Cats cruise to victory over Demons - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cats cruise to victory over Demons

By Roger Vaughan 03/05/2009 07:31:18 PM Comments (0)

Gary Ablett's run of awesome form has slowed to a limp, but only after he produced the best-possible start to an AFL match.

The Geelong star and Brownlow Medal favourite grabbed the ball at the start of Sunday's MCG match against Melbourne, had one bounce and goalled from 50m.

The play of the season took no more than nine seconds.

But Ablett hobbled off in the last term with groin tightness as the Cats had a regulation 43-point win over the improving Demons, 15.21 (111) to 10.8 (68).

In between, Melbourne captain James McDonald worked extremely hard to restrict Ablett to only 25 disposals - "only", given the Geelong midfield maestro had 46 and 42 in the last fortnight.

"That pleased me - I've never seen a quicker goal in league football, has there been one? One possession, one goal," said Cats coach Mark Thompson.

"(It was) fantastic, extraordinary." Thompson added that Ablett might miss Saturday's home match against Sydney; Ablett has a history of groin tightness and the Cats won't risk him.

"He's a little bit sorer than normal and, with a six-day recovery, we'd really have to see how he pulls up," Thompson said.

"We are not overly concerned at all ... he might miss a week, but it wouldn't be more than a week, I wouldn't think." Thompson described it as a reasonable win, but Geelong's inaccuracy was again a problem.

The unbeaten Cats started this game at the unbackable odds of $1.01 and clearly were not at their best against a young, developing side.

"I never was thinking about losing at any stage during the game," Thompson said.

"We pretty much had it under control, we can't always play our most exciting, ruthless and pressurised football.

"It's just impossible to do it every week." Melbourne coach Dean Bailey joked "who was the bloke who got it again?" when asked about the Ablett goal, but added his side did well to take the lead by a point late in the first quarter.

The Demons' workrate was strong throughout and they won the last term.

Their biggest problem was turnovers, particularly as they were going into attack.

Obviously, they can also be grateful the Cats did not kick straighter.

"If you want to start the game well, that's the way you start the game," Bailey said of Ablett.

"Having said that, we got back in front in that first quarter and it wasn't until a turnover in the last minute and a half that we lost the quarter.

"We showed great composure to work our way back into it - that was a real test.

"Our competitiveness was there, which is what we're after, but I reckon I would have liked to have seen some of those opportunities we created turn into something." Paul Chapman and Jimmy Bartel had 41 disposals apiece for the Cats and Demons defender James Frawley was his side's best.

Cats forward Steve Johnson kicked four goals and Russell Robertson put through three for Melbourne in his first game since suffering an Achilles tendon injury in round 10 last year.

Thompson said captain Tom Harley could finally return from a knee injury next week for his first game of the season.

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