Southern Riverina news
Young Cats fall short
Taking on the minor premiers in Echuca United at Deniliquin in the Murray League preliminary final was never going to be an easy task for the Finley thirds.
Our boys knew they’d have to be at their best to advance to the grand final, and early on the signs were good.
Liam Rafferty set the standard early by jumping high into the first ruck contest, winning it easily.
Our midfielders were on top early as Cruz Nash and Harry Boyd continued their strong seasons.
Jack Hay continued his clean ground ball collects to show his level head under pressure, as Harry Haynes threw his body into each contest.
A strong lead saw Harvey Sneddon lining up for goal and kicking truly to open the scoring.
A tight 10 minutes of no scoring was broken when Nathan Brown laid two tackles and got a handball to Isaac Lunn, who kicked the Cats’ second.
Tyrell Taylor had a new role up forward and was attacking any loose balls along with Reece Simmons.
A late goal to Echuca saw a seven point margin to Finley, 2.2 (14) to 1.1 (7).
Echuca found their rhythm in the second quarter, kicking three goals to Finley’s no score.
The margin could have been worse if it wasn’t for Patrick Waugh at full back, Zac Everingham in the back pocket and Jordan Sykes on the half back line repelling multiple forward entries.
Riley Sutton was brought into the game up forward, laying strong tackles.
At half time the young Cats were asked to dig deep and find another gear, with the scoreboard showing Echuca 4.3 (27) to Finley 2.2 (15).
Angus Hay was marking strongly in defence as George Koschel played his role.
Finley started to get on top, but could not find the big sticks.
Echuca held firm before sneaking a goal of their own to increase the margin.
Jack Koschel was given a role on Echuca’s fast wingman and stuck to his task.
Roree Wallis found the ball in the forward line before a goal to Matt Whelan midway through the quarter gave Finley a sniff, but inaccurate kicking started to hurt.
Five straight points before a late goal to Echuca left a 15 point deficit at the final change.
A few changes were made. Harrison King went forward which had an immediate impact, marking 30m out before just missing.
Jacob Armer, in his return game, didn’t take a backward step as Shane Chellew and James McNamara tasted finals football in their young careers.
Two more misses from gettable opportunities had Finley pondering what could have been.
Echuca held strong to win 6.6 (42) to Finley 3.10 (28).
After two strong finals wins, our boys should hold their heads high.
The future is bright as 10 of our lads made their senior debuts, and only four of them graduate into the senior ranks next year.
Best players: P Waugh, J Sykes, A Hay, H King, I Lunn, T Taylor.
Goals: H Sneddon, I Lunn, M Whelan.