Written by AFL Online on 17th Feb 2008
After a crushing 2007 Grand Final win over Port Adelaide, the Cats have opened their NAB Cup account in convincing style belting the Demons by 71 points, set up by their dominant first and last quarters.
Playing 14 of their premiership players Geelong went for the kill early with an eight goal to two first quarter to lead by 33 points at quarter time. The lead then blew out to 62 points midway through the second quarter before Melbourne fought back and seemed to dominate the third quarter to get within 35 points at the final break. The Cats then powered on once again to kick eight goals, including a supergoal, to blow Melbourne away.
The Cats jumped out of the blocks in the first quarter with three early goals, before young Isaac Weetra kicked the Demons first. Some Gary Ablett brilliance produced a goal for Darren Milburn, before Ablett left the field with a kick in the calf. The return of Tom Lonergan was something to be admired and he kicked the Cats sixth after a penetrating kick from Brownlow Medalist Jimmy Bartel.
The Demons second came when Colin Garland pounced on a loose ball and snapped truly. Steve Johnson, who dominated all day, produced some brilliance to end the first quarter, stepping around two Melbourne players and kicking a goal on his non preferred. The Cats had kicked 8.1 to Melbourne’s 2.4 to lead by 33 points.
After an early second quarter goal to Tom Lonergan, some sloppy play from the Demons cost them another two, before Shannon Burns snapped out of the pack at the 17 minute mark to stretch the Cats lead to 53. Some brillance from David Wojcinski allowed Shannon Byrnes to kick the first supergoal of the game. Wojcinski gathered the ball close to the boundary line and managed to handball along the line, keeping the ball in play and then stepped around his opponent to re-gather and feed the ball off to a free Byrnes. Just minutes later the Demons scored their first supergoal through Simon Buckley, who gathered 70 metres out, ran to 60 and unloaded with massive bomb into the stiff breeze. Buckley was into the action once again, streaming from half back, he managed three touches, before Jones spotted Newton, who recieved a free kick and 50 metres to kick his first and bring the lead back to 48 points at half time.
Melbourne started the third quarter well with Colin Sylvia kicking a goal within the first minute and when Trent Zomer goaled at the 6 minute mark the Demons had kicked the last four goals. Both sides went goal for goal, until Colin Garland kicked a 55 metre supergoal to cut the lead to just 26 points. Steve Johnson then pounced on a clanger kick in from Adem Yze to kick his fourth goal on the 3 quarter time siren.
The Cats last quarter domination was kicked off by a supergoal to David Wojcinski who bombed from outside 50 after a 1-2 with Mathew Stokes. After Shannon Byrnes and young gun Ryan Gamble kicked their second goals, Steve Johnson kicked his fifth and then his sixth just 4 minutes later. Robertson’s first and goals to Garland and Newton were the Dees only scores for the final term, before the Cats kicked the last three goals through Kelly, Davenport and Wojcinski to run out winners by 71 points.
Norm Smith Medalist Steve Johnson was Geelong’s best player with his 6 goals and Grand Final emergancy Brent Prismall impressed with 35 touches.
Gary Ablett didn’t return to the field after he went off the ground in the first quarter and will miss two weeks with that knock to the calf. Geelong coach Mark Thompson assured fans that it was nothing to worry about.
Geelong will now play St Kilda at Canberra in the NAB Cup Quarter-Final.
Geelong – 0.8.1 – 1.12.4 – 1.15.7 – 2.22.10 (160)
Melbourne – 0.2.4 – 1.4.4 – 2.8.5 – 2.11.5 (89)
Geelong: Johnson 6, Byrnes 2, Gamble 2, Kelly 2, Lonergan 2, Davenport 2, Stokes 1, Prismal 1, Mooney 1, Milburn 1, Hunt 1, Wojcinski 1
Nine Pointers: Byrnes, Wojcinski
Melbourne: Garland 2, Newton 2, Meesen 1, Robertson 1, Sylvia 1, Valenti 1, Green 1, Weetra 1
Nine Pointers: Buckley, Garland
Geelong: S Johnson, Ling, Prismall, Stokes, Bartel, Byrnes, Wojcinski, Milburn, Taylor
Melbourne: Jones, Buckley, Valenti, Yze, Meesen, Garland
Umpires: Rosebury, Sully, Kamolins, M Nicholls
Crowd: 15,000 est at Skilled Stadium