The end of the road for Li­ons

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - Sport -

Mul­wala’s 2017 sea­son has been blown away on a wind-swept Sun­day af­ter­noon in Moama.

After an in­con­sis­tent year Mul­wala dished up a be­low par per­for­mance and were well beaten by a Moama team whose run­ning power over­pow­ered Mul­wala, backed by a vo­cal home crowd.

The first quar­ter was Mul­wala’s bright­est as they dom­i­nated large patches of play and through Ash Froud’s deadly right foot they hit the lead with a 10 minute pur­ple patch that net­ted them 3 goals.

Harry Cross­ley, Sean Johns and Jack­son Gash were clean through the mid­dle and Ross Anasaldi was deadly on his left, kick­ing a beau­ti­ful run­ning goal.

Un­for­tu­nately for Mul­wala, this was the be­gin­ning of the end as the mo­men­tum swung just prior to quar­ter time and there it stayed for most the day.

Mul­wala never gave up the fight and cap­tain, Jack­son Gash was su­perb, run­ning hard and do­ing his bit to keep Mul­wala in the game.

Dy­lan Robin­son re­pelled many Moama at­tacks and Nathan McNair and Connor San­der­son were phys­i­cally in­tim­i­dat­ing through­out.

Tom Dow and Dy­lan McNa­mara both had their mo­ments at half for­ward and Matt Tre­genza dis­played true char­ac­ter, lead­ing the team in pres­sure acts.

Kyle Archibald and fel­low vet­eran Nathan Parker were dan­ger­ous up for­ward but every time Mul­wala threat­ened, a missed goal or turnover would see Moama cap­i­talise at the other end.

The score­board ul­ti­mately did not ac­cu­rately re­flect Mul­wala’s ef­fort and coach Michael Tout should be ex­tremely proud of the cul­ture and team first at­ti­tude he has cre­ated in only year. He and the other coaches have a team which plays for them and each other.

The loss will ul­ti­mately be Nathan Parker’s last game as he hangs up the boots. He has given his heart and soul to the club over the bet­ter part of his life and his im­pact has been enor­mous.

Al­though dis­ap­pointed the club’s plans for 2018 are al­ready in full swing with Coach Tout and the ma­jor­ity of the se­nior list signed on for next year.

The rise of Harry Cross­ley, Connor San­der­son, An­gus Shand and Tom Dow will bode well for the com­ing years as a new gen­er­a­tion of play­ers look to fol­low in the foot­steps of leg­ends like Nathan Parker.

Re­serves

Mul­wala has gone down in an ab­so­lute thriller, los­ing on the fi­nal siren by a goal.

In a ti­tanic strug­gle, the ball spent the ma­jor­ity of the game on the far wing as gale force winds pushed all the play in that di­rec­tion.

In a low scor­ing game, Joe Ma­gro was al­most the match win­ner with 3 first half goals, two of which came from bone crunch­ing tack­les from the big fella.

Craig Frauen­felder is built for finals foot­ball and de­liv­ered a Joel Sel­wood like per­for­mance. At the bot­tom of every pack, the vet­eran was out­stand­ing through­out and fed the ball out to the run­ners time and again.

Dale Pow­ell will look back on sea­son 2016 as a wasted year. Wrist surgery ru­ined the first half of the year and he never re­ally found the form in the se­niors that saw him come third in the 2016 best and fairest.

On Sun­day he was heroic. Al­though a grand state­ment, the way he won the ball and took the game on was phe­nom­e­nal. As a mid­fielder he ran hard for­ward and cre­ated most of Mul­wala’s op­por­tu­ni­ties while he seemed to be on last line with a big spoil every time the ball went down back.

Dave Nero was once again in ev­ery­thing and plays with the spirit that en­dears him to his team mates. A lov­able char­ac­ter off the field, his courage and de­sire on it make for one hell of re­serves player.

The strength of the back­line was awe­some once again. Char­lie Ma­gro and Jake Savy were surperb and well sup­ported by vet­eran Lachy Orr and the young brute that is Nayte Houghton.

Ja­son San­der­son and Cam Car­ling were in­stru­men­tal through the mid­field and their tack­ling and clear­ance work was first class.

Jayke Ni­chol­son was also in­cred­i­ble once again, never has a player given more on a foot­ball field. In the ruck or down back, the young­ster is a team mates dream, such is his de­sire to win.

Bai­ley Scott was dan­ger­ous up for­ward and his goal with five min­utes to play looked to have won Mul­wala the game.

Strug­gling for play­ers all year, the re­serves have been forced to call on the un­der 17s every game and once again they an­swered the call on Sun­day.

Wade Den­nis, Robert Wil­son, Dy­lan Lead­ing­ham and Lachy Wood looked right at home and all had their mo­ments, show­ing courage and abil­ity that is above re­serves stan­dard.

A huge thank you to coach Mick Fletcher, a fan­tas­tic leader who had to fight every week to field a team, his work as a coach and off the field en­sures he is re­spected by every­one at Mul­wala.

Hope­fully he can lead the team to pre­mier­ship glory in 2018 as Mul­wala look to the fu­ture in blood­ing a heap of young­sters next year.

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