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Six-goal Bennell runs riot as Suns scorch tiring Cats

Highlights: Gold Coast v Geelong The Suns and Cats clash in round 14
GARY Ablett's Gold Coast beat his former side Geelong for the first time on Saturday evening, as Harley Bennell's six goals led the Suns to a 40-point win at Metricon Stadium.

Gold Coast overcame an early deficit to run over the Cats, with eight unanswered goals either side of three-quarter time setting up a 17.16 (118) to 11.12 (78) triumph, in front of 18,236 fans.

The victory lifts the Suns to seventh on the ladder, while the Cats lose pace with the top three.

Five talking points: Gold Coast v Geelong

Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna said the Suns would be full of confidence after snapping their three-game losing streak in emphatic fashion
 
"We got to play a finals-type side tonight and we got a result, which was fantastic," McKenna said.
 
"I'm sure the boys will come away from this weekend saying, "hey we just knocked over a modern-day powerhouse of a football club", so we get some confidence out of that and take that into another powerhouse next week, and after that, there's another powerhouse (Collingwood) waiting for us.

"You'd much prefer going into those games on the back of wins rather than losses."

This was Ablett's fifth match against the Cats since heading north from Simonds Stadium at the end of the 2010 season.

Despite being his usual ball-magnet self with 33 touches and a late goal, Ablett was overshadowed by Bennell who probably played the best game of his short career.


Bennell was dogged by a hamstring injury in 2013 and a calf injury earlier this season, but looks set to fulfil the promise he showed in his breakout 2012 season.

As well as kicking a game-high six goals, he set up three other majors, including two of Charlie Dixon's three scores, and created countless other opportunities.

The result did not seem likely after a five-goal first quarter left the Cats 11 points in front, but they managed just six more for the rest of the game.


Almost as worrying for Geelong will be the ankle injury to Mathew Stokes who was forced off at the end of the first quarter.

One plus for the Cats was Shane Kersten who bagged three goals on his debut, one of which came from his first kick. Tom Hawkins and Steven Motlop also kicked three majors.

Geelong coach Chris Scott said Kersten would get more chances.

"It was a really positive debut for him," Scott said.
 
"We never went into this game thinking he had to prove himself in this game.
 
"He's going to get a good run at it I would have thought if he keeps applying himself the way he has."
 
The Suns' teenager Jack Martin, playing in only his second game after injuring his shoulder early on debut in the season opener against Richmond, showed why he is so highly touted in a 15-possession game, which also included seven tackles and a goal.

Jaeger O'Meara and Jack Martin celebrate a goal in the win on Saturday evening.  Picture: AFL Media



GOLD COAST 3.2   5.6   10.11   17.16 (118)
GEELONG 5.1   6.7     9.7     11.12 (78)
 
GOALS
Gold Coast: Bennell 6, Dixon 3, Russell 2, O'Meara 2, Harbrow, Ablett, Lynch, Martin
Geelong: Hawkins 3, Kersten 3, Motlop 3, Enright, Johnson
 
BEST 
Gold Coast: Bennell, Ablett, Prestia, Harbrow, Dixon, Swallow
Geelong: Selwood, Duncan, Motlop, Kelly, Guthrie
 
INJURIES 
Gold Coast: Matera (groin)
Geelong: Stokes (ankle)
 
SUBSTITUTES
Gold Coast: Luke Russell replaced Brandon Matera at half-time
Geelong: Josh Caddy replaced Matthew Stokes (ankle) in the second quarter
 
Reports: Nil
 
Umpires: Fisher, Kamolins, Findlay
 
Official crowd: 18,236 at the Metricon Stadium