Ling fails to deliver for Geelong - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ling fails to deliver for Geelong

By Greg Buckle 17/09/2010 10:44:02 PM Comments (0)

In last year's grand final, Geelong's Cameron Ling was a match-winner with his tagging role on St Kilda's Nick Dal Santo.

But oh how things have turned for the club favourite and first-year skipper.

Before halftime in Friday night's preliminary final against Collingwood at the MCG, Ling had failed on the wing and struggled up forward, before moving onto Luke Ball in midfield.

It was starting to get embarrassing.

A club best and fairest winner, an All-Australian, a two-time premiership player, Ling is the heart and soul of the Cats.

But the 29-year-old midfielder looked as slow as the outcome on the federal election against the Magpies.

Ling's fumbles under pressure in defence were symbolic of Geelong's inability to get through Collingwood's relentless defence and get the ball clear onto the wing.

When Ling and fullback Matthew Scarlett coughed the ball up in the 24th minute of the first quarter, Collingwood moved five goals ahead following a snap by Scott Pendlebury.

Three minutes later, Ling tried to shut down fellow left-footer Ben Johnson, who decided to take him and casually stepped around Ling before kicking a long goal.

"Ben Johnson simply said it's only Cameron Ling, I'll run around him," Triple M radio commentator Jason Dunstall said.

Ling's nine-possession first half included being sent to the forward pocket, where he again looked slow.

"Where do you hide Cameron Ling because the Collingwood players are treating him with contempt," Dunstall added.

At the 32-minute-mark of the second quarter, Ling's chance to make an impact came. Turning slowly onto his trusty left foot, he snapped at goal, and missed.

Cats coach Mark Thompson rolled the dice and said okay Lingy, play on Brownlow Medal favourite Dane Swan.

Incredibly, things got worse early in the third quarter.

Swan marked. Collingwood's Leigh Brown bumped into Ling's shoulder as if to say, cop that old man.

Ling snapped, as the fiery red-head gave Brown a love-tap in the ribs and gave away a 50-metre penalty, as Swan kicked a big torp into the stands at the city end.

A trier to the end, Ling shadowed Alan Didak then Swan in the last quarter and finished with 29 possessions in a 41-point defeat.

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