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Post by CJCorka on April 9th 2010, 3:39 am

GEELONG turned on the afterburners to power past Essendon in the sides' season opener at the MCG.

The Bombers held a surprise 24-point lead midway through the third quarter, and still led by a goal at the final change.

But Matthew Knights' men went scoreless as Geelong piled on six goals to open the final term, and the reigning premiers ran away with a 31-point win: 19.11 (125) to 13.16 (94).

Geelong skipper Cameron Ling did a tremendous job against opposing captain Jobe Watson. Watson came into the action as the match wore on but Ling was by his side the whole night, including when Watson ventured forward.

The Bombers had two main bursts - a four-goal run in the second quarter and a five-goal run to kick off the third quarter but they dropped off significantly as the Cats came back.

Gary Ablett’s second half was excellent after a slow start while Joel Selwood starred out of the middle.

Tayte Pears and Cale Hooker performed admirably in defence for Essendon, while there were plenty of promising signs from debutant Ben Howlett who kicked an impressive goal in the third term.

Essendon’s defensive pressure was a highlight during their purple patches - two goals came directly from handball interceptions in the defensive 50. They looked set to extend their four-goal lead when Jay Neagle marked and played on, only to be tackled and helped from the ground with a knee injury.

Although not one of Essendon’s more valuable players, Neagle's exit proved to be the turning point as the Cats slammed on the next nine goals to set up the win.

He returned for the fourth quarter but his output was minimal.

Shannon Byrnes was the chief playmaker up forward for the Cats. He kicked three goals and set up several others, only blotting his copybook with four behinds.

The much-hyped Scott Gumbleton had a quiet night and was easily outbodied by Tom Lonergan, who is looking set to cement a spot for himself in defence after Tom Harley’s retirement.

Geelong 2.5 8.7 11.8 19.11 (125)
Essendon 2.3 7.9 11.14 13.16 (94)

GOALS
Geelong: Mooney 3, Bartel 2, Ablett 2, Hawkins 2, Byrnes 2, Johnson 2, Kelly 2, Selwood, Ottens, Ling,
Essendon: Davey 2, Watson 2, Zaharakis 2, Monfries 2, Neagle, Reimers, Fletcher, Stanton, Howlett.

BEST
Geelong: Selwood, Ling, Byrnes, Bartel, Ablett, Lonergan, Johnson
Essendon: Pears, Fletcher, Davey, Watson, Prismall, Howlett

INJURIES
Geelong: None
Essendon: Neagle (knee)

Reports: Hille (Essendon), reported for charging Bartel in the fourth quarter.

Umpires: Vozzo, Farmer, Meredith

Official crowd: 57,772 at MCG
CJCorka
CJCorka
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Join date : 2010-04-07
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