Cats end reigning premier’s 20-game winning streak
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.