Kats keep win­ning streak in­tact

Pilbara News - - Sport - Tom Zaun­mayr

Kar­ratha Kats re­main un­de­feated at the top of the ta­ble de­spite some early jit­ters af­ter a 35-point win over their cross-town ri­vals at Millars Well last weekend.

On a warm night in Kar­ratha, the win­less Fal­cons got off to a promis­ing start against their more fan­cied ri­vals.

The Kats had the lion’s share of field po­si­tion in the first quar­ter but strug­gled to find clear space, cour­tesy of an ag­ile Fal­cons mid­field.

The vis­i­tors’ de­fence worked hard around the boots of the tall Kats for­wards and were ac­cu­rate in their clear­ances, re­sult­ing in a clean pas­sage of play into the Fal­cons’ for­ward 50 for the first goal of the game.

Ash­ley Cooper shifted into fifth gear from the get-go, throw­ing him­self into the con­test sev­eral times to spoil the Kats’ for­ward mo­men­tum.

Cooper and the Fal­cons’ backs found a re­li­able link in Ma­lik Bin Hi­tam, who made am­ple use of lim­ited op­por­tu­ni­ties to get a run down the ground.

While the home side man­aged to work the ball to­wards their for­ward line, they were left frus­trated by a num­ber of near misses and rushed be­hinds to go into the first break trail­ing 0.6 (6) to 1.4 (10).

Af­ter a dress­ing down at the in­ter­val, the tide turned in the Kats’ favour, with two quick goals to start the sec­ond quar­ter.

They still strug­gled to cre­ate over­laps but man­aged to find a way to de­liver the ball to Lee Roser, who was start­ing to make some space for him­self in front of goal.

Spo­radic Kats goals through the half put a stop to the Fal­cons’ early mo­men­tum as they were forced to com­mit more play­ers to pro­tect their own 50.

Jack Pow­ers kept him­self busy, swoop­ing on the crumbs while Brendan Bliz­zard made sev­eral bust­ing runs through the small Fal­cons side.

The Kats went into half-time lead­ing com­fort­ably, 6.7 (43) to 2.7 (19).

It was a slow start to the third term as the Fal­cons and Kats went end to end with­out re­ward in the open­ing min­utes.

That was un­til the Kats slowed the tempo, re­sult­ing in Roser find­ing Bliz­zard un­marked in front of goal to get the score­board tick­ing again.

De­spite a bit of sloppy work by the Kats to­wards the end of the quar­ter, re­sult­ing in a few chances for the Fal­cons, the home side con­sol­i­dated their po­si­tion to be lead­ing by 30 points at the fi­nal change.

As is com­mon­place in lo­cal ri­val­ries, tem­pers heated up in the fi­nal term.

Cooper and Todd Ko­vace­vich shared a few pleas­antries, which even­tu­ally spilled into a mid­field melee as play con­tin­ued down the Fal­cons’ end. It had lit­tle im­pact on the game as the Kats closed it out 12.12 (84) to 6.13 (49).

Jack­son Davey, Daniel Farmer and Clive Dji­ag­ween each booted two ma­jors for the Kats, while Michael Gobby slot­ted three for the Fal­cons.

There was some joy for the Fal­cons in the re­serves af­ter hand­ing the Kats their first loss, 8.5 (53) to 8.13 (61).

The Fal­cons showed good com­po­sure as they held their small lead right through the match.

Ed­ward McVea slot­ted four goals to help move the Fal­cons into the top three on the ta­ble.

Pictures: Tom Zaun­mayr

Ethan Sur­rall punches the ball into the Kats' for­ward 50.

Michael Gobby col­lects a dis­posal from Ma­lik Bin Hi­tam.

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