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A 9 point goal by Ben Graham in the last term helped the Cats to a 20 point over Port Adelaide in hot and humid conditions in Cairns. After a quiet first half Graham became one of the Cats better player with 4 goals in the second half including that 9 pointer from outside 50. Port had the better of the Cats in the first half with Riccardi doing well as the Power led by 10 points at quarter time and 12 points at half time. After the Power extened their lead to 3 goals soon after the break, Geelong kicked 5 of the next 3 goals to be within 3 points at the last change. But with Matthew Scarlett, Tom Harley and Cameron Mooney, who picked up 18 touches from Centre Half Back, doing well in defence, that Cats were able to keep the power scoreless, while kicking 3 goals themselves in the last term. Along with Graham, Riccardi and Mooney, Ling and Bartel were also good players for the Cats. Final Score: Geelong 18.104.22.168 Port Adelaide 22.214.171.124
Geelong won a second consecutive match by 20 points when it over ran Carlton in the second half. Led by Cameron Ling's 28 touches and 3 goals the Cats were too good in the second half after leading by 1 point and the main break. The Cats led by 10 points at quarter time, but should have been further in front had Graham, Kingsley and McCarthy not missed easy shots. Playing on Mooney, Whitnall had 4 goals to half time, but All Australian full back Matthew Scarlett kept Lance to only 1 goal in the second half, after having first round hero Brendan Fevola benched in the first half. Like last week every time Mooney touched the ball he found a team mate which enabled the Cats good run out of the backline. McCarthey kicked better after the early miss, to finish with 3 goals, while Henry Playfair played his best game in the senior side with a good showing in the ruck in the second half. Rookie Shannon Byrnes also impressed with his pace. Final Score: Geelong 13.8.86 Carlton 126.96.36.199
Geelong advanced to the final of the Wizard Cup with a thrilling 1 point win over Melbourne in the Semi Final. Three final quarter goals from Kent Kingsley helped the Cats get over the line. Earlier Melbourne led by 2 points at quarter time, but riding on a Graham 9 pointer the Cats led by a handy 13 points at half time. But with the help of the umpires Melbourne got on top in the third term and had they kicked straighter they could have been more than 2 points in front at the last change. A 9 point goal from Haynes kept the Cats in touch. Melbourne got the first goal of the last term, but then Kinsley kicked 2 quick goals to give the Cats the lead.. But Melbourne responded again, and then Corey kicked a goal from 40 metres out to grab the lead back for the Cats. Then the shocking umpiring continued to help Melbourne, with Scarlett pushed towards Neitz and making contact 50 metres off the ball. Neitz was awarded a free kick and he kicked a 9 point goal which gave the Dees the lead. Kinglsey then marked and goaled from 40 metres out, his 3rd for the quarter and 4th for the match, to give the Cats a 1 point lead with 2 minutes left. They were able to hang on and advance to their first pre-season final since 1997. Final Score: Geelong 188.8.131.52 Melbourne 184.108.40.206
Geelong lost its 9th Grand Final (Day & Night), since its last Premiership in 1963, to St.Kilda by 22 points. The Saints kicked 5 goals in the last term to the Cats 1 point. The Saints led by 12 points at 1/4 time with Kingsley soccering one through and Haynes kicking one from a set shot. The Cats lifted in second term with Kingsley continuing his good form from the last term against Melbourne. He was very dangerous kicking 3 for the term to have 4 to half time. McCarthey also kicked 2 goals for the term and Graham bombed a 9 point goal to give the Cats an 11 point half time lead. The 3rd term was goal for goal with the Saints reducing the margin back to goal but goals to Graham and then Kingsley (his 5th goal) got the Cats out to a 18 point lead. The Saints reduced that 1 goal, but then Ablett kicked a classy goal and the margin was 11 points at the last change. But it wasn't to be for the Cats as the Saints over ran them in the final term. Scarlett was the Cats best player, having thrashed Gehrig, dispiste Gehrig's 2 late goals. Final Score: St.Kilda 220.127.116.11 Geelong 18.104.22.168
ROUNDS 1 - 22
St.Kilda V Geelong, Telstra Dome, Saturday (Night) March 27
Geelong showed that dispite making the Wizard Cup Grand Final nothing has changed over the off season after being thrashed by 61 points by the Saints. Geelong lost Ablett before the game with a groin injury, but they actually started better kicking 4 goals to 3 in the first term. Joel Corey then kicked a ripper from outside early in the second term to put the Cats two goals clear. But 2 misses to Chapman and Rooke proved costly as the Saints got on top in the midfield and with little pressure they were able to deliver the ball forward with ease. They kicked the next 13 goals before Kingsley kicked his second late in the third term. The damage had already been done. The Cats kicked three late goals in the last term, to Scarlett (who was one of the Cats best dispite the Saints bringing the ball forward time after time) and Playfair (his 2 goals were his 2nd and 3rd in his career). During the match the Cats lost Graham, Milburn and Sanderson to injury with another long season ahead for the Cats.
SCORE: St.Kilda 19.8.122 Geelong 9.7.61
BEST CAT: Joel Corey
LEADING GOAL KICKER(S): Kent Kinglsey & Henry Playfair 2
LADDER POSITION: 14 (0-1)
Carlton V Geelong, Optus Oval, Sunday April 4
Things went from bad to worse for the Cats with a 54 point thrashing at the hands of Carlton. Dispite missing several key players including King, Ablett, Sanderson, Milburn, Graham and Wojcinski the Cats put up a pathetic display after they kicked the 3 goals of the match. The first was to first gamer Kane Tenace who kicked a goal with his first kick in the AFL. From there Carlton kicked 16 goals to 3. McCarthy not making the distance from 30 metres in the final term capped off a bad two weeks for the forward. James Kelly was one player that put in all day and he finished with 25 touches and a goal. More bad news for the Cats was the report of Brent Moloney for striking former Cat David Clarke. After the match Geelong President Frank Costa blasted the players, while fans were calling for the head of Coach Mark Thompson who refuses to accept any blame for the sides poor form.
SCORE: Carlton 16.8.104 Geelong 6.14.50
BEST CAT: James Kelly
LEADING GOAL KICKER(S): David Spriggs 2
LADDER POSITION: 15 (0-2)
After the playing group was blasted by President Frank Costa and Coach Mark Thompson during the week Geelong were far more competative against the Swans only to lose by 6 points after leading by 14 points at the last change. Andrew Mackie played his first game for the Cats, while Darren Milburn returned to the side. After a slow start where the Cats were down at quarter time, the side lifted in the second term with James Kelly continuing his form against Carlton and Henry Playfair and Paul Chapman were providing targets in the forward line. After kicking 5 goals to 4 the Cats led by 2 points at the main break. They continued their run in the third term, as they held the Swans goaless while adding another 2 themselves. Kelly had kicked his 3rd during the quarter. But like so many times last season the Cats fell asleep in the last term as they let Sydney into the game. The Swans could have ran away from the Cats had they kicked straighter than 3 goals 8. Kingsley kicked the Cats first goal with a couple minutes remianing to reduce the final margin to a goal, but things could have been different had he had a shot from a similar position instead of passing when the Cats were less than a goal down earlier in the quarter.
SCORE: Sydney 10.13.73 Geelong 10.7.67
BEST CAT: James Kelly
LEADING GOAL KICKER(S): James Kelly 3
LADDER POSITION: 16 (0-3)
Geelong V Richmond, Telstra Dome, Saturday (Night) April 17
Geelong finally won their first game of the year with a 49 point thrashing of Richmond. In easily its best performance of the year, the Cats had more goals at half time, 11, then its 10 goals against Sydney last week, which was more than the 9 against St.Kilda and 6 against Carlton. Ben Graham stamped his return to the Geelong side with 4 goals in the first quarter which broke the Tigers back. His 4 goals gave the Cats the start they needed with Haynes, celebrating his 50th match, also kicking a couple in the first term. Richmond got their first goal after the quarter time siren from a free kick. The Cats even after quarter time kicking 4 goals in each of the remaining 3 quarters, although they should have won by more had they kicked straighter in the last term. Graham booted two more in the last to finish with 6, while Mackie impressed with 2 goals. Tom Harley was the Cats best player, providing plenty of drive from the backline, while Tenace showed he will be a player by kicking a great goal in the third term, Mooney was once again in the Cats best playing in the Ruck, while Playfair also impressed in the forward line, while Wojcinski was back to his dashing self running well from the backline and driving the ball forward. Although the skills still need improving it was a huge improvement on the first two weeks.
SCORE: Geelong 19.13.127 Richmond 11.12.78
BEST CAT: Tom Harley
LEADING GOAL KICKER(S): Ben Graham 6
LADDER POSITION: 13 (1-3)
Fremantle V Geelong, Subiaco Oval, Sunday April 25
Geelong lost to Fremantle by 26 points after they kicked the first 3 goals of the final term to get within 2 points just before the time one period. They then ran out of legs in the 30 degree heat while Fremantle found theirs. Geelong welcomed back Gary Ablett to the seniors for the first time this season and he kicked a goal in the first term. A long Graham goal on quarter time reduced the margin to 17 points. Fremantle threatened to blow the game open in the second term, but 3 goals from Peter Riccardi kept the term even and the margin was still 17 points at half time. Fremantle won the third term by 3 points, but during that term Moloney and Wojcinski started to provide the Cats with good run. The run continued early in the last term with Paul Chapman kicking 2 goals to finish the match with 3. But playing catch up football in the heat proved too much for the Cats. Mooney once again was amongst the Cats best as his form revival continues.
SCORE: Fremantle 18.9.117 Geelong 14.7.91
BEST CAT: Brent Moloney
LEADING GOAL KICKER(S): Peter Riccardi & Paul Chapman 3
LADDER POSITION: 13 (1-4)
Geelong V Adelaide, Skilled Stadium, Sunday May 2
Geelong won their second game of the season beating Adelaide by 43 points, in their first home game at Skilled Stadium for 2004. In tough windy conditions Ben Graham, playing his 200th game, kicked the Cats only goal in the first quarter, while the Crows kicked 2 to lead by 9 points at quarter time. Geelong lifted in the second term with Ling the main instigator after it appeared he may have broken his arm very early in the match. He was moved onto the dangerous Burton on the wing, and he had 7 kicks and kicked 2 vital goals for the term. Moloney was doing a great job in the middle, while Mackie kept the pressure on in the forward line as he helped set up goals to Ablett and Chapman. Harley was also doing a good job in defence, and he had McGregor moved to the backline. In the third term Geelong broke the game open by kicking 6 goals to 2. Included in those 6 goals were 2 great running goals from Ablett and Moloney, while Hunt intercepted a kick out and goaled. Geelong kicked another 4 goals to 2 in the last term with Ablett and Ling kicking their 3rd goals. While Graham kicked an 80 meter torp that just missed and would have brought the house down had it gone through.
SCORE: Geelong 15.11.101 Adelaide 8.10.58
BEST CAT: Cameron Ling
LEADING GOAL KICKER(S): Cameron Ling and Gary Ablett 3
LADDER POSITION: 10 (2-4)
Hawthorn V Geelong, Telstra Dome, Sunday (Twilight) May 9
Geelong moved to 8th position on the ladder by thrashing Hawthorn by 56 points for the their second win in a row. The Cats dominated the game from the first bounce and they should have won by more had they kicked straighter, especially in the first half. They kicked 6.11 in the first half and they kept Hawthorn in the game after only leading by 22 points. Kelly and Corey were cutting the Hawks up in the midfield while Haynes, Graham, Kingsley and Chapman were too slick for their opponents in the forward line. Scarlett and Harley were well on top of the out of form duo Nathan Thompson and Nick Holland. Gardiner took the mark of the night during the second term and he also kicked the goal from 50 meters out. Kingsley took a mark a fraction after the siren, and after it was paid by the ruling umpire, Scott McLaren overruled from down field and the mark was disallowed. The Cats kicked the first two goal of the third quarter to kill any chance the Hawks had of winning the match. The term was capped off with brilliant play from Ablett who handballed to Haynes who goaled, this time a fraction before the 3/4 time siren. Geelong extended their lead in the last term by kicking 5 goals to 3. Kelly was the Cats best player, while Mooney continued his excellent start to the season with 17 touches and 7 clearances.
SCORE: Geelong 15.18.108 Hawthorn 8.4.52
BEST CAT: James Kelly
LEADING GOAL KICKER(S): David Haynes 3
LADDER POSITION: 8 (3-4)
Geelong V Melbourne, Skilled Stadium, Sunday May 16
Geelong ended Melbourne's 6 game winning streak by holding on to win by 14 points, after the Dees got within a point in the last term, after earlier the Cats led by 40 points. Steven King played his first game of the season and for 10 months and he got a touch as soon as he came on to the field. Melbourne had not won at Geelong since 1988, and when they kicked the first 2 goals of the match they were on there way. But once the Cats settled they dominated the remainder of the first term. They kicked the next 7 goals with long direct football, including 2 to Paul Chapman. Kelly also kicked a beauty from the boundary line. Geelong led by 27 points at quarter time. The second term was more of a scrap with only 3 goals kicked. The Cats kicked 2 of those with Mooney running forward to kick his 2nd goal, to lead by 34 points at the main change. A great mark and goal from Mackie set the lead out to 40 points, but thats when the game changed. Excitement machine Aaron Davey then helped the Dees back into the match, kicking 3 for the term as the Dees kicked 6, including one after the siren to reduce the margin to only 9 points. In between Kingsley kicked his 4th, but missed an easy just before the siren, to allow the Dees to kick theirs. Davey kicked his 5th early in the last term, and the Dees could have been in front had they not kicked two more points. With the game to be won, Melbourne had Neitz and Robertson on the bench after both had been thrashed by Matthew Scarlett and Tom Harley. Last year Geelong may have laid down, but not this time as they once again lifted. Ablett, who played a very creative game, evaded 2 Melbourne players to snap a beauty and give the Cats some breathing space. Then Mackie also kicked a great snap goal for his 3rd and Geelong were on fire. Mooney then kicked his 3rd with another snap and Chapman sealed the game also from a great snap which was also his 3rd goal and the margin was back out to 26 points. Melbourne kicked the last 2 goals but the match was all over. Scarlett was the Cats best after once again having the better of Neitz. Tom Harley was not far behind.
SCORE: Geelong 15.11.101 Melbourne 12.15.87
BEST CAT: Matthew Scarlett
LEADING GOAL KICKER(S): Kent Kingsley 4
LADDER POSITION: 8 (4-4)
Geelong V Essendon, Telstra Dome, Saturday (Night) May 22
Geelong ran away from Essendon in the last term to win by 23 points. A record Geelong crowd for Telstra Dome of 51.400, saw the Cats kick 5 goals to 2 in the last term. Matthew Scarlett and Tom Harley each played their 100th game. Kent Kingsley provided the spark for the Cats, kicking the first 3 goals of the match before Lloyd got the Bombers going, following a bad umpiring decision. The Cats again got away thanks to couple from Paul Chapman, but the Bombers came back late to reduce the margin to 4 points. Geelong kicked 4 goals to 2 in the second term with James Kelly kicking a couple, to give them an 11 point lead at the main change. Essendon got the first goal of the third term to reduce the margin, but the Cats had some breathing space when Kingsley kicked his 6th to equal his personal best in a match. Essendon then came back with the next 3 goals to hit the lead late in the term and it looked like the Bombers would over ran the Cats. But Ben Graham took a great mark and after an Essendon player ran over the mark, Graham goaled from the goal square to give the Cats the lead right on 3/4 time. Right after the break Ablett hanballed to Graham who goaled and Geelong were away. Riccardi was a star in the second half and he passed to Haynes who goaled, and moments later Chapman passed to Ling who goaled and Geelong were 4 goals. Essendon got one back, but then Kingsley kicked his 7th, to become the first player to kick more than 6 goals for the Cats since Gary Ablett Sr in 1996. Lloyd got one back for the Bombers, but then Riccardi capped off his great half of footy by kicking the sealer.
SCORE: Geelong 18.12.120 Essendon 14.13.97
BEST CAT: Kent Kingsley
LEADING GOAL KICKER(S): Kent Kingsley 7
LADDER POSITION: 7 (5-4)
Port Adelaide V Geelong, AAMI Stadium, Sunday May 30
Geelong lost a thriller to Port Adelaide by 4 points after they led by 20 points at half time. After Port Adelaide got away early in the first term, Ben Graham got the Cats going, kicking three goals for the term, including a long one after the siren, to give the Cats a 14 point quarter time lead. Geelong continued their run in the second term with Ablett and Gardiner lively across half forward while Moloney and Bartel were playing well in the midfield. Bartel kicked a great long goal, while Graham added his 4th during the term. A late goal to Port from a lucky free kick reduced the half time margin to 20 points. The Power came at the Cats in the third term, but twice the Cats were able to respond. Ablett kicked his second goal, while Mooney was moved forward and he kicked 2 goals for the term. But for the third time in the term the Power came back and this time they reduced the margin to only 1 point at the last change. Geelong tried to hold off the Power in the last term and goals to Haynes and Graham, his 5th which equalled Jason Snells record of 5 goals against the Power. Riccardi had a chance to extend the lead to 9 points, but he missed an easy shot and then it was the Powers turn to hit the front. Geelong had their chances to get the lead back but Graham undid all his good work for the day by missing from 10 metres out and Mackie also missed a hard one from the boundary. The Power got out to a 10 point lead, with Riccardi kicking a much harder goal to reduce the margin to 4 points. Unfortunantely there was only 7 seconds left and the Cats ran out of time.
SCORE: Port Adelaide 18.8.116 Geelong 17.10.112
BEST CAT: Brent Moloney
LEADING GOAL KICKER(S): Ben Graham 5
LADDER POSITION: 8 (5-5)
Bulldogs V Geelong , Telstra Dome, Sunday June 6
After an even first half when scores were level, Geelong ran away after half time to win by 46 points. Dispite showing better form than the Dogs, the Cats knew this would be a danger game as they had lost their last 4 matches against the Dogs even though the Cats were higher on the ladder. The first half was shocking to watch as both sides made plenty of errors. Scores were level at quarter time and then at half time. The only real highlight for the half was the class of Gary Ablett Jr. He kicked two goals in the first term, one a quick snap from the square, the other a left foot goal. He added one more in the second term when he evaded two Dog players and again snapped with his left foot. The only other interest in the first half was Ling getting hit by Will Minson and Darcy doing his knee. Darcy did return in the second half. Geelong stopped stuffing around with the football in the third term and that is when they started to get on top. Ablett added his forth during the term after a fine mark on the lead, and Ling recovered from the knock to pick up 11 kicks and 2 goals for the term. Geelong kicked 7 goals to 2 for the term and they had a match winning 5 goal lead at the last change. They continued their run in the last term to kick 3 goals to 1. Ablett could have added 2 more goals to his tally, but he missed 2 easy shots, while Bartel and Graham provided the highlights for the term. Bartel took a great mark running with the flight of the ball, ending up on the pack, while Graham finally listened to the crowd who were telling him to have a long shot at goal. He did, kicking one from over 55 metres out. The Cats happy to get the four points.
SCORE: Geelong 17.11.113 Bulldogs 10.7.67
BEST CAT: Gary Ablett Jr
LEADING GOAL KICKER(S): Gary Ablett Jr 4
LADDER POSITION: 7 (6-5)
Geelong V Kangaroos, Skilled Stadium, Sunday June 13
Geelong beat the Kangaroos by 10 points after holding on while kicking against the strong breeze in the final term. Steven King missed with Hamstring tightness, while Peter Riccardi became the 6th Cat to play 250 games. The Roos got off to a great start with Wells sparking them to kick the first 4 goals of the game against a the breeze. Moloney was moved off Wells and Enright went onto him and did a good job for the rest of the game. Geelong came back though and with the held of Mackie, who kicked their first 3 goals, the Cats led by 1 point at quarter time. Geelong continued their run in the second term with Ablett sharking one from a ruck contest, Kingsley kicking and Moloney kicking a long one from outside 50. Geelong lost Mackie when Graham passed to him instead of kicking for goal and he was kneed in the ribs. Kingsley had chances to extend the lead but he could only kick two points and one on the full. It was the Roos term to come back later in the term and the margin was only 3 points at half time. The Roos hit the front during the third term and they had a huge chance to win coming home with the wind in the last term. But Geelong hit back late in the term. Graham kicked a long goal from 60 metres out and Hunt also kicked a long one. Wojcinski who was one of the Cats best players snapped one and Geelong led by 15 points at the last change. Ablett extended the lead to 21 points after a great mark and long goal. North came back, but once again it was Ablett who extended the Cats lead to 3 goals. North once again came back but they could only reduce the final margin to 10 points. It could have been a different story had they kicked better than 2 goals 7 in the last term. Matthew Scarlett was the Cats best player after keeping Rocca to 2 goals while taking 11 marks himself and providing the Cats plenty of drive from defence.
SCORE: Geelong 14.10.94 Kangaroos 12.12.84
BEST CAT: Matthew Scarlett
LEADING GOAL KICKER(S): Gary Ablett Jr & Andrew Mackie 3
LADDER POSITION: 6 (7-5)
Geelong V Brisbane, Skilled Stadium, Saturday June 19
Geelong beat the Lions for the first time since 1995 by 27 points in tough wet and windy conditions. Brisbane kicked with the wind in the first term and dispite kicking the first two goals of the match they could not break away from the Cats. Kingsley helped set up the Cats first two goals to Ling and Wojcinski. The Lions were in front by 8 points at the first change. Kicking with the wind in the second Geelong started to come into the game. Graham was on top at Centre Half Forward and he marked strongly to kick a goal. Mooney also kicked a goal during the term and the Cats had reduced the margin to 3 points at half time. The game was there to be won in the third term and it was the Cats that showed they would not be intimidated by the Lions any more. Steve Johnson playing his first game of the season kicked two great goals for the term while Ablett sparked the crowd with a long goal and the Cats were on a roll. Brown kicked his 4th near the end of the quarter but Haynes quickly answered with one off the ground and the margin was 12 points at the last change in favour of the Cats, with the kicking to come in the last term. Lappin showed his class to bring the Lions within a kick early in the last term, but thats where the Lions stopped. Joel Corey celebrated his return to the side with a goal and then Kent Kingsley capped off the match with 2 goals after missing 4 shots earlier in the game. Graham was the Cats best player with 20 touches, 8 marks and 2 goals in conditions not suited for a big man.
SCORE: Geelong 13.14.92 Brisbane 9.11.65
BEST CAT: Ben Graham
LEADING GOAL KICKER(S): Graham, S.Johnson, Mooney & Kingsley 2
LADDER POSITION: 5 (8-5)
West Coast V Geelong, Subiaco Oval, Saturday (Night) July 3
Geelong lost another thriller interstate with a 2 point loss to West Coast in Perth. A goal from David Wojcinski with 2 minutes left reduced the margin to 2 points, but the Cats could not get the ball forward to score the winning goal. The Cats got off to the better start with Ablett kicking their first and Kingsley kicking another to give them a two goal lead. The Eagles got the next two goals, but a late goal from Riccardi gave the Cats a 7 point quarter time lead. The Cats fell asleep in the second term as the Eagles kicked 3 goals to 1 to lead by 5 points at half time. The third term was very scrappy with the Eagles kicking the only goal for the term. The Cats could only manage 1 point and they were 2 goals down at the last change. Riccardi kicked the Cats closer early in the last term, but this was replied by Matera who had a very quiet night. Moloney once again got the Cats closer with a goal before the Cats ran out of time after Wojcinski's goal.
SCORE: West Coast 7.9.51 Geelong 7.7.49
BEST CAT: James Bartel
LEADING GOAL KICKER(S): Gary Ablett & Peter Riccardi 2
LADDER POSITION: 5 (8-6)
Collingwood V Geelong, Telstra Dome, Friday (Night) July 9
Geelong ran away from Collingwood in the last quarter for a very good 29 point win in front of more than 50,000 fans. The first quarter was even with both sides kicking 3 goals. Chapman and King kicked great goals and then Ablett set up Barlett who snapped a great left foot goal. The Cats got on top in the second term but they could not make the Pies pay on the scoreboard. Ablett was very dangerous in the term but he could only kick one goal while hitting the post 3 times. Steve Johnson also hit the post during the term. Ben Graham was the other Cats goal kicker for the term. The Pies kicked 3 goals for the term including one to Buckley after a questionable 50 metre penalty to lead by 3 points at the main change. The Cats continued to get on top in the third term but once against they could not kick straight. After kicking 3 points in the game Kingsley finally kicked a goal after receiving a free kick close to goal. Ablett also received a free kick after being tripped, but he kicked his 4th behind. To annoy the Pie fans even more Graham was awarded a free kick after Wakelin bumped into him without looking at the ball. Graham goaled and the Cats were a couple of goals in front. A long goal to Tarrant reduced the margin to only 5 points at the last change and it looked like there would be another close finish for the Cats. Tim Callan, playing his second game, ran from half back to kick a running goal from 50. But a goal from a free kick kick to Buckley reduced the margin back to 5 points. That was the end of the Collingwood charge. King kicked his second goal for the game with a ripper snap and then Corey, who was having a great last term, ran into the open goal and the margin was suddenly 17 points. Then Tim Callan showed great poise as he passed to Corey on his own inside 50. Corey quickly passed to Ling on his own just 15 metres out. Ling goal and the match was over. Ablett had two more shots at goal but he kicked 2 more points for 6 for the match. Chapman then kicked his second, before Rocco kicked his first goal after being thrashed by Scarlett who was Geelong best player. Other good player included King with 37 hit outs, Bartel with 29 touches and Ling, Chapman and Corey.
SCORE: Geelong 12.22.94 Collingwood 9.11.65
BEST CAT: Matthew Scarlett
LEADING GOAL KICKER(S): King, Graham & Chapman 2
LADDER POSITION: 5 (9-6)
Geelong V Sydney, Skilled Stadium, Sunday July 18
Geelong ran away from Sydney in the final 5 minutes, to win a tough match by 15 points. Geelong suffered a blow before the match with Mooney being a late withdrawal, while Shannon Byrnes (recently promoted off the Rookie List) came in to play his match for the Cats (he played in 3 Wizard Cup games earlier this year). Sydney won the toss and kicked with the breeze favouring the City End of the ground. Tom Harley started on Hall, but after early touches to Hall, Scarlett was moved onto him. Sydney dominated the first part of the term but they could not kick straight. O'Keefe was their only goal kicker for the term as they also kicked 6 points. Geelong on the other hand made the most of their shots on goal. Graham marked on the lead and goaled, and then Riccardi came onto the ground and sparked the Cats in the midfield. He kicked a great right foot goal, and then Graham kicked his second after the siren to give the Cats a 7 point quarter time lead. Geelong could not kick straight with the breeze as they managed 7 points. Like Geelong in the first term the Swans made the most of their chances kicking 2 goals 1 to reduce the margin to 1 point at half time. The Swans came out firing with the wind in the third term with O'Keefe kicking 3 goals in ten minutes to give the Swans a 2 goal lead. Geelong did come back. Kingsley, who was held kick less by Barry in the first half, got a free kick and kicked a goal and then Steve Johnson once again showed his class, like he did agaisnt Brisbane, by kicking 2 great goals. Ablett then gave the Cats a 7 point lead at the last change with a great goal. The Swans once against started the term better with O'Keefe and Ball kicked goals to give them a goal lead. Byrnes then took a mark from an errant kick and goaled from close to 50 out to even the scores. But Jude Bolton snapped a goal from the boundary and the Swans were once again a goal ahead. It was time on when the Cats got their late run on to win the match. David Johnson went in hard after the ball and he got a free kick and goaled which gave the Cats a 2 point lead. Then Chapman got the bounce of the ball to run into the open goal and seal the win. Kingsley kicked his second after the siren. Scarlett was the Cats best player, keeping Hall to 1 goal.
SCORE: Geelong 11.11.77 Sydney 9.8.62
BEST CAT: Matthew Scarlett
LEADING GOAL KICKER(S): Graham, Kingsley & S.Johnson 2
LADDER POSITION: 5 (10-6)
Geelong V Carlton, Telstra Dome, Sunday July 25
An innacurate Geelong thrashed Carlton by 57 at the Telstra Dome. Paul Koulouriotis played his first game for Cats, after playing 3 with Port Adelaide. Geelong dominated the match from the first bounce and with Chapman kicking two first quarter goals they helped themselves to 5 for the term. They could have been further ahead had Graham kicked the 3 shots he missed, after taking 3 very strong grabs. He did set up Ablett when he kept the ball alive on the boundary line and Ablett goaled. The second term was much the same as Kent Kingsley snapped two good goals, while Ablett was at his roving best. Geelong led by 6 goals at half time, but should have led by more. Carlton kicked the first 2 goals of the third term and they were back in the match, but a great tackle by Ablett was rewarded and he goaled, and then Chapman kicked his 4th goal and the match was over. The highlight of the term was Matthew Scarlett running down the field and he kicked a rare goal (his 9th in his career) while Fevola was left watching 70 meters away. Geelong put the icing on the cake in the last term as they kicked 6 goals to Carlton's 3. After 5 misses Graham finally kicked his first goal, before added another point later on. Wojcinski capped off a great game in the midfield with 2 final quarter goal, while Callan once again showed he can kick a goal. Darren Milburn was Geelong best, on a day when the Cats had plenty of good players.
SCORE: Geelong 18.23.131 Carlton 11.8.74
BEST CAT: Darren Milburn
LEADING GOAL KICKER(S): Kent Kingsley & Paul Chapman 4
LADDER POSITION: 5 (11-6)
Geelong V St.Kilda, Skilled Stadium, Sunday August 1
Geelong held off St.Kilda to win a thriller by a 7 points at Skilled Stadium, a reversal to the 2 loses the Cats had to the Saints earlier in the year. Geelong got the jump on the Saints in the first term as they slammed on 6 goals to 2, with Ben Graham continuing his good form from last week, but this time kicking straight with 2 goals. Steve and David Johnston, Paul Chapman and Steven King also chipped in with goals. Geelong lost Corey Enright with a broken jaw after he collided with Harley in a marking contest, after Riewoldt pushed him into Enright. Geelong extended their lead to 38 points when Kingsley kicked his first goal from outside 50. But the Saints then lifted and they started to get the ball in the midfield. With the help of the umpires they kicked the next 6 goals to lead by 2 points at half time. Geelong hit back in the third term with goals to Graham and a brilliant snap to Ablett. Gehrig kept the Saints in the game with a couple of goals, but Scarlett got one back on him when he ran down the field and he soccered one through. The Saints got an early lead in the last term but Steve Johnson took a good mark and goaled and they were back in the match. With scores level late in the term Graham was held without the ball right in front and he kicked his 4th to give the Cats a 6 point lead. Then Kingsley took a mark but missed, but the Cats held on for the final 3 minutes for an excellent win that may gave openned the door on a spot in the top 4.
SCORE: Geelong 15.11.101 St.Kilda 15.4.94
BEST CAT: Ben Graham
LEADING GOAL KICKER(S): Ben Graham 4
LADDER POSITION: 5 (12-6)
Richmond V Geelong, MCG , Sunday August 8
Geelong beat Richmond by 31 points in the Cats first and only Home and Away match at the 'G this season. Geelong got off to a great start with Ablett dribbling one through and then Graham kicked a goal as well. The Tigers came back with a couple to Brown, but the Cats always had the answers with Captain Steven King taking a strong mark in the square and goaling. They led by 14 points at quarter time. Geelong continued their run in the second term and after early goals they led by 26 points and they looked to be heading for a huge win. But Richmond played better in the second half of the term and the Margin was back to 19 points at the main break. Once again Geelong started the third quarter better with Ablett lively up forward and Steve Johnson kicking one after he pinched the ball from the Richmond defence. Ablett and Johnson were in the play again when Ablett grabbed the ball evaded two Richmond players and then handballed to Johnson who kicked a brilliant goal from 50 out on the boundary. Geelong continued to dominate in the last term, with Chapman snapping his 3rd, Johnson kicking his 4th and Ablett also kicking his 3rd. Best for the Cats was Bartel with 35 touches, while Ling was not too fat behind with 39 himself.
SCORE: Geelong 16.18.114 Richmond 11.17.83
BEST CAT: James Bartel
LEADING GOAL KICKER(S): Steve Johnson 4
LADDER POSITION: 5 (13-6)
Geelong V Fremantle, Skilled Stadium, Saturday August 14
Geelong thrashed Fremantle by 50 points in a match that was played in very muddy conditions at Skilled Stadium. The Cats had the wind in the first quarter and they dominated the play but they could not kick goals. This kept Fremantle in the match. After 9 straight behinds and with a second left on the clock, Joel Corey slotted one through to give the Cats 14 point lead at quarter time. The second term was pretty even with Fremantle making most of their use of the breeze. They kicked 3 goals for the term while the Cats kicked 2. McCarthy soccered one off the ground in the square, while Tenace kicked ripper from the boundary line just before half time to give the Cats a handy 9 point lead a the main break. The third term is often said to be the premiership quarter and thats how if proved for the Cats. They kicked 5 goals to 0 with the wind and the match was as good as over at the last change where the Cats lead by 41 points. Steve Johnson kicked 2 for term, one a typical Johnson goal from the boundary, while Riccardi also kicked 2 for the term, both off the ground, and Graham kicked a great snap goal from around 50 metres out. The Cats kept Fremantle goaless in the last term as they kept them to their lowest score since entering the AFL. McCarthy added his second late in the game, after also making 12 tackles as well.
SCORE: Geelong 9.21.75 Fremantle 3.7.35
BEST CAT: Gary Ablett
LEADING GOAL KICKER(S): S.Johnson, Riccardi & McArthy 2
LADDER POSITION: 4 (14-6)
Adelaide V Geelong, AAMI Stadium, Saturday August 21
Geelong lost its 5th interstate match for 2004 when it lost to the Crows by 22 points. Adelaide had the aid of the breeze in the first term and they should have led at quarter time but they did not kick straight. Gary Ablett was lively up forward and he kicked a couple of goals in the term. The Crows got on top in the second term and they led by 18 points at half time. Geelong tried to come back in the third term but every time they looked like getting on top the Crows answered. Kent Kingsley finally started doing something but his kicking at goal was still a worry. Geelong got within 3 points during the term but the Crows got out to a 15 point lead at the final change. The Cats tried their best to get into the match in the last term but they could only kick 2 goals during the term. As soon as they got those goals, the Crows answered straight away and the match was over. Cameron Ling was the Cats best player, picking up 31 touches, while Paul Koulouriotis played his best game for the Cats, with 22 touches and his first goal in the AFL.
SCORE: Adelaide 15.19.109 Geelong 12.15.87
BEST CAT: Cameron Ling
LEADING GOAL KICKER(S): Kent Kingsley & Gary Ablett 3
LADDER POSITION: 4 (14-7)
Geelong V Hawthorn, Skilled Stadium, Sunday August 29
Geelong thrashed Hawthorn by 65 points to finish the Home and Away season in 4th spot. Geelong regained Brent Moloney from injury, while David Spriggs was a late inclusion for his first match since earlier in the season. Hawthorn kicked with the wind in the first term and they took full advantage of it. They kicked 5 goals to the Cats 2 to lead by 15 points at the first change. The Geelong players received a blast from Coach Mark Thompson at quarter time and they came out firing in the second term. They kept the Hawks scoreless while Steve Johnson sparked them into action as they kicked 5 goals themselves. Sanderson kicked a rare goal when he ran down from defence and the Cats were on a roll. Even though they kicked against the wind in the third term that Cats still dominated. Mooney took a strong grab in the square and goaled while Ling snapped one over his shoulder and the Cats were home. Geelong continued its dominance in the last term and it was only bad kicking that cost them a much greater win. They kicked 6 goals 6 for the term. Graham kicked 3 goals in the last term, while Johnson finished with 5. Ablett was inaccurate with 5 points. Matthew Scarlett continued his excellent season and a stamp on the All Australian full back position with another great match.
SCORE: Geelong 17.21.123 Hawthorn 9.4.58
BEST CAT: Matthew Scarlett
LEADING GOAL KICKER(S): Steve Johnson 5
LADDER POSITION: 4 (15-7)
Port Adelaide V Geelong, AAMI Stadium, Sunday September 5
Geelong were thrashed by Port Adelaide in the clubs first final since the 2000 season. The Power's run started with 2 goals in the last 2 minutes of the first term to give them a 3 goal quarter time lead. Joel Corey had kicked the Cats first goal after the Power got the first of the match. Corey's goal was followed with a beauty from Steve Johnson, but the goal umpire rules the ball touched even though the Port player appeared to be behind the line. Cameron Ling was the Cats only goal kicker in the second term as the Power had a match winning lead at half time. Geelong worked hard in the third term to get back into the game with Milburn playing well in the midfield. The Cats had reduced the margin to 5 goals after Kingsley, Ablett, Chapman and Johnson has goaled and the Power had only kicked 1 for the term. Then Kingsley got a free for a push in the back with around a minute left on the clock. Kicking from 50 metres out he thought the distance was too far for him, so he ran around the player on the mark but missed from 40 metres out. He missed proves costly as Dew goaled after the siren and the match was over. Kingsley's day was furthered soured when he was reported in the last term, while Ablett limped off with an ankle injury.
SCORE: Port Adelaide 18.9.117 Geelong 9.8.62
BEST CAT: Darren Milburn
LEADING GOAL KICKER(S): Steve Johnson & Kent Kingsley 2
Geelong V Essendon, M.C.G, Saturday (Night) September 11
Geelong bounced back from its Qualifying Final loss to Port Adelaide, to hold off the Bombers in the final term and win by 10 points, the clubs first finals win since 1995. Geelong got off to a great start when Gary Ablett roved the ball off the pack and he ran inside 50 and slammed through a great goal. The rest of the term was tight with no side able to score a goal. Essendon then lost Fletcher and then Richards when stretched off after a brilliant hip and shoulder from Tom Harley. After play resumed Ablett was in the play again. He tackled an Essendon opponent, stole the ball and then he handballed to Riccardi who snapped a goal, to give the Cats a 13 point lead at the first change. Ablett was once again in the play in the second term. First he handballed to Haynes, who snapped a great goal from near the boundary, and then he took a mark on 50 quickly played on and passed the ball to Chapman inside 50 who goaled. Lloyd finally got the Bombers first goal, but Graham responded but taking a strong mark and kicking a long goal from 50 metres out to give the Cats a 26 point lead at half time. Geelong continued their run in the third term when Henry Playfair marked and goaled from the boundary line after a goaless first 10 minutes for the term. Haynes kicked his second, and then Steve Johnson kicked his first and Geelong were away. Essendon kicked a couple in a row, but Steven King snapped a goal and the Cats were 33 points in front at the last change. Chapman kicked the first goal of the last term and the Cats were 40 points in front and they were looking for a huge win. But the Bombers had other ideas and they kicked the last 5 goals of the match. Ablett was the Cats best player, but others included Bartel, Corey and Mooney.
SCORE: Geelong 10.14.74 Essendon 9.10.64
BEST CAT: Gary Ablett
LEADING GOAL KICKER(S): Paul Chapman & David Haynes 2
Brisbane V Geelong, M.C.G, Saturday (Night) September 18
Geelong was left shattered after a 9 point loss in the Preliminary final against Brisbane after no side was able to gain a break of more than 2 goals all night. The Cats had no one but themselves to blame after crucial errors throughout the match proved costly against the best side in the competition. Both sides also missed easy shots at goal with Graham and Lynch each kicking 4 points. The Cats led by 2 points at quarter after Kingsley celebrated his return to the side with two early goals, he did nothing else though. Ling who was the Cats best player kicked goals in the first and second term as the Cats tried to extend their advantage. Chapman kicked a ripper snap from the pocket and the Cats should have been further ahead but Riccardi kneed a shot from Haynes that was going through and only a point was awarded. The Lions lead by 2 points at the main change. The Lions had a chance to extent their lead in the third term but Lynch kicked 3 of his 4 points. Graham also added 2 points for the Cats, but Ablett kicked a great running goal and then Charlie Gardiner came into the play with 2 goals in 2 minutes and the Cats were in front by 9 points. But they stuffed around with the ball in the backline and late in term Moloney took a mark in the backline played on even though he was surrounded by Lions players and the result was 2 Lion's goals in a minute and the Cats were down by 4 points at the final change. The Lions got the first of the last term after a ball went over a pack and bounced through the goals. But Geelong would not lie down and Riccardi was hit off the ball, giving a free a Chapman 40 metres out. He passed to Ablett right in front who goaled and there was only 3 points in it. Akermanis who had been well held by David Johnson, goaled straight away. Graham then took a strong mark 30 metres out but he kicked his 4th point. Joel Corey then took a great mark in the square and goaled and once again it was only 3 points in it. But once again the Lions responded straight away. This time the Cats could not come back as the season ended with a loss that will surely hurt but inspire the side for 2005.
SCORE: Briabne 12.12.84 Geelong 10.15.75
BEST CAT: Cameron Ling
LEADING GOAL KICKER(S): Ling, Ablett Kingsley & Gardiner 2
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