Cats get out of jail again - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cats get out of jail again

By Adam Cooper 01/08/2009 07:03:16 PM Comments (0)

Geelong coach Mark Thompson believes his side's latest great escape - a two-point win over Adelaide - will serve as another great audition for the AFL finals.

The Cats again found a way out of jail at Skilled Stadium on Saturday by twice coming from eight points down in the final quarter to win through Paul Chapman's last two goals of the game.

Chapman's career-best haul of six included a gem of a match-winner and was the clear difference in the 14.9 (93) to 13.13 (91) victory, which came a week after Jimmy Bartel's post-siren behind sunk Hawthorn.

Geelong led by 27 points in the third quarter before the Crows stormed into the match and opened a handy lead early in the last quarter, which silenced the crowd of 21,686.

But despite again being under-strength in defence, the Cats clawed back the deficit and closed to three points when Chapman speared a goal from the pocket 17 minutes in.

He put his side in front two minutes later with a 55-metre bomb on the run, from close to the boundary, which split the middle despite the blustery conditions.

After a 10-minute, goalless arm wrestle, Adelaide had the chance to win with the last set shot, but Ivan Maric's kick from 55 metres fell short.

The Cats were in possession on their last line when the final siren sounded.

Thompson said the past two wins, along with the six-point loss to ladder leader St Kilda in round 14, proved his side could be relied upon to rally in high-stakes matches.

"As a group, the bench, the coaches box, out on the field you have to perform under pressure and there's been times where we haven't had to perform under this pressure," said Thompson, whose side is safe in second spot.

"But the last month has been outstanding, we've all really enjoyed it.

"It's not that we've done everything perfectly, but it's a good dress rehearsal for what's going to come."

Like the win over Hawthorn, when backmen Matthew Scarlett and Harry Taylor were off injured, Thompson again praised his defence, as Tom Lonergan (groin) was a late withdrawal, and captain Tom Harley suffered a knock to the head in the third term but played out the game.

Adelaide's loss left them in a dogfight with the Western Bulldogs, Collingwood and the Brisbane Lions in the race for third and fourth, and Crows coach Neil Craig conceded the defeat could be the difference between the double chance and a first-up elimination final.

"We came here to win and the way the premiership table is, two points could end up being a costly loss for us," he said.

Craig was pleased with his side's fight and improved ball use since their round-16 loss to St Kilda, which would again be tested by the Magpies and Hawks in the next fortnight.

"The more you can expose your playing group to that the better we'll be," he said.

Kurt Tippett and Brett Burton both booted four goals for Adelaide, while midfielder Brent Reilly was instrumental in the second-half fightback.

Bartel, Corey Enright and Joel Selwood's second half were big factors in Geelong's win, along with Andrew Mackie's role in defence.

Scarlett, Taylor and Lonergan will all be tested before Friday night's game against Carlton.

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