Brave Wild­cats lose GF

Southern Riverina news - - SPORT -

The Fin­ley Wild­cats’ grand final fairy­tale was not to be on Sun­day, go­ing down 4.5 (29) to 2.9 (21) against the Shep­par­ton Bears at Deakin Re­serve, Shep­par­ton.

With a strong wind all day, the Bears kicked with the breeze in the fourth quar­ter while the Wild­cats were un­lucky not to make the most of their third quar­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Fin­ley played hard in a low scor­ing game which was closely con­tested with a lot of fierce tack­ling and smoth­er­ing.

Rhi­an­non Mur­phyRid­dell and Han­nah Ste­wart kicked Fin­ley’s goals.

Wild­cats coach Jorja Daniel said her play­ers un­for­tu­nately didn’t take ad­van­tage of the wind.

‘‘The girls couldn’t cap­i­talise on their first and third quar­ter ef­forts,’’ she said.

‘‘It was a su­perb ef­fort by the girls to make the grand final, es­pe­cially as this was their first full sea­son.

‘‘I’m stay­ing on as coach next sea­son, so hope­fully we can win a premier­ship in 2018.’’

Best play­ers for the Wild­cats were Eloise Ash­ley-Cooper, Paige Nash, Han­nah Ste­wart, Hay­ley Doohan, Ruby Ste­wart and Lau­ren Clarke.

Ash­ley-Cooper also re- ceived the medal for the best player on the ground.

Fin­ley team man­ager Tanya Clarke praised the ef­forts of the play­ers.

‘‘In their first full sea­son they did well to make the grand final.

‘‘It was a great sea­son by all and it’s al­ready look­ing pos­i­tive for next sea­son with the po­ten­tial for sev­eral more teams to join the com­pe­ti­tion.

‘‘We will miss our older play­ers next year, but with Jorja Daniel stay­ing at the helm and the young guns with a sea­son un­der their belt, their ex­pe­ri­ence will hope­fully lead to go­ing one bet­ter in 2018.’’

The Wild­cats will wrap up the Shep­par­ton Dis­trict Ju­nior Football League sea­son with a pre­sen­ta­tion night to­mor­row at the Fin­ley Apex Sport and Com­mu­nity Cen­tre.

Fin­ley’s Eloise Ash­ley-Cooper takes a strong grab in the grand final. BE­LOW: Eloise Ash­ley-Cooper with her best on ground medal.

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