Cats dom­i­nant in fe­line face-off

Southern Riverina news - - SPORT -

Fin­ley’s great form in the Mur­ray League con­tin­ued on Satur­day with a con­vinc­ing win against Katan­dra.

In the bat­tle of the fe­lines it was the Cats who dom­i­nated the Kats, with Katan­dra not man­ag­ing a goal un­til the fi­nal term at Fin­ley Re­cre­ation Re­serve.

The en­counter co­in­cided with the 1988 Premier­ship Reunion with cap­tain Lachy Small winning the toss and kick­ing to the Ea­gle I end.

Need­ing a win to keep their fi­nal four hopes alive the Cats pounced quickly and with the on­ballers dom­i­nat­ing, con­trolled the play.

By the nine minute mark young for­ward Matt Wil­son had kicked four goals, with strong mark­ing, soc­cer goals and ba­nana kicks around his body all part of the reper­toire.

Wil­son was as­sisted by vet­eran Paul Mass­ing­ham, who in turn had six ma­jors by the first break.

The home side’s de­fence was again led by Mitch Ryan, Nick Robert­son and Tom McCar­ney, dry­ing up all av­enues at goal for the trav­el­ling Kats.

Lachy Hawkins con­trolled the stop­pages giv­ing Levi Mid­dle­ton, Zec Cup­pens and Ben Ash­ley-Cooper plenty of use of the ball.

The sec­ond term was to pro­vide more of the same and a 70 point lead at the long break saw the Cats set for a mas­sive win.

The match de­vel­oped it to a messy af­fair in the sec­ond half with Fin­ley man­ag­ing just 1.2 to 0.3 in the third term.

Af­ter be­ing kept goal­less in the first three quar­ters, Katan­dra’s first ma­jor of the game was reg­is­tered in the last when Luke Minogue kicked truly from a free 30 me­tres out at the three minute mark.

Katan­dra went on to outscore Fin­ley for the term to bring the fi­nal mar­gin back to 62 points. Fi­nal score, Fin­ley 13.16 (94) to 4.8 (32). Fin­ley coach Rob Daniel said his side has their eyes set on a top four fin­ish.

The race for the dou­ble chance in fi­nals may come down to per­cent­age, with Co­bram and Rum­balara also vy­ing for fourth spot.

‘‘We have a goal of fin­ish­ing in the top four and we need to win ev­ery game from here to do so,’’ Daniel said.

‘‘We’ve man­aged to pick up a bit of per­cent­age over the past few weeks so if we can con­tinue to do that, we should be in with a good chance.’’

Af­ter kick­ing 12 goals in the past two weeks, Matt Wil­son also earned the praises of his coach.

‘‘Matty has been good and we al­ways knew he had some­thing to give up for­ward,’’ Daniel said.

‘‘We shared the load a bit up for­ward while Matt played up the ground, but he’s prob­a­bly one of our only nat­u­ral goal kick­ers.

‘‘We’re still de­fend­ing quite well and now that we’re hit­ting the score­board more of­ten we can aim for that top four fin­ish.’’

The Cats will be at home again this week when they host Shep­par­ton East on Satur­day.

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