The end of the road for Lions
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.
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.