Cats run rampant in record finals tie
AN amazing 10-goal first quarter which rewrote the record books launched Geelong's Australian Football League finals campaign in sensational fashion in Melbourne yesterday.
The fired-up Cats, led by Billy Brownless, booted 10.2 (62) in the first term building a 52-point lead over Footscray who could manage only a paltry 1.4 (10).
The margin at the end of the first term was the largest in a finals match in the AFL and before that, the Victorian Football League.
Geelong eventually ran out 83-point winners, 24.11 (155) to 10.12 (72).
Without full forward Gary Ablett, Geelong were expected to struggle against a rugged Footscray outfit but Brownless who kicked six, more than made up for the absence of Ablett who was serving the final week of a two-week suspension.
Brilliant North Melbourne captain Wayne Carey kicked 5.4 from centre half-forward and played a valuable role in several other important scores in a 22-possession performance against Richmond at the MCG on Friday night.
A crowd of 68,226 - the majority supporting underdog Richmond - watched the first of four qualifying finals to be played over the weekend.
North will not know their semi-final opponent until after Carlton meets Brisbane at the MCG today because of the complicated nature of the play-off series.
Despite the defeat, the Tigers are still likely to get a second chance - provided Carlton knocks out Brisbane today. They will most probably face the challenge of West Coast in front of a fiercely parochial crowd at Subiaco.
A knee injury to talented full-forward Ashley Mcintosh exposed West Coast's paucity of scoring power in the Eagles surprise 19-point loss to Essendon at Waverley Park yesterday.
West Coast managed only eight goals as the underdog Bombers took command in the vital third term to run out 11.8 (74) to 8.7 (55) winners.
A disappointing crowd of only 36,102 watched the match at AFL Park.