Ablett takes Cats to big win over Crows - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ablett takes Cats to big win over Crows

By John Salvado 21/02/2009 10:49:01 PM Comments (0)

Midfield maestro Gary Ablett turned on a first-half master-class as Geelong trounced Adelaide by 35 points in the NAB Cup match at Telstra Dome on Saturday night.

Playing their first competitive match since the shock loss to Hawthorn in the 2008 grand final, the Cats completely outclassed the Crows, winning 1.17.8 (119) to 2.9.12 (84).

Ablett broke the game open in a stunning three-and-a-half minute burst shortly before quarter-time, when he kicked three goals including a stunning nine-pointer on the run and a spectacular snap while hemmed in on the boundary line.

He had a hand in just about every Geelong goal in the opening half, by which stage the Cats led by 37 points and the result was beyond doubt.

Ablett then spent much of the final two quarters resting at full-forward or on the bench, his job already done.

In a match played before a small crowd of 10,320, the Cats were well-served by a multi-pronged attack, with Ryan Gamble booting four goals and Tom Lonergan and Mathew Stokes chiming in with three apiece.

They also held sway in the midfield, dominating the possessions count 408-319, with Jimmy Bartel, Joel Corey, Joel Selwood and Ablett particularly prominent.

And to cap off a pleasing night for coach Mark Thompson, young defender Harry Taylor continued to improve after a breakout season in 2008.

The Cats' tally of 244 handballs was a record for any match.

The Crows had few winners, although skipper Simon Goodwin and Chris Knights worked hard in the midfield and Scott Stevens capped off a solid display with two final-quarter goals.

Ruckman Ivan Maric and key forward Nick Gill booted super-goals for Adelaide.

But the highlight of the night for the Crows came midway through the third term when forward Trent Hentschel - playing his first game since suffering a severe knee injury in round 21, 2006 - goaled after taking a strong mark.

Hentschel was mobbed by his teammates after kicking the goal.

Geelong advanced to a quarter-final next weekend against the winner of Sunday's game between Sydney and Port Adelaide in Canberra.

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