Sunday, May 31, 2009


GEELONG just got over the line against the Bulldogs in the best game of the season thus far a few hours ago at Etihad Stadium. Bulldog Brad Johnson had a chance to be a hero after the siren but could only manage a behind, after marking right on the goal line but between the goal and behind posts. The Cats led by 36 points at one stage in the third term but the Bulldogs, led by Jason Akermanis in his 300th game, would not let the matter rest and pushed Geelong all the way and at one stage looked likelier winners.

GEELONG 6.4, 9.10, 14.12, 17.14 (116) DEFEATED
WESTERN BULLDOGS 3.2, 8.3, 11.8, 17.12 (114)

GEELONG: S Johnson 5, Stokes 4, Chapman 3, Bartel, Gamble, Rooke, Selwood, Varcoe
WESTERN BULLDOGS: Akermanis, Johnson 4, Giansiracusa, Griffen 2, Cooney, Eagleton, Hill, Minson, Picken

GEELONG: G Ablett J Selwood S Johnson M Scarlett C Ling J Corey
WESTERN BULLDOGS: J Akermanis N Eagleton B Johnson R Griffen M Boyd D Cross

CROWD: 44,620 at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne Docklands

Hate ‘watching’ a game online. It’s a bit like waiting for exam results. Only at least with the Cats now I’m pretty sure I aced the exam but you never know. Thinking about it, all through VCE I thought I’d nailed the likes of a Chemistry or English exam and ended up with a dodgy mark.

Why am I merely following the scores instead of listening via online radio? Well, my employer blocks streaming media, while my mobile phone carrier, Orange, has terrible 3G coverage in Edinburgh! I listened to most of the pre-game before my service was downgraded from 3G to a 2G or GPRS service; short answer, it ain’t workin’!

We seemed to be blitzing the Bullies as expected, to lead by 6 goals to 3 at quarter time. But when I started following the game more closely in the second term, I was in for a rude shock as the Dogs started piling on the goals. Giansiracusa seemed to be on fire, and had two ten minutes in. Worse was to come when Josh Hill’s goal put them in front for the first time.

God bless wee Matty Stokes, his second some three quarts of a minute later put us back in front, hopefully for good I thought at the time. Ryan Gamble added a customary behind while Stokes’ third increased the buffer to 11 points.

Something I have noticed is the ‘HTML’ version of AFL Game Day is quicker to update than the fancy one that shows plays, etc. I first saw our score updated to 9.8, and was then able to see how play was setup from half-back by David Johnson, the ball ran all the way around the Bullies’ 50 arc, up the right-wing to Gary Ablett who got it to Gamble, who marked around 35-40 out and converted for his first goal, hopefully one of many.

Bloody Adam Cooney, forgot to mention he’s a Brownlow Medallist, narrowed the lead to just under two goals in time-on. Hawkins added his second behind almost 33 minutes into the quarter, surely this would be the final score (and it was). Geelong up by thirteen points.

Looking at the team stats, a bit worried about Ablett; 25 touches already! Our next best were Selwood at 17 and the Two Corey’s with 15 apiece. The smiling assassin, Brad Johnson, needs attention; like Stokes, three goals already. Can’t make out who’s manning up on him, hopefully not poor old Tom Harley (still remember that game in round one, 2007)..

Finally got the internet radio working through work computer just in time for the second half! First goal, to Johnson, and the 3AW crew went ape droppings, 21 seconds in. Fortunately it was the ‘right’ Johnson, Stevie J and not the assassin. Cats by 19.

Chappy slammed home Geelong’s second almost straight after to make the lead 25. Johnson’s 4th brought he house down, I nearly missed it after having my office invaded by a persistent Kiwi who was trying to organise a pub lunch, but was able to confirm it from the main webpage.

Rooke’s goal had Rex’s alter ego the Fat Lady singing with fifteen minutes left on the clock and a 37 point lead to the Cats.

I am reliably told Scarlett’s on Welsh, Taylor on Brad Johnson and Harley fairly loose.

Ryan Griffen finally broke the Bulldogs’ goal drought with what was apparently an impressive goal, pegging the Cats’ lead back to 30.

The Cats ran the ball from their back pocket down to Stokes in the forward pocket, the ball not coming close to the Bulldogs’ hands at any stage. Stokes converted unconventionally but accurately, Geelong’s lead 36.

Aker, in his 300th, banged home a consolatory goal. Making a mockery of everyone writing his side’s chances off 15 minutes earlier, Aker slammed on another goal to cut the Cats’ lead to ‘just’ 22 points with a minute or two to go. Geelong kicked five goals two behinds for the quarter to the Bulldogs’ three five. Ablett, who had 25 possessions at half time, only added another 7 for 32. Plenty of Bulldogs players in double figures (17), not so many Cats (12).

Griffen got the Dogs off to the best start possible, cutting their deficit to just 16 points with a team lifting goal 40 seconds in . Steve Johnson’s fifth, which was created following a turnover by the Dogs in their forward line, really steadied the Cats but didn’t dent the Doggies’ enthusiasm nor the game’s intensity. With 16 minutes remaining, Griffen missed a chance to peg the lead back to 16. Eagleton too could only manage a behind. Still plenty of time left though, 13 minutes.

Nightmare ending coming; Matthew Boyd misses a fairly easy shot but big Wil Minson marks from point blank range, and makes no mistake. Eagleton goaled after the ballup and made the margin just 8 points, the margin now just 8 points. I hate this happening to Geelong; same thing happened in round one against the Hawks. But we normally pull through, at least. Hopefully when we finally face the Saints we smash them good and proper.

Steve Johnson could only manage a behind from a mark 35m out, the margin now 9 points. Panic stations in here... even more so when Hill had a set shot the next minute, but could only manage a poster.

7 ½ minutes to go, Cats by 8. Too long left to just try to hang onto the ball, they need a goal. And they got it! Harry Taylor setup a goal to Jimmy Bartel to pretty much snuff the Bulldogs out Surely that’s it? The Bulldogs need about three goals now.

Chappy had to go off with what sounded like a sickening finger dislocation (with blood and all). Ablett had a chance to really smash the game beyond doubt, but smashed the ball into the goalpost instead.

Brad Johnson, kept out of the game by Taylor for the middle two quarters, spoiled the Cats’ revival with his 4th goal with four and a half minutes remaining, the margin just 9 points.

How it happened I’ll never know but Aker managed to kick his fourth, the margin now only one kick (3 points), with plenty of minutes remaining (three and a half). He out-muscled his customary Geelong opponent from the last few years, David Johnson. The Cats might lose this now and it’ll ruin the entire weekend! Like last season’s round 9 shocker against Collingwood.

Travis Varcoe came from NOWHERE to kick Geelong’s 17th and possibly their final goal to increase the lead back to a more comfortable 9 points. Varcoe grabbed a ‘loose ball get’ just inside 50 and didn’t need to be asked twice to have a ping, with now just under two minutes to go.

Arg! Higgins decided he wasn’t happy with the ending of Geelong winning and with 64 seconds left on the clock kicked his first goal of the game and it was again just ONE KICK in it. Not long after the ballup Welsh took a mark 55m out from goal, but elected to try for Aker instead, who couldn’t take possession. And with 20 seconds to go the umpire took the ball in the Bulldogs’ forward pocket for a ballup. Brad Johnson took a mark just before the siren sounded between the goal and behind posts, quite a tough shot. He possibly played on but was told to go back by the umpire as the siren went. He could only manage a point however, the Cats winning by two points.

In a way, glad I'm here in sunny Edinburgh and not at the game, but it must've been a thriller. That's the lot of a Geelong fan sometimes though, even when you win you feel you've lost (face). People will cackle and carry on about how we nearly choked having been 6 goals up. I partially agree with them, too, we should have went on to win by 10 goals the way we were heading. It was a relief to win; though still expect the Bullogs and their fans would rather be in our shoes.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


ANOTHER change to watch the Cats on Setanta this weekend, that's two in a row now! Unfortunately we had a prior engagement so had to 'tape' the game on our Sky+ box and watch it the next morning. Due to an idiot neighbour hooking into our sat dish we'd had a few problems of late, so we were dismayed to see 'partial recording only' when we got up to watch the game. It appeared most of the game had recorded, possibly without Channel Ten's post-match coverage (we hoped). Most predictions were for the Cats to easily win this one ahead of their higher-stakes clash with the Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium next weekend, and that's pretty much what happened, the Cats running out winners by 70 points.

GEELONG 5.3, 12.5, 15.9, 18.11 (119) DEFEATED
NORTH MELBOURNE 1.2, 3.3, 6.6, 7.7 (49)

GEELONG: J Bartel 3, S Byrnes 3, A Mackie 2, T Varcoe 2, C Mooney 2, M Stokes 2, T Hawkins, C Ling, M Rooke, D Wojcinski
NORTH MELBOURNE: D Hale 2, H McIntosh 2, A Swallow, L Thomas, S Wright

GEELONG: (Cattery's best) Mackie, Johnson, Kelly, Bartel, Taylor, Byrnes; (Official) Johnson, Bartel, Kelly, Mackie, Selwood, Byrnes, Scarlett, Taylor, Blake
NORTH MELBOURNE: Hale, McIntosh, Harding, Petrie, Ross, Gibson

CROWD: 20,873 at Skilled Stadium, Geelong

One late change for the Cats, Paul Chapman pulling out with a sore lower back. His replacement, Tom Lonergan, lined up in the backline, with Joel Corey lining up in midfield instead of down back. The Roos had two forced changes of their own, tagger Brady Rawlings and Daniel Wells, replaced by two debutantes. One of whom, Sam Wright, hails from Katamatite, a wee town near Cobram that gave the Cats Darren Flanigan. Of course, other fairly famous recruits from the big smoke in Cobram were the Hocking brothers and John Barnes.

After a couple misses from Matthew Stokes and Cameron Mooney, Travis Varcoe opened up the goal scoring for the day, getting on the end of a string of handballs, goaling from about forty out. At the other end, David Hale, who caused massive problems last time with 8 goals, kicked North's first halfway through the quarter. Cam Mooney made ammends for his first miss, converting a set shot from 35 out. Hawkins played a role in both goals.

With just under four minutes to go, Varcoe kicked his second goal, this time playing on from a the most uncontested of uncontested marks at centre half forward to slam it home; Andrew Mackie picked him out. Bartel's first a minute or so later put the Cats in front by . Johnson brought the ball inside fifty, Hawkins unlucky not to take a mark before the bal spilled to Bartel. Bartel had a second less than a minute later, on the end of a string of handballs, the goal looking inevitable, the margin now out to 25 points, where the margin remained at quarter time.

Mooney slammed a torpedo over the fence from point blank range, benefiting from the doubt in the umpire's mind if he'd pushed out his opponent. Mooney slammed home his first from a free kick 35 out not long after, slamming home not only the kick but perhaps his critics.

Mackie playing well, along with Varcoe, Bartel and Corey about Geelong's best. Kelly, Mooney and Johnson also had plenty of impact, Johnson sitting around centre-wing rather than his customary role roaming with intent inside fifty. The backline hadn't had a lot to do but Scarlett, Taylor and Lonergan were really tearing it up. Milburn and Wojcinski had spent a bit of time on the bench.

Max Rooke finished off another team goal for the Cats, the boy from Casterton another beneficiary of Johnson's architecture from outside fifty. Stokes nearly had a contender for goal of the day, smothering an opponent's handball, stepping around him, skirting the boundary line before firing in a shot from thirty out for a behind. Stokes did have his first a few seconds later, Hawkins again involved in a chain of possessions before Stokes out-smarting everyone to kick it on his left from the goalsquare amoung ten other players.

David Wojcinski slammed home another goal for the Cats under 30 seconds later, accepting a handball from Corey just ouside the centre square, slamming it home from 55 out, Mooney shepherding it through, the margin now 56 points. As a sideshow, highlighted by the commentators, Mooney had a third run-in (that we know of) with opooanent, former Geelong VFL player Scott Thompson, this time appearing to give him a little nudge to the guts after the goal was given. After Stokes's first goal Thompson sat on top of Mooney, who made have held him to him. Towards the end of the first quarter Mooney missed the ball by miles in a marking contest, and while from our view should escape sanction that may not stop him being investigated.

Matt Thomas finally awakened the Kangaroos cheer squad, pouncing on a loose ball from a stoppage to cleverly dink home to an open goal square from just on fifty. Almost straightaway after the next ballup, Mackie continued his good game, caressing a goal from outside fifty with the wind behind him. Hard to tell who Mackie has been playing on, whenever he has the ball there seems to be no North player near him. He AGAIN drifted down from half-back at the next ballup, this time taking a mark just inside fifty. He may have rushed the kick but put it through the middle, just clearing the pack for his second. The margin now stood at 62 points. A charitable-ish free kick to Hale against Lonergan made the margin 56 points. By this stage Harry Taylor, who'd really had a good game, was having a spell on the bench with Joel Selwood having a spell down back, and actually had his own tagger despite playing in defence.

What is it with ordinary players getting heaps of tattoos? Today's target is Edwards of North, but so far this season other candidates include Collingwood's Dane Swan and former Hawk-Roo Jonathan Hay. No doubt plenty down at Freo, Melbourne and the Tigers but we don't see them play often enough to know.. be that as it may, the Cats led 12.5.77 to 3.3.21 at the main break, Geelong scoring seven goals to North's two, increasing their lead by 30 points

Some more injury worries for the Cats; at half time when Milburn emerged, it was to sit on the bench with his right foot bare and elevated, obviously taking no further part in the match. As always though, 'Dasher' wore that trademark smile of his (possibly John Newcombe-esc, in that he really isn't happy). Byrnes finally had his goal a couple minutes in, Ling pouncing on a mistake by North and Byrnes fed the handball by Enright to run into an open goal. The Roos dominated goal-scoring in the next ten minutes or so with two goals, one to ruckman Hamish McIntosh.

The game then really took on boring status, neither Geelong nor North troubling the goal recorders until Wojcinski and Bartel made something out of nothing for his third. The Cats had just had a let-off after Hale missed a sitter of a set shot for his third, Geelong creating another 'team goal' to push the margin back to 56 points. This really brought the game back to life, the Cats nearly scoring another after putting the North defenders under enourmous pressure in their own forward line next passage of play, the Roos escaping with a touched behind.

Johnson continued to spend most of his time in the centre of the ground, his labours helping Byrnes to his second goal and should have got Mooney his second but he missed a set shot. Thompson continued his relaxed demeanour in the box (and why wouldn't you?). His main problem will once again be who's going to play down back, this time veteran Milburn being the injury worry. David Johnson may well make another appearance, or perhaps Kane Tenace will get a run, with Corey / Bartel playing off half-back and Tenace the extra midfielder.

Didn't see much of Adam Simpson; Selwood too wasn't that prominant (for him), he and Corey attracting the attention of taggers. The boy from Katamatite, Dale Thomas lookalike Wright had his first AFL goal towards the end of the term, trimming the Cats' lead to 57 points, which stood as the margin at the final break, the Cats outscoring the Roos by 1 behind that quarter. The game had lost all intensity by this point, the crowd a bit of interest. Our pick of the best for the Cats to this stage were Johnson, Mackie and Kelly, with Varcoe getting an honourable mention. The third quarter was a day when the smaller players such as Kelly, Varcoe, Wojcinski, Byrnes and Stokes got plenty of the ball.

Byrnes booted his third 3 minutes into the final term, finishing off another team goal (an overused term but the best description). Rooke set it up, his third bone crunching effort getting the ball to Byrnes whose split-second snap was a good one. Geelong's 'mayor' Cameron Ling had his first courtesy of Varcoe and Mooney, Mooney marking just on fifty but handballing to nearby Ling who slotted home from outside the line to an open goal square.

The game needed to be euthanised in the last 7-8 minutes, absolutely nothing happening as the Cats racked up possession after possession. Stokes' second rounded off a professional 70 point win. The Cats play the Bulldogs in another 'home' game at Etihad Stadium this Friday night.

The couch-sitter's observations during the game:

Mooney needs to trim his hair
Byrnes hopeless
Harley Mr Media
Varcoe's facial hair growth seems to have improved his game
Geelong Doctor in force
'Kick it pretty boy' 'stop feeding your face' - comments as Hawkins lined up for goal from a free kick in the 2nd quarter. 'My goodness me he's kicked a goal; maybe they've done kicking practice like Carlton did a couple weeks ago'


KANGAROOS affiliated North Ballarat out-gunned Geelong in the VFL match curtain-raiser earlier in the day. James Podsiadly kicked another big bag of goals, his third bag of five or more so far this season.

NORTH BALLARAT 3.4 9.8 12.8 17.9 (111) DEF
GEELONG 2.3 4.4 6.9 9.9 (63)

GOALS: NORTH BALLARAT : J. Smith 3, J. Spolding 3, B. Driscoll 2, D. Chester 2, C. Jones 2, M. Wundke 2, B. Goodes, W. Benjamin, T. Cartledge
GEELONG: J. Podsiadly 5, A. Varcoe, T. West, J. Laidler, J. Hollmer

BEST: NORTH BALLARAT : M. Sewell, B. Goodes, O. Stephenson, C. Garlett, C. Jones, T. Cartledge
GEELONG: K. Tenace, J. Podsiadly, S. Hogan, D. Johnson, N. Djerrkura, J. Simpkin

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Cats on TV in the UK this week! (About time)

Joy! A month after I returned to Scotland, Setanta are finally showing the Cats this weekend. And I get to write an article that should get published at the end of it (wonder if I can claim Setanta on the tax that I aren't actually paying anyway? Hmm..) I keep thinking this may be someone's idea of a sick joke, but two days out I'm pretty sure it'll be on now, at 5am this Saturday.

Further good news; the bastards at the UK Border Agency finally approved The Cattery's admin manager's visa and although they're trying it on in terms of actually returning the passport in a timely manner, she should be resuming her posie over here soon.

Ironically there may be more AFL watchers in Scotland now than in England. Main reason being that Setanta holds the exclusive rights to the Scottish Premier League, so a fair few punters up here actually have it (plus more people up north go for Virgin instead of Sky, and often get Setanta thrown in). Am yet to spot any Geelong gear up here but have noticed a bird at the gym wears a Bombers jumper a couple times a week, and spotted another clown in a Bombers scarf on Monday. Even seen Melbourne Victory merchandise; alas haven't found any fellow Catters just yet.

The Cats are boosted by the return of Captain and Vice Captain Tom Harley and Cameron Ling, respectively. Of course they have lost Gary Ablett for a few weeks, but the team shouldn't feel it (at least not against the Swans). David Johnson, who played the last two weeks, has been dropped. Sydney made no changes after defeating Richmond last week.

In the VFL the Cats are attempting to get their first win, in their first home game of the season against Werribee prior to the AFL match. Werribee however have two wins out of three and will be no pushover that's for sure. We're keen to see how Tom Lonergan, Nathan Djerrkura, Ryan Gamble and particularly Trent West go.

Cats by 37 points, big Tom Hawkins to bag four.

Monday, May 4, 2009

GEELONG again outclassed an opposition in Melbourne at the MCG on Sunday , but will miss Brownlow favourite Gary Ablett for three weeks with a groin injury.

While I spent the weekend tracing family history in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Cats were running rings around the Demons, who in fairness got a lot closer than the Lions did the week before at Skilled Stadium. Geelong led at every change to win by forty-three points, but it may yet come at a great cost in the longer term for Gary Ablett. The midfield maestro was below par and spent the final quarter on the bench as fellow class midfielders Paul Chapman, Joel Selwood and 2007 Brownlow medallist Jimmy Bartel kept things ticking over.

The reasons for Ablett's benching were revealed afterwards, it being confirmed he would miss up to three weeks with a groin complaint. In the VFL the 'Bendigo Bank Cats' were overran by an experienced Port Melbourne side in the final term to go down by two goals after leading by fifteen points at three quarter time. They remain winless down the bottom of the ladder, third last on percentage from Frankston and Bendigo. James Podsiadly, formerlly of Werribee Tigers fame (literally) kicked a bag of five to go with his three in round one. The other two multiple goalkickers, Ben Johnson and Scott Beattie, were also VFL only listed players ('top up' players if you like, but we don't).


As eluded to earlier, we were not able to watch nor listen to the game live, being on the road for the weekend in Denmark. But fortunately thanks to what we can only presume to be Channel Seven's intervention, we were able to watch the game online. Initially I wasn't looking forward to it, given the winning margin looked so-so compared to last week. But we were in for a treat of sorts.

For once, a hyped-up Channel 7 pre-game promo actually lived up to the hype; a video collage juxtaposing Garys Senior and Junior and about either's ability to pull a crowd conjured up images of various other father-son personality cults such as the Two Kims in North Korea and the Two Marks at Ansett. I digress; 'The Artistry of Ablett' as it was billed actually started off on script, little Gary kicking his first goal within literally NINE seconds. After a slightly wayward bounce, Mark Blake knocked the ball forward. Ablett, who was already moving at speed, grabbed the ball, bounced once three metres from the edge of the square and when he kicked (6 seconds gone) was just inside fifty. As Bruce pointed out a minute or so later, it was his 200th career goal.

While we're still on the pre-match, the highlights from 2007 were illuminating; up front was not only Cam Mooney but one Nathan Ablett; he really only spent the year in that spot but it's clear the Cats still haven't convinced fans, and maybe not themselves, they're sorted out the second tall just yet.

The Cats' second and 'The Camster' Mooney's first was created by David Wojcinski, who is now officially 'back'. Wojcinski ingeniously won the ball within Melbourne's half, took two bounces and disposed of the ball 60 metres from goal. The result was by no means certain however, Mooney marking right on the goalline between the goal and behind posts, the goal a confidence builder for the 2007 All Australian.

After ten minutes of messing around by the Cats and good, honest footy from the Dees, Melbourne hit the front with their second from Mitch Morton, with two minutes to go in the quarter. Unfortunately for Morton, his kick out on the full in Geelong's forward pocket helped Mooney to his second and the Cats to the quarter time lead.

The opening five minutes of the second quarter pretty much belonged to the Dees, but it was Steve Johnson who broke the deadlock, accepting a handpass from Joel Corey just outside fifty and running on for a goal. Geelong's second a couple minutes later was sparked by Tom Hawkins, who took possession on the lead under pressure, handballing to a free man (Wojcinski) who spotted out Travis Varcoe in the goalsquare.

With eleven minutes to go the Cats had piled on three goals to the Demons' none, to lead by twenty-four points. Unfortunately inaccuracy was setting in, Mooney and Hawkins each missing getable shots at goal, for just one behind between them.

As with last week, the Melbourne president, former great and Brownlow medallist Jim Stynes, was shown sitting with regular 'punters' (punters with tweed hey?) in the style seen recently by English sports retailer Mike Ashley at Newcastle games. Incidentally the side wearing a sinful strip is about to get relegated, something that would have happened to the Dees by now had we had such as system. Good luck to him. He gave a rousing "Yeah! Yeah!" when Russell Robertson kicked his 400th goal for the club.

David Johnson, in his second game of the season, had plenty of involvement in setting up play from the backline, along with Matthew Scarlett and Corey Enright. Darren Milburn also did his best to demonstrate that he's not too old just yet. Shannon Byrnes lost possession a little too easy a couple of times. XXXX Meeson, recruited from Adelaide but originally from Modewarre / Geelong Falcons, .

With just over three minutes to go Stokes kicked his first, the Cats had seven goals. But if the Dees thought they'd be able to see the game out to half time they were wrong; the Cats booted another two goals and two behinds to lead by thirty-two points at the main break. The crowd pleaser was the first, Max Rooke running from the 50m arc to accept a handpass in the goalsquare from Stokes for a goal that looked easy but, repeated over a season, is what wins Premierships. Steve Johnson's goal a minute later was another case in point, and from our perspective was the correct call from the goal umpire; just because the TV cameras were obscured doesn't mean someone else (ie. the umpire who was RIGHT THERE) didn't get a good luck at it. (See below).


Paul Chapman finally opened the goal scoring midway through the term from outside fifty. Earlier, Joel Selwood took a courageous mark (See below). At one stage Melbourne were outscoring Geelong for the quarter but the Cats slammed home the final two goals of the quarter to increase their lead at three quarter time to forty-six points. Johnson and Rooke each kicked their fourth and second goals (and final) of the game.


Tom Hawkins, relatively quiet during the middle period of the game, got on the board with Geelong's first of the final term. He'll be in against the Swans next week at Skilled Stadium. A minute later Mooney kicked another behind for himself, one of twenty-one in all by the Cats of the match.

Paul Chapman was again one of Geelong's best, and should take over the mantle from Ablett in the next month against the Swans, Kangaroos and Bulldogs in a run of three 'home' games for the Cats. Commentators talk too often in clichés but Chapman really is benefiting from an excellent pre-season and while the season's only six rounds old looks like he has shaken off persistent hamstring injuries he suffered from in 2008, restricting him to work more as forward than playing a significant role in midfield.

Geelong's final goal came from Varcoe (his second), another 'team goal' by the Cats, no less than six players getting hands on the ball in the seconds leading to the goal. It started from a smother by Jimmy Bartel in the centre, and after Wojcinski's run and carry the ball ended up in the goalsquare, passed from Mooney to Hawkins then finally to the waiting Varcoe who still had plenty of work to do to put the ball between the big sticks. Neither team scored in the final two minutes of play, Geelong fans going home happy with the four points (but less so about losing Ablett), Melbourne fans happy to see their young players take it to the Cats.

The Cats host the Swans at home next Saturday afternoon, a game FINALLY to be broadcast to the UK / Ireland by Setanta Sports. The Cattery however may have to watch the game on slight delay, picking up the other half from Glasgow airport after the UK border gardaí finally approved the visas! Until then, GO CATS!

GEELONG 3.3, 9.8, 12.17, 15.21 (111) DEFEATED
MELBOURNE 2.4, 4.6, 6.7, 10.8 (68)

GEELONG: S.Johnson 4, Mooney 3, Varcoe 2, Rooke 2, Stokes, Ablett, Hawkins, Chapman
MELBOURNE: Robertson 3, Miller 2, Johnson, Morton, Bennell, Petterd, Sylvia

GEELONG: Chapman, Bartel, S.Johnson, Selwood, Enright, Mackie
MELBOURNE: Davey, Robertson, Morton, Sylvia, Frawley, McLean

CROWD: 36,932 at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)

FIELD: Hayden Kennedy (7) Heath Ryan (14) Jeff Dalgleish (16) EM: Shane Stewart (10)
BOUNDARY: Matthew Payton Chris Gordon Mitch Lefevre Mark Foster
GOAL: Darren Mills Stephen Williams EM: Luke Walker

GEELONG: Gary Ablett, left adductor (a groin injury in other words). The City of Greater Geelong remains in a trading halt pending further scans.


PREMATCH ODDS: Geelong $1.01 - $1.04; Melbourne $300 - 400 (OK we're kidding, but that's the only condition we'd have backed them