Finley’s stellar start to the Murray Football League season continued on Saturday with a comprehensive win against Tongala in wet and windy conditions.
The Cats kept their perfect record in tact by engineering another team-orientated performance as nine players hit the scoreboard in the 13.10 (88) to 3.3 (21) victory.
Paul Massingham, Tim McKenzie and Cam Robertson were Finley’s best contributors, while for the Blues it was Michael Pryde, the returning Corey Nexhip and Ryley Cowley who stood out.
A hard fought first quarter saw the Cats take the early lead 26-7, after which the home side then showed their superiority by keeping the Blues scoreless in the second quarter, going into the main break with a 46-point buffer.
Finley again pulled away from Tongala booting three goals to two in the third quarter and then kept their opposition goalless in the last quarter.
Finley coach Rob Daniel said he was impressed with his side’s performance, specifically praising his defenders.
‘‘That’s the best game we’ve played all year.
‘‘We played very well in shocking conditions.
‘‘Paul Massingham was great at half back and both Nick and Cam Robertson were also very good in defence.
‘‘I thought our run through the ground was excellent all game. The boys followed up well and made sure they were always first to the contests,’’ Daniel said.
The result puts the Cats second on the ladder with three wins from as many starts.
After winning just one game last season, Daniel said getting a win in round one had helped his players move on and give them confidence for a successful season ahead.
‘‘Once you bring in that winning culture the boys usually play well together.
‘‘I was concerned how they would play at the start of the season, knowing a few scars from last year might be still showing.
‘‘When you’re winning the players enjoy it a lot more and they’re already enjoying coming along to training and playing on the weekend.’’
The Cats travel to Moama this week which Daniel said would be a tough challenge.
‘‘I’m not sure how we’re going to go this week. We haven’t beaten Moama in Moama for quite some time, and our boys seem to struggle when we go there.
‘‘The fact it’s our longest trip does play a factor.
‘‘Moama also have a smaller ground to us, and they have some dangerous forwards so I’m hoping for the same performance from our defenders again,’’ Daniel said.
The win capped off what was an exciting and mostly successful day for Finley’s footballers.
Despite trailing by 15 points at three quarter time, the Finley reserves came roaring home, keeping the Blues goalless but still falling short by three points.
Finley’s best were Nick Campbell, Sam Orro, Jack Grintell, Cameron Isedale, Rhett Armstrong and Sam Price.
The thirds also played out a three-point thriller but on the winning end.
The Cats were clearly the better side but wasted opportunity in front of goal kicking, 5.13 (43) to 6.4 (40).
Dylan Sibraa and Luke Bramley booted two goals each, with the latter named best on ground.
The fourths dominated their game against Tongala, keeping the Blues to just one point in the first quarter.
The Cats kicked away with the breeze in the third quarter, extending their lead to 50 points, eventually winning 11.11 (77) to 4.4 (28).
Shadeau Brain starred for the Cats with eight goals out of Finley’s 11.