CATS TAME LIONS

Southern Riverina news - - SPORT -

Fin­ley young gun Matt Wil­son has steered his side to their big­gest win of the year, boot­ing seven goals in a 68 point vic­tory over Mul­wala in round 14 of the Mur­ray Foot­ball League on Sat­ur­day.

The win marked an im­por­tant re­sult for the Cats who now sit sixth on the lad­der and within reach of the top four, just one game be­hind Rum­balara and Co­bram, who are fourth and fifth re­spec­tively.

Play­ing at Lons­dale Reserve in Mul­wala, the Cats be­gan strongly ap­ply­ing plenty of pres­sure on the Lions’ de­fence.

A strong tackle from for­ward Scott Sher­wen and a re­sul­tant 50m penalty saw Fin­ley post the first goal of the day.

The home side were quick to re­ply with a ma­jor from a bound­ary throw in and soon af­ter key for­ward Ash­ley Froud led Mitch Ryan un­der the ball to kick his first.

Young for­wards Josh Al­lan and Matt Wil­son com­bined to give Wil­son his first for the day and the scores were locked to­gether at the first break.

The sec­ond quar­ter was one of Fin­ley’s best for the sea­son.

The back­line held tight re­pelling all Mul­wala for­ward en­tries while ini­ti­at­ing many at­tack­ing moves.

Ryan nul­li­fied Froud’s in­flu­ence on the match and Nick and An­gus Robert­son con­tin­ued their re­cent good form work­ing in uni­son with Tommy McCar­ney across half back.

Lach­lan Hawkins started to con­trol the ruck duel against Hamish Hosk­ing pro­vid­ing the Cats’ play mak­ers first use of the ball.

Ed Bar­low, Tim Mead and Tim McKen­zie rel­ished the op­por­tu­nity and the vis­i­tors piled on six goals for the term, while keep­ing the Lions score­less.

A 41 point mar­gin at the half time break was soon cut to 29 when Mul­wala kicked the first two of the third quar­ter.

The spark for Fin­ley came from the youngest team mem­ber Ben Ash­ley-Cooper, mark­ing strongly on the 50m arc, clev­erly set­ting An­gus Robert­son up for a long goal.

The Cats then went into over­drive kick­ing a fur­ther eight goals for the sec­ond half while re­strict­ing the Lions to four.

Fi­nal score, Fin­ley 17.12 (114) to Mul­wala 6.10 (46).

Fin­ley coach Rob Daniel said it was eas­ily his side’s big­gest win for the sea­son.

‘‘It’s one of the hard­est trips in the league go­ing across to Mul­wala so in my mind it’s our best win all year,’’ he said.

‘‘I spoke at quar­ter time about our pres­sure, it was good but I wanted a bit more.

‘‘We would’ve had about 75 per cent of the ball in the sec­ond quar­ter and were win­ning the bat­tle in all ar­eas of the ground.’’

The Cats en­joy a favourable fix­ture this week, host­ing Katan­dra who sit 14th with just two wins.

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