Resurgent Cats host Hawks
The stage has been set for Finley in the Murray League as they prepare for a home qualifying final under lights against second on the ladder Barooga on Saturday night.
The Cats have had a stellar 2018 season, bouncing back from last year’s bottom of the ladder finish to end the home and away season third on the ladder with 13 wins and five losses.
Finley president Ashley Haynes said the sudden resurgence of the club’s senior side has had many catalysts.
‘‘It’s been a very pleasing season and it’s been good to see past players make their way back to the club,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ve had the likes of former best and fairest winners Robb Jewell and Tim McKenzie come back as well as players like Nick and Angus Robertson return.
‘‘The most pleasing part is the develop- ment of our young home grown talents like Zec Cuppens, Matt Wilson, Ben AshleyCooper, Liam Osborne, Luke Bramley, Luke Moore and Duncan Clarke.
‘‘The side has been led well by a fantastic leadership group with captain Lachy Small and vice-captain Shaun Kable as well as coach Rob Daniel helping us climb back up the ladder this year.’’
The Cats will head into the clash in ripping form having won nine games in a row.
Tackling the Hawks is always a mammoth task however, with the visitors winning 16 of their 18 games this season, including a 12 point win over the Cats at the Finley Apex Sports and Community Centre in round nine.
Another challenge for the Cats will be nullifying the influence of 2018 O’Dwyer Medallist Brodie A’Vard, with the ruckman having a standout year for the Hawks.
‘‘Brodie A’Vard will be tough for our ruckmen Tom Doyle and Lachy Hawkins, but those two have also been in good form,’’ Haynes said.
‘‘Ed Barlow should be back in for us and we’re also hopeful of having Luke Moore return to the side as well.
‘‘It’s a magnificent opportunity to be playing at home under lights in the first round of finals and we’re excited for the challenge ahead.
‘‘There should be a good home crowd so hopefully we can get the win for our supporters.’’
The match between the Cats and the Hawks will kick-off at 6pm on Saturday night.