FI­NALS BID FALLS SHORT

The Riverine Herald - - FRONT PAGE - By Alex Mitchell

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.

Photo: Luke Hemer.

Work­ing the board: Moama coach Mark Lloyd tries to find an an­swer to stop Ba­rooga in yes­ter­day’s semi-fi­nal.

Photo: Luke Hemer.

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.

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