Sport

Commanding Cats

by
April 04, 2018

After a tight first half Finley charged home to record a 43-point win over rival Deni Rams in front of a big crowd under lights in the annual Good Friday clash to start the Murray League season.

After a tight first half Finley charged home to record a 43-point win over rival Deni Rams in front of a big crowd under lights in the annual Good Friday clash to start the Murray League season.

The much improved Cats led at every change, with Finley skipper Lachie Small starring in the midfield for the home side.

Despite losing star onballer Ed Barlow after the first term to a groin injury, the home side engaged the afterburners to boot 5.7 to 1.3 in the second half to run away with the game.

A mix of youth and experience proved to be deadly for the Cats with youngsters Luke Moore and Mathew Wilson starring alongside Small, Jesse McDonald, Paul Massingham, Shaun Kable and Angus Roberston.

It was a team effort in front of goal for Finley with Robertson (two goals) the only multiple goalkicker for his side.

For the Rams, key defender John Anstee and onballers Rick Gittens, Sam Willoughby and Ash Morris were all excellent.

Aiden Free’s two goals and ground pressure stood out up forward for the Rams, while Jayden Pitts battled manfully all around the ground and shouldered the majority of the ruck work for the visitors.

Final score, Finley 11.13 (79) to Deni Rams 5.6 (36).

The first term lived up to the hype, with the Cats edging their way in front by eight points at the first break.

Another tight term saw Finley extend their margin to 14 points with the young Rams right in the contest at the main break.

The Cats took full control in the third and fourth terms, only allowing the Rams four scoring opportunities to their 12.

Finley coach Rob Daniel said it was fantastic to get a win on the board so early in the season.

‘‘It’s a much better feeling to be winning,’’ he said.

‘‘We struggled last year and had to wait until round 17 to pick up a win so to get that first win out of the way sets us up for a much better season.

‘‘Luke (Moore) and Lachie (Small) were both a part of last year’s squad so it’s fantastic to see them still among our better players despite adding a bit more depth in the off-season.

‘‘I thought that Deni’s onballers were also quite good and they really put up a big fight in the middle.

‘‘It was great that we shared the load up forward as well with a spread of goalkickers, but I’d love for us to have a bloke kick three or four goals each week.

‘‘To be competitive against the better sides, you need to be kicking at least 15 goals in a game, so there’s still plenty of improvement that’s needed.’’.

It was one-way traffic in the reserves, with Finley dominant from the get go to post a 74 point win.

A 7.9 (51) to nil first half in favour of the Cats set up the win, with the Rams struggling to keep up with no interchange players.

Final score, Finley 13.15 (93) to Deni Rams 3.1 (19).

Cats onballer Liam Osborne put his hand up for senior selection with a damaging display in the middle to be named best on ground.

Tim Robertson performed well along with Ryan Donkin, Reilly Rennick, Kyle Russell and Callum Robertson.

Marc Shaw top scored with three goals for the home side.

Oliver Maddison returned to the Rams for the first time since 2010 to be named the visitor’s best, with Jake Cavallaro, Mark Panton, Jayden Ives, Tom Edwards and Sam Callanan the other solid performers.

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