Heavy loss costly for Cats’ finals hope

By Southern Riverina News

A round 13 loss could prove costly for Finley in their hunt for Murray League finals, going down to Tungamah by 57 points on Saturday.

After kicking the first two goals of the game, the Cats then conceded seven first quarter goals to trail most of the day at Tungamah Recreation Reserve.

It was a match where both sides needed a win to keep in touch with the top eight, with Tungamah proving too strong at home.

With other results going their way, the Bears are just one win from seventh spot on the table with five matches remaining in the regular season.

Unfortunately for the Cats they were left sitting 10th on the ladder and trailing eighth placed Deni Rams by two games.

Nick Lawless (seven goals) and Tim Cooper (four) did the damage for Tungamah, with Chris Powell and Travis Hayes also influential.

Jasper Brain snared three majors for the Cats, with Levi Middleton and Luke Moore also standing out.

Final score, Tungamah 19.17 (131) to Finley 10.14 (74).

Finley played Tungamah in near perfect conditions for football on Saturday.

The Cats were off to a good start with young Nik Burns transferring the play from defence into attack.

His hard running was rewarded with a handball from Tom Doyle and a goal from 30m out.

Levi Middleton followed up with a goal after Luke Moore and Robb Jewell did some creative play at the stoppage.

Tungamah were playing a similar type of game style and they also managed goals early in the contest.

It was evident early on that ex-Ovens and Murray players Nick Lawless, Tim Cooper and Jeremy O’Brien would be hard to stop if allowed to dictate terms.

Two late goals to Lawless saw the home side take a 22 point lead into the first break.

Lachy Hawkins tried hard to get his onballers back in the game and an early goal to Brain gave the Cats some momentum.

Lawless then managed consecutive goals of his own.

The first from a difficult angle on the boundary and the second from an undisciplined 50m penalty.

Finley could not find any answers to the experience of the older opposition players.

Lawless took advantage of the fact Cam Robertson was out with injury scoring seven goals for the match.

A six goal to one last term saw the Bears run out 57 point winners.

The Cats will have a week off with the Murray League having a general bye before hosting arch rival Deni Rams.

Finley could possibly have the likes of Tim Robertson, Shaun Kable, Tom McCarney, Cam Robertson and Kane Murphy available for the all-important clash.

It’s a must-win for the Cats if they’re any chance of making a late run for finals.