Wayward Cats beat Dockers by 19 points - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wayward Cats beat Dockers by 19 points

By Justin Chadwick 21/06/2009 09:48:44 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle coach Mark Harvey had a feeling his team was in for a day of heartbreak against AFL pacesetters Geelong on Sunday.

It had nothing to do with the Cats' white-hot form, which had seem them win their past 11 games, or the Dockers' mounting injury toll.

Rather, it was Harvey's choice of CD on his drive to the ground that sparked alarm bells.

"I put in a CD ... and I found myself singing (Al Stewart's) Year of the Cat," Harvey said after the Dockers' 19-point loss at Subiaco Oval.

"I had to check myself, understanding what was about to happen in two hours' time.

"And then (Bonnie Tyler's) It's a Heartache was the other one (I listened to).

"It's been an interesting game and I've got a headache."

Fremantle appeared set to post a remarkable victory when they stormed back from 25 points down midway through the third quarter to level the scores by the final change.

But two goals apiece to Shannon Byrnes and Steve Johnson in the last quarter saw the Cats sneak over the line, 13.16 (94) to 11.9 (75).

Byrnes finished with 5.1 and 26 disposals in what coach Mark Thompson described as the 25-year-old's finest outing to date.

"Without his contribution we probably wouldn't have won," Thompson conceded.

"He missed out last year's grand final and if we had our time again we probably should have played him.

"He's the ultimate team player Shannon.

"To us, he is a really, really important person."

But while Byrnes was a Deadeye Dick in front of the posts, Cameron Mooney's goalkicking yips continued.

The 29-year-old, whose frailty in front of goal were evident in last year's grand final loss to Hawthorn, managed just two behinds against the Dockers.

One was from a set shot 30m out on a slight angle, the other a spray on the run from just 10m out.

"I don't really know what's going on with Cam's head at all," Thompson said.

"It's probably not right that he misses them.

"But we've got 10 weeks before the finals start and we'd really want to go into a finals series having his routine set, having his confidence levels okay so that he kicks goals he should kick."

Both Fremantle and Geelong will be sweating the outcome of the match review panel, with Antoni Grover reported for striking Johnson and Geelong's Cameron Ling likely to be scrutinised for a rib-tickler on Nic Suban.

Fremantle went in against Geelong with six first-year players and Harvey was thrilled with the continued development of his young list.

Greg Broughton gathered 29 disposals, Stephen Hill (23) was influential around the stoppages and Matt de Boer restricted Geelong star Joel Selwood to 19 possessions while gathering 21 himself.

"The effort of the guys, against a side that we all think's going to play in a grand final, was substantial," Harvey said.

"Experience in games will tell you that in time things will turn around.

"As I said, that song keeps coming back to me, It's a Heartache."

Dockers skipper Matthew Pavlich starred with 31 touches and two goals, Chris Tarrant was sensational in defence on Mooney and Aaron Sandilands (20 possessions, 37 hit-outs, one goal) was a tower of strength in the ruck.

The Cats were well led by Paul Chapman (31 possessions), Gary Ablett (29), Joel Corey (30), Ling (27) and Jimmy Bartel (26).

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