Ablett lifts Cats to win over Eagles - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ablett lifts Cats to win over Eagles

28/08/2010 05:48:37 PM Comments (0)

Geelong coach Mark Thompson has shrugged off a poor first half against West Coast, saying he had already forgotten it as he focused on a qualifying final against St Kilda.

It took a brilliant performance from Gary Ablett to turn the game in Geelong's favour, as the Brownlow Medallist set up a five-goal burst in 11 minutes in the third quarter.

Despite leading by only four points at halftime, the second-placed Cats were able to cruise to a 16.16 (112) to 10.8 (68) win against the AFL's bottom side West Coast.

Switched to a forward role after halftime, Ablett kicked four goals and had 33 possessions and Cam Mooney and Steve Johnson contributed three goals each.

Thompson was thrilled with the efforts of Ablett, who has caused much concern at Skilled Stadium in the past few months by refusing to rule out a switch to the Gold Coast next year.

"His third quarter was outstanding. It's just good to watch him play so good," Thompson said.

Thompson joked around when asked to comment on speculation Ablett was set to announce his playing future on Saturday night.

"Gaz? We've got our fingers crossed but I'm not sure," he said.

"I don't think there is a big announcement."

The Cats coach also praised the work of captain Cameron Ling who was sent forward to even up the numbers for Geelong after the Eagles had stacked their defence.

Thompson said he had a feeling before the game that his players would be just trying to get through the game "without getting any bruises and it sort of happened there for a while".

Asked about Geelong's lacklustre first half, a relaxed Thompson said: "Read into it whatever you want to read into it.

"We've pretty much forgotten about it already and we're moving forward to the first final against St Kilda.

"It happens a fair bit in round 22. It was a dead rubber really.

"We didn't start well, but by the end of the game we'd achieved some of the things we wanted to achieve and had a 44-point victory with a few players out, it's not so bad.

"There were some really good individual performances, none other than young Ablett. I thought he was great."

Thompson became the first VFL/AFL coach to score 17 or more wins in four consecutive seasons.

Joel Selwood (glute muscle), Shannon Byrnes (virus) and Corey Enright (foot) were late withdrawals but the Cats are hopeful they'll be available next week.

Seventh-gamer Callum Wilson kicked three goals for the Eagles, who have slipped from premiers to wooden spooners in four years to equal Hawthorn's last-placed effort in 1965.

First-year player Ashton Hams had 22 disposals including 14 in the first half for the Eagles and kicked two goals.

Coach John Worsfold was also relaxed at his post-match press conference, saying the Eagles had been outclassed in the second half.

"Ablett obviously turned the game around a bit," the Eagles mentor said.

"It's hard for me to pick whether the Cats were flat or not.

"You would have thought there should have been a bigger margin at halftime. But partly it has got to be credit to the effort our players put in."

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