GEELONG has fallen to its second consecutive defeat to start its 2022 campaign, going down to Carlton by 14-points at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday night.
The Cats had their moments throughout the contest and despite a gallant final quarter fightback they couldn’t quite snatch an unlikely victory late with the Blues proving too strong 4.7 (31) to 2.5 (17).
Playing in front of their home crowd for the first time in 2022, the Cats dominated the territory battle early with nine inside 50s to four in the opening quarter, including the first give of the game. However, it was the Blues who hit the scoreboard first through Elise O’Shea.
Amy McDonald (21 disposals, six tackles) went close late in the term after evading a couple of Blues to get the Cats within four points at quarter time.
Carlton’s engine room threatened to break the game open early in the second with Madison Prespakis (29 disposals) and Kerryn Harrington (23 disposals) finding plenty of the football as the Blues dominated the disposal count.
However, the Cats youth kept it in the contest with Georgie Prespakis (15 disposals) catching the eye with her clean hands and ability to evade the opposition inside the contest. Whilst Chantel Emonson's transition was important against the fleet footed Blues.
After laying five tackles in the opening term, Irish recruit Rachel Kearns was rewarded for her persistent pressure, stepping up crucial stage of the second term to kick her first career goal and draw the Cats level.
A late goal to Blue Nicola Stevens saw the Blues extend their lead to seven points at the main break.
The Cats put on an aerial show in the third term with Kate Darby, Olivia Fuller and Danielle Higgins clunking big grabs, whilst Prespakis showed some candy on the run, but her goal attempt was spoiled through for rushed behind on the goal-line.
Carlton’s class shone through in the term with their ball movement and efficiency leading to a Courtney Jones goal as the Blues took a 11-point lead into the final term.
Phoebe McWilliams gave the Cats a sniff late with a fourth quarter goal to get Geelong within seven points, but Carlton’s class prevailed.
The Cats will now host Collingwood at GMHBA Stadium next Friday night.
GEELONG 0.2 1.3 1.5 2.5 (17)
CARLTON 1.0 2.2 3.4 4.7 (31)
Geelong: Kearns, McWilliams
Carlton: O'Dea, Stevens, Jones, Gee
Geelong: A.McDonald, Webster, Darby, Ivey, McWilliams, Emonson, Johnson
Carlton: Prespakis, Harrington, Gee, Moody McEvoy, Laloifi
Carlton: Walker (illness) replaced in selected side by Hammans