Ablett awesome as Cats storm home - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ablett awesome as Cats storm home

By Roger Vaughan 19/04/2008 07:37:58 PM Comments (0)

The only person under-playing Gary Ablett's maestro AFL performance on Saturday at Skilled Stadium was the man himself.

Ablett produced one of the best games of his career as Geelong first held off Sydney's spirited challenge and then stormed over them in the last quarter to win by seven goals, 16.18 (114) to 10.12 (72).

Sydney coach Paul Roos described Ablett's 35 possessions and three last-term goals as "phenomenal", while his Cats counterpart Mark Thompson declared: "outstanding - and if the umpires don't give him three (Brownlow Medal votes) today, they all should be sacked".

But typical of the modest Geelong midfielder, he talked down his pivotal contribution.

"I just try to play my role, get in there and win the first possession, it kind of fell my way a few times in the last quarter, but it was a great effort by the team," he said.

"I didn't actually know my stats until you told me - look,it came back a lot to the team winning the ball, it's very important that your team gets in and wins those first possessions.

"It definitely helps every individual play good footy, so it was just a good team effort today."

Young Sydney tagger Kieren Jack worked hard against Ablett, but there was no containing him.

In the sort of tight, arm-wrestle contest that Sydney are so good at engineering, every Ablett disposal found its mark and usually freed up a teammate.

Sydney had drawn to within three points early in the last term when Ablett kicked his first two goals to ease the pressure.

The final margin did not reflect the immense pressure that the undermanned Swans applied to the reigning premiers through the middle of the game.

Already missing Barry Hall through suspension, they lost Tadhg Kennelly as a late withdrawal with a hamstring problem.

Key players Adam Goodes and Michael O'Loughlin also had below-par games.

But Sydney recovered from a 30-point deficit at quarter-time and twice trailed by less than a goal, before the Cats kicked eight goals to three in the final term.

Thompson and Roos praised their teams - the Cats for holding their nerve and producing a great final term, the Swans for being so competitive for three and a half quarters.

Despite rolling his ankle in the first term, Cats tagger Cameron Ling worked hard on Goodes through the game.

Roos admitted Goodes' below-par start to the season is "a massive concern", while Ling might be in doubt for Friday night's game against Fremantle at Subiaco.

Steve Johnson and Matthew Stokes kicked four goals apiece for the Cats, while Jimmy Bartel was also prominent.

Ruckman Darren Jolly and key defenders Leo Barry and Craig Bolton impressed for the Swans.

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