Finley struggled on the road to Nathalia on Saturday, going down to the reigning premiers by 69 points in the Murray League round 10 clash.
Over past years these two clubs have staged some thrilling encounters and the Cats were keen to rectify their recent form slump, but it was a dominant Purples side leaving with the four points and the Kelly Grain and Rex James Stock Feed Shield.
The home side had the best of the first quarter kicking 3.3 to the visitors’ 0.3.
Cam Robertson was presenting strongly up forward for the Cats and had three shots on goal, but was unable to convert.
Levi Middleton, Ed Barlow and Tom McCarney were all providing opportunities and while the ball was spending a lot of time in the Cats forward line, they just couldn’t find any avenues to goal.
A dominant display by Nathalia forwards Brodie Ross and Brett Vallender left the Finley defenders searching for answers.
A five goal second term pushed the lead out to 45 points at the main break in favour of the home side.
Finley coach Rob Daniel made changes trying in vain to ignite the stagnate forward line.
Paul Massingham was moved forward and he provided the Cats with their first goal with a clever pass to Barlow close to goal.
Tim McKenzie, Lachy Small and Robb Jewell were trying hard to lift the midfield and a clever snap from Massingham in the goal square gave the Cats their second.
But when a turnover across half back ended up with Ross kicking his third the Purples increased their lead to 52 points at the last break and all hopes of a comeback were dashed.
Late goals to Liam Osborne, Cam Robertson and Matt Wilson were all too little too late as the Nathalia team powered on to a convincing win.
Final score, Nathalia 18.9 (117) to Finley 6.12 (48).
A slow start for the Cats in the reserves proved costly, going down to the Purples by 33 points.
Finley struggled to hit the scoreboard in the first half, finding themselves 26 points behind at half time.
The second half was a much closer affair, but it was the Purples scoring 5.3 to Finley’s 4.2 to hold on for a win.
Final score, Nathalia 10.8 (68) to Finley 5.5 (35).
Reilly Rennick was Finley’s best with solid performances from Kyle Russell and Lachlan Hawkins.
Others to play well were Cameron Isedale, Spencer Hawkins and Stephen Parr.
The Cats will have a good chance to bounce back this week, hosting Echuca United on Saturday.
The Eagles will also be looking to rebound after a shock 16 point loss to a previously winless Deni Rams on Saturday.