Lions account for Cats in NAB Cup semi - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lions account for Cats in NAB Cup semi

By Adam Cooper 10/03/2007 12:21:56 AM Comments (0)

The Brisbane Lions are within reach of their first AFL pre-season premiership after beating Geelong by 12 points in Friday night's NAB Cup semi-final at Telstra Dome.

Coach Leigh Matthews' threat a week ago that his men might not try because of fixturing annoyance was a hollow one, as the Lions began well and then saw off a Geelong fightback to win 3.8.10 (85) to 0.10.13 (73).

Justin Sherman booted three goals, while Simon Black, Jed Adcock and Colm Begley all notched nine-point super goals.

Defeat could yet come at an even bigger price for the Cats, with midfielder James Kelly a potential candidate to be cited for a crude forearm to the face of Adcock, while defender Josh Hunt was injured when his left leg plugged in the ground during the third quarter.

Matthews virtually conceded his side would travel next week, as the winner of Saturday's clash is likely to have booted more goals, thereby earning a home final.

"I gave my views last week and nothing happened and nothing's ever going to happen I guess," he said.

"As a coach I wasn't worried if we won tonight to be honest. A competitive effort would have done me and then play at home next weekend (in a practice game).

"I didn't tell the players. They wanted to win ... once you're out there the will to win takes over whether it's a pre-season game or a premiership game."

Scores were level with about three minutes left when young Lion Joel Patfull kicked the telling goal, after he marked Tim Notting's long ball to the goalsquare.

Patfull was one of a stack of Lion cubs playing, and young guns Sherman, Michael Rischitelli and Jasoe Roe all impressed.

However it was the class of Black and Luke Power, who racked up 49 possessions between them and continued running to the game's end, which stood out for the visitors, while Chris Johnson booted two goals in his first game of the campaign.

Asked about Kelly's contact on Adcock, Thompson said he did not want his players to take all contact out of the game.

"We say to players 'We want you to play hard and make it a real contest', so you can't be judging players too harshly on those things," he said.

The Cats said Hunt had escaped with a strained knee, which might put him in doubt for round one of the premiership season.

Matthews was pleased with the efforts of his younger players, who were starting to show signs they were capable of taking over following the departure of so many stars.

"The availability of players has been decimated in the last year-and-a-half, we've had 10 players a week unavailable ... the by-product of that is that is guys play," he said.

"We are seeing the benefit of that. We've got a lot of guys have played some good footy in the last couple of weeks that haven't done so before necessarily."

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