Ablett leads Cats to victory over Swans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ablett leads Cats to victory over Swans

By Greg Buckle 16/08/2008 11:28:31 PM Comments (0)

Gary Ablett made a mockery of the doubts over his Brownlow Medal chances with another best-afield performance as Geelong crushed Sydney by 39 points at ANZ Stadium.

The defending premiers scored their 19th win from 20 rounds this AFL season, beating the Swans 20.13 (133) to 14.10 (94) before 44,950 fans.

The Cats set up their 11th consecutive win with a seven-goal haul in the third quarter to Sydney's two.

Ablett had 32 possessions and kicked three goals.

Barry Hall tried hard for the Swans with five goals after his likely opponent Matthew Scarlett withdrew with a sore back.

The result means Adelaide (48 points) have replaced Sydney (46) in the top four after the Crows beat Essendon at Telstra Dome.

Sydney could drop to sixth if North Melbourne (46) beat Carlton on Sunday.

Geelong stunned Sydney by kicking seven of the first eight goals of the match.

But the Swans fought back late in the opening term with three goals, including two to Barry Hall, to reduce Geelong's lead to 21 points at quarter-time, 7.4 (46) to 4.1 (25).

Both sides kicked two goals in the second quarter as the Cats stretched their advantage to 22 points.

With their lead reduced to under three goals 10 minutes into the second half, the Cats surged away in the third term to double the home side's score by three-quarter time, 16.10 (106) to 8.5 (53).

Hall led Sydney's mini-comeback in the last quarter as the Swans kicked six goals to Geelong's four.

Geelong forward Cameron Mooney kicked two goals but could be in trouble for a head-slamming tackle on Sydney's Lewis Roberts-Thomson.

Ablett was in sensational form early, kicking two brilliant running goals in the first half and setting up opportunities for Geelong's forwards, including Shannon Byrnes and Tom Lonergan who also contributed two goals each in the half.

Byrnes kicked his third goal early in the third term and when Ablett marked strongly and kicked his third at the 14-minute mark, the Cats had seized a 35-point break and were in complete control.

Geelong forward Steve Johnson kicked his first goal of the night before a wobbly pass across field in defence by Sydney ruckman Peter Everitt handed Lonergan an easy goal, his third, as the premiers cracked Sydney's resistance.

The Swans were also missing their regular fullback after Leo Barry withdrew with a hamstring injury.

Sydney face Collingwood (away) and Brisbane (home) in the last two rounds of the home-and-away season while the Cats host North Melbourne and West Coast.

Geelong coach Mark Thompson said he was pleased with the way his team's defence responded to the late withdrawal of Scarlett.

He said Scarlett, Darren Milburn, Paul Chapman and speedster David Wojcinski would all be back for next week's game against North Melbourne, which he said would be another solid test for the Cats going into September's finals series.

"Losing Matthew didn't help. To win by 39 points is a good result," Thompson said.

"In the last quarter I think we probably put our cues in the rack a little bit and didn't really play the best footy but it really didn't matter.

"It was all about getting through to next week."

Thompson said it would take some luck to win another premiership this year.

"But we're a good side when we play well," he added.

Swans coach Paul Roos said the Cats at their best were unbeatable.

"They are the benchmark no question. There's no question they are a cut above every team in the competition at the moment by a fair margin," the 2005 premiership coach said.

"I think if they play their best, there's no one who will beat them."

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