GARY Ablett has turned back the clock in front of his 2009 premiership teammates, with Geelong going a game clear atop the AFL ladder after a 58-point demolition job on West Coast.
Less than a month short of his 35th birthday, the seemingly ageless Ablett dominated proceedings on Sunday with 28 disposals, two goals and several direct score assists.
None of them was better than the left-footed pass midway through the third quarter to set up a goal for teenager Charlie Constable, who was just two years old when Ablett made his senior debut in 2002.
As good as the dual Brownlow medallist and his teammates were in the 15.14 (104) to 7.4 (46) victory, reigning premiers West Coast were very poor for the second- straight week, having lost to Port Adelaide on their home deck by 42 points back in round five.
The Eagles slipped outside the top eight with a 3-3 win-loss record.
In contrast, Geelong improved to 5-1, having made a mockery of what was touted as a brutally tough start to the season against five of last year’s finalists and highly rated Adelaide.
Ablett and former Swan Gary Rohan were the dominant figures in a first-quarter onslaught by the home side.
Rohan had three goals by quarter-time, two of them from pinpoint passes by Ablett who had 10 disposals – all of them effective – in the opening half-hour.
After a largely forgettable second quarter with just one goal kicked by each team, normal service resumed in the third term, with the Cats extending their lead to a game-high 58 points at the final siren.
Rohan led the Cats’ goalscorers with four and impressive spearhead Tom Hawkins had three goals and 18 possessions.
The Eagles were best served by skipper Shannon Hurn, midfielders Elliot Yeo and Andrew Gaff and ruckman Tom Hickey.
Controversial former Cats coach Mark Thompson was a surprise attendee on Sunday at GMHBA Stadium for a function commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 2009 flag.
Four members of that side were also involved in the on-field action – Ablett, Hawkins, Joel Selwood and Harry Taylor.
© AAP 2019
GEELONG 7.1 8.6 12.11 15.14 (104)
WEST COAST 2.1 3.3 5.3 7.4 (46)
Goals: Geelong: G Rohan 4 T Hawkins 3 G Ablett 2 G Miers 2 C Constable E Ratugolea P Dangerfield R Stanley. West Coast: J Kennedy 2 C Masten E Yeo J Petruccelle O Allen T Hickey.
Best: Geelong: G Ablett T Hawkins G Rohan M O’Connor L Dahlhaus P Dangerfield J Selwood. West Coast: E Yeo A Gaff S Hurn T Hickey.
Official Crowd: 28,085 at GMHBA Stadium.