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Cats cruise to 70-point win over Tigers

By Sam Lienert 6:15 PM Sat 04 August, 2007

Jimmy Bartel: another standout performance

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GEELONG livewire forward Steve Johnson kicked five goals as the Cats cruised to their 13th straight victory, 21.13 (139) to 11.3 (69) over bottom-placed Richmond at Skilled Stadium.

Four of Johnson's goals came in the first half, the last a brilliant left-foot snap from the forward pocket, as he helped set up a 28-point lead for the home side at the long break.

The result was never in doubt, with Richmond, who started the game as the rankest of outsiders, sticking with the Cats for the first 15 minutes before Geelong pulled away with the final three goals of the first term.

That allowed them to open up a 20-point lead, from which point they were not troubled.

They had 11 goal-kickers in total, with Geelong's forwards at pains to share the spoils, often dishing off passes to teammates when in scoring range.

Brownlow Medal favourite Gary Ablett continued his strong season, with fellow midfielders Jimmy Bartel, James Kelly and Joel Corey also good for the Cats.

In defence, Darren Milburn and Matthew Scarlett were superb in constantly repelling Richmond attacks and driving the ball forward.

The biggest cheers from the Cats' crowd were reserved for ruckman Mark Blake, who kicked two goals, one in each of the third and fourth quarters, after not having kicked a goal in his previous 28 games.

But the match highlight was a spectacular mark by Geelong ruckman Steven King, who took a ride on the goal umpire to mark on the goal-line and prevent a shot by Richmond's Nathan Brown from scoring early in the final term.

Richmond, they could take some solace in that they were at least not thrashed as badly as last time the two sides met, at Telstra Dome in round six.

On that occasion, they were handed the biggest thrashing in their history, by 157 points, a match which started the Cats' current winning streak.

Midfielder Nathan Foley was again a standout for the Tigers, gathering 35 touches.

Matthew Richardson battled hard up forward to kick four goals, while second-gamer Daniel Connors was also impressive.

GEELONG   5.3  9.6  13.10  21.13 (139)
RICHMOND  2.1  5.2   7.3   11.3 (69)

Goals
Geelong: S Johnson 5 M Stokes 3 J Kelly 2 C Mooney 2 M Blake 2 D Wojcinski 2 J Corey S Byrnes N Ablett G Ablett D Milburn.
Richmond: M Richardson 4 N Brown 3 G Tivendale 2 B Deledio S Tuck.

Best
Geelong: M Scarlett G Ablett S Johnson D Milburn J Bartel J Corey.
Richmond: N Foley M Richardson D Connors W Thursfield S Tuck A Raines.

Injuries
Geelong: B Ottens (virus) replaced in selected side by T Varcoe.
Richmond: G Tivendale (head).

Reports
Nil.

Umpires
L Farmer C Hendrie D Goldspink.

Crowd
21,951 at Skilled Stadium.

AAP

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