FINALS BID FALLS SHORT
Moama’s Noah Wheeler got tripped up during the first semi-final against Barooga yesterday, which saw the Magpies crash out of the flag race with a punishing 48-point loss.
MOAMA’S season is over after it failed to stand up to Barooga’s finalquarter onslaught in the Murray Football League’s semi-final in Numurkah yesterday.
The Mowers were gallant throughout but couldn’t go with the Hawks for long enough to get a result, conceding the last seven goals of the game to eventually fall by 48 points.
Tyler Jones kicked six including a huge goal to get his side within three points at the start of the final term, but the Moama players ran out of legs late in the contest.
Mowers’ coach Mark Lloyd was shattered his side couldn’t produce the four-quarter effort to topple one of the league’s most dominant sides.
‘‘When you look at it as a whole, we got off to a really good start but we were chasing tail that whole second quarter and we just ran out of legs in the end,’’ he said.
‘‘You could put it down to a lot of things, whether it was them having an easy run last week or us having a tougher one, but you’ve got to give credit where it’s due, Barooga is a good side.
‘‘They had some good match-ups that went their way and stretched us in the back half which opened us up a bit.’’
Moama came out firing in the first quarter, using its pace to move the ball quickly and attack at will.
The Magpies were rewarded with a goal to Ben Welch and three more for Tyler Jones, while the defence held up brilliantly for a 15-point quarter-time lead.
But things quickly turned in the second term, beaten in the contested footy and unable to stop the Hawks with talls Jake Russell and Shaun Robbins becoming a problem for the Moama defenders.
They were full of running and smashed the Magpies all over the ground. Lachie Collins’ goal against the run of play was the only bright spot for Moama.
It resulted in a seven goals to one second quarter, Barooga able to turn its quarter-time deficit into a 21-point half-time lead.
The big ground of Numurkah should have suited the young and quick Mowers, but they butchered the football moving forward and couldn't let their dangerous forward line become a factor.
‘‘Our midfield got smacked in that second quarter and I put it on them at half-time to get their hands on the footy and they did that,’’ Lloyd said.
‘‘That’s when we started to open the game up again but we couldn't get our noses in front and probably had a few too many banged up bodies and had to chase them too much.’’
Jones gave his side the spark it needed with two huge goals to start the second half, Moama getting the con- test back on level terms with better transition through the corridor. It trailed by nine points at three-quartertime and the game was up for grabs with one term to play.
Moama looked to lift and worked hard to start the final term, Jones snapping truly from the pocket to get the Mowers within three points.
But a couple of missed chances and Barooga took over, completely dominating every area of the ground as Moama’s players seemed to run out of legs.
The Hawks were full of running and kicked seven goals as the clock ran down to blow the margin right out to 48 points.
Jake Russell presented and marked well throughout and bagged three massive goals, Thomas Wilkinson and Shaun Robbins also contributing three.
Co-coach James Hazelman and Cameron Sandral were also massive factors in the back half.
The Hawks will enter next Saturday’s preliminary final against Nathalia full of confidence from their brilliant close to the game.
For Moama, Rhys Archard accumulated touches throughout and started many of his side’s forward moves. Logan Power had another superb game in defence while Jordan Ives, Noah Wheeler and Jake Hare also had strong games.
Lloyd said recruiting a ruckman to replace the retiring Josh Edgar was an off-season priority, with a key forward and midfielders in their early 20s also team needs.
Working the board: Moama coach Mark Lloyd tries to find an answer to stop Barooga in yesterday’s semi-final.
Differing viewpoint: Barooga’s Matthew Demaio and Moama’s Tyler Jones fail to see eye to eye in yesterday’s Murray Football League semi-final.