selwood, Wellingham, Darling
GEELONG: Selwood 4, Motlop 2, Kelly 2, Stokes 2, Podsiadly 2, Vardy, Walker, Christensen, Murdoch
BEST: WEST COAST: S. Selwood, Wellingham, Priddis, Cox, Glass
GEELONG: Selwood, Bartel, Stokes, Johnson, Christensen, Motlop, Taylor
GEELONG: Motlop (hamstring tightness)
REPORTS: Dean Cox for striking Joel Selwood
CHANGES: WEST COAST: Andrew Embley for Chris Masten (thigh)
SUBS: WEST COAST: Andrew Embley for Luke Shuey (3rd Qtr)
GEELONG: Josh Caddy for Steven Motlop (Half-time)
UMPIRES: Dean Margetts, Shane Stewart, Chris Kamolins
CROWD: 34,394 at Patersons Stadium