FITTINGLY, it rained cats and dogs on Saturday at Allansford but it didn’t bother the home team which showed it could produce the goods no matter the conditions.
The Cats posted their sixth win in a row with a comfortable 28-point victory over Dennington.
The game started in sunshine with both teams searching for the early edge and it took until the eight-minute mark for Dennington to get it when Dogs full-forward Chris Keilar kicked the opening goal of the game.
The Cats responded when their midfield ran riot and Brett Membrey found plenty of the ball at centre half-forward.
Matthew Dwyer, Josh Brown and Nick Johnstone were all getting quality touches.
The Cats kicked the last five goals of the quarter to open up a decisive 24-point lead at the first break.
The second quarter began badly for Allansford with ruckman Nathan Rhyne carried off on a stretcher with a knee injury.
When play resumed Cats’ full-forward Jet Dowie kicked a big goal from 50 metres to extend their lead.
The rain then set in but it didn’t deter the Cats as they got themselves two more goals for the quarter, while holding Dennington goalless.
The Cats went on to gain a commanding 38-point half-time advantage.
Dennington, in the second half, was on a mission as the Dogs began to get their hands on the ball first and as a result had some meaningful forward thrusts.
Chris Keilar made the most of the increased traffic his way and within the opening five minutes of the term he had kicked two goals.
When his teammate Jordan Greene kicked another just moments later, the Dogs had a spring in their step and a vision of a sustained comeback.
But the Allansford defence was able to tighten the screws and not allow the Dogs to continue scoring freely.
The comeback mission for Dennington became an impossible one when Josh Brown produced something special for the Cats.
Running with the flight of the ball, Brown took an inspirational mark and wore the collision that came his way.
He bounced back to his feet, took the 50 metres on offer and kicked the goal to steady the ship and give his team a 26-point three-quarter-time lead.
A heavy ball, wet track and tired legs made the last quarter an unspectacular affair with both sides kicking one goal each.
While the game ended as a slog, it was the movement of the ball by Allansford in the first half that was the highlight of the day.
The Cats showed just how precise they can be with the ball in their hands, rarely turning the ball over in the good conditions early in the game.
They have been one of the standout teams in the competition in what has been an old fashioned winter, but we may not have seen the best of the Cats just yet.
Their spotless foot skills and clever decision making will make them an even more formidable outfit come the finer weather and bigger grounds in the lead-up to the finals.
While the Cats are comfortably perched in second place, the loss was a costly one for the Dogs.
Dennington has fallen out of the top five, making every game a must-win over the final four rounds.