17/04/2024

The Geelong Cats run out for their game against the Adelaide Crows. (Picture: AFL)

Despite the result on Friday night against the Adelaide Crows, the Geelong Cats can take stock in their performance holding them in good stead heading towards the finals.

At the centre of the rise of the Cats this season has been their young brigade, who have grown to become integral in the way they play.

Coming into the Round 9 match, the Crows were coming off an embarrassing 22-point-loss to the Brisbane Lions where they were simply outplayed and outclassed.

The Cats were on a four game winning streak after their Round 4 loss to North Melbourne. They went on to win against the Saints, Bulldogs, Bombers and the Eagles with their eyes set on upsetting the reigning premiers.

Led in the midfield, Geelong can be buoyed by its young stars in Amy McDonald and Georgie Prespakis, who both had 23 disposals each against a star-studded Crows midfield rotation.

McDonald also had six tackles, seven clearances and one mark, while Prespakis had three marks, five tackles and seven clearances to win Geelong its fair share of the footy.

Becky Webster had another great performance since being moved to the midfield. The 22-year-old had 16 disposals, three tackles and a mark on Friday night.

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Another one of the young stars coming into the match with high hopes was 23-year-old midfielder/forward and former Adelaide Crow Chloe Scheer. Featuring in the 2019 AFLW premiership, she was keen to get one up on her former teammates with their first win over the Crows in AFLW history.

She was solid on Friday night without getting a hold of Crows key defender Chelsea Biddell. Scheer kicked a goal in the third to get the Cats a goal in front of the Crows before a comeback was mounted by the home side. She had five disposals, two marks and one tackle in the game.

Scheer has been a contributor this season through the midfield and down forward playing as a burst player who can spark her team into action. She has kicked 9.10 across nine games and has averaged eight disposals, three marks, 2.2 tackles and 1.1 inside 50s for the season.

In terms of the defensive unit, it was the veteran and former Demon Chantel Emonson who was steadfast and provided some run and drive out of their back half. She had 19 disposals, six marks and five tackles.

Chipping in as they have all year, Claudia Gunjaca and Meg McDonald were dependable in defence with 12 marks combined.

Coach Daniel Lowther spoke post-match about the confidence that staying in touch with the Crows will bring to the group going into another possible finals campaign.

“I take away that we’re good enough to match it with any team in the competition,” Lowther said.

“We’ve got a young group that’ll only get better and that’s a good thing for us, to keep our core group together and to keep adding layers to our team.

“To come over here, beautiful day, the crowd was outstanding. It’s great to play in such a good atmosphere. It’s another opportunity for our girls to learn and watch the game get played at a really high level.”

The Cats travel to GMHBA on Saturday in the hopes that they will keep the Sydney Swans winless in season seven while the Crows look to win back-to-back games when they play the Saints at RSEA Park on Saturday.

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