Cats end reign­ing premier’s 20-game win­ning streak

Southern Riverina news - - SPORT - ~ with Shep­par­ton News

Nathalia’s in­cred­i­ble 20-game win­ning streak fi­nally came to an end on Satur­day as a trip to Fin­ley proved a step too far for the reign­ing premier in round 10 of Mur­ray Foot­ball League.

The Cats ex­ploded out of the blocks in the first quar­ter, stun­ning Nathalia with five unan­swered goals to earn a com­mand­ing six-goal lead at the first break.

The shell-shocked Pur­ples strug­gled to get them­selves back into the con­test in the sec­ond term and could only muster a sin­gle goal as they trailed 6.6 to 1.3 at the main break.

Reid Crowe in his 100th match for the Cats kicked the first two goals to start third term, the lat­ter com­ing af­ter he pulled in a screamer. This ex­tended the mar­gin to 45 points, which was cut back to 40 by the last change.

Nathalia opened the fi­nal term with the first two goals, but con­sec­u­tive ma­jors to star on­baller Jor­dan Daniel stamped out any hope of a Pur­ples come­back.

Daniel was named best on ground, fin­ish­ing with three goals for the match. Fi­nal score, Fin­ley 13.14 to Nathalia 5.6. Nathalia coach Craig Whyte did not mince his words in as­sess­ing his side’s per­for­mance and em­pha­sised his men were out­played against a side that wanted it more.

‘‘We were beaten by a far bet­ter side on the day and we just didn’t come to play, we got belted in con­tested footy and pos­ses­sion, we were out­worked and they made us look sec­ond rate,’’ Whyte said.

‘‘We couldn’t get our hands on the foot­ball, they kicked a good score in the first, while we put our backs un­der im­mense pres­sure be­cause we couldn’t win it in the mid­dle.

‘‘There are no ex­cuses, we were beaten by a side will­ing to work harder than us and we didn’t have many win­ners on the day, very few could hold their hand up and say they won their po­si­tion.’’

The loss is the Pur­ples’ first since they were downed by the Cats in round nine last year.

For Fin­ley, they had win­ners all over the park.

Daniel and prized re­cruit Ed Bar­low ig­nited the Cats in the open­ing term blitz, while brothers Tim and Will Robert­son gave their on­ballers first use of the ball al­ter­nat­ing in the ruck.

Shaun Kable gave the Cats some all im­por­tant run and carry from the wing and for­ward flank, while Nick Robinson float­ing across half back and An­gus Robert­son from a back pocket were res­o­lute in de­fence all day.

Bar­low and Cam Robert­son both chimed in with two goals apiece.

The best for Nathalia in­cluded Ricky Barnes, Tom Ni­hill, Liam Evans, Brodie Ross and Mal­colm Barnes, while Camp­bell Marx left the game in the sec­ond term with a knee in­jury.

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