Geelong Spoil Port’s Party

Both locked on 20 points with 5 wins in 2015 and so much to play for, the Cats and Power turned it on at the Adelaide Oval.

Ryan Sabanby Ryan Saban

 

The Geelong Cats have nudged ahead of the Port Adelaide Power 14.8.92 – 11.3.69 at the Adelaide Oval on Friday night in front of a packed house. Geelong move ahead on the AFL Ladder, still fighting hard for a top 4 spot after 11 rounds. 

A high quality opening quarter had the big names stepping up in front of an electric crowd. Port Adelaide took early control of possession, registering the first 4 inside 50s in the opening 5 minutes. As the Cats tried their best to regain composure, James Kelly was forced from the field through injury. 

 

The competition was fierce. Both sides felt the sting of hard footy and the disposal rate indicated as much, below 65 per cent for both teams after 12 minutes. Goals were exchanged and the scorers were kept busy with 63 points added before the first break. 

Robbie Gray was busy with 10 disposals, combining well with team mate Matthew Lobbe who snagged an impressive 5 tackles for Port Adelaide. Rhys Stanley had 5 kicks and 8 disposals to go with his first quarter goal. Both teams were efficient in front of goal with 5.2.32 – 5.1.31 in Port’s favour. 

Geelong kicked the opening goal of the second quarter (Shane Kersten) and started the brighter of the two leading clearances 4-1 and contested possession 9-4. Kersten and Selwood left the field with injuries and Port Adelaide pounced, answering right back through Chad Wingard.

Tom Hawkins was kept to a single possession with 10 minutes remaining in the first half. Geelong looked dangerous on the break, but were not able to kick freely in to the forward 50. Seven of the Cats’ eight goals came from stoppages, including all three goals in the second quarter. 

Port Adelaide struggled to get the ball forward and were down by seven points at the half break. Rhys Stanley was having a cracking game. The forward had 2 goals and protected the advantage for the visitors with 15 hit outs and 14 disposals.

A brutal exchange in the third quarter had the interchange benches running hot. Three more players were forced from the field, including the red hot Rhys Stanley who spent the last 7 minutes getting some attention on his hamstring.

As the pressure intensified, shots at goal remained precious. Both sides kicked special goals; Wingard’s left-foot banana off the outside of the boot from deep in the left corner pocket was a highlight that had the fans screeching with joy. 

 

Leading by 16 points to start the 4th, Geelong never looked like letting their lead slip. Chad Wingard kicked his fourth to close the gap to within 23-points with 9 to play, but the Power were quickly running out of time in a match with a relentless intensity.

“After the break we will be a lot healthier, but we have another game before that,” commented Geelong captain Joel Selwood. 

“It is good to take points from those teams.”

Port Adelaide will struggle to mount a decent finals campaign after sinking to their 6th loss of the season.