Murray Felines delivered a concerted effort in wet and icy conditions in Thurgoona, but the Bulldogs proved to be too strong at home, running away with a 44-point win.
With three of their best players out for the match, the Felines were presented with the tall task of dethroning one of the top sides in the comp on their home turf. The girl’s didn’t disappoint, giving it their best crack in a hard fought game.
Unabated by the wet weather conditions, Thurgoona played a fast flowing game and were able to hit the scoreboard early and often to really put the pressure on the visitors.
The Felines were able to elevate their game to match the opposition’s intensity during the second and third quarters, stopping the lethal run and carry of the Thurgoona squad and grind away.
Unfortunately their resilient effort couldn’t translate on the scoreboard as the team still trailed by nine goals at the conclusion of the third quarter, but the girls still had a bit left in the tank.
During the three-quarter time huddle the Felines were urged to make one last push and show that they can match it with one of the best in the league. The team responded by putting together a dominant final quarter, controlling play and winning the quarter, slotting three goals while holding Thurgoona to none.
Once again Tahlia Simpson was inspirational in leading her team on the field as captain. Kaitlyn Robinson battled hard all match, the full back was able to mitigate the scoring opportunities of Thurgoona despite being under siege with their attacks at times. Carlie Smith has been a transformative player as she continues to get better with each game she plays and is proving to be an important asset to the team.
It was a fitting and fighting effort to finish the season. Huge thanks goes to Breanna Wojtowyez for stepping up a grade, Chloe Mitchell in her first game of the season and also Chloe’s friend Tayla Russo for helping us field a team on Sunday. Thanks also to the Thurgoona Bulldogs. Both matches were played in great spirit and the Bulldogs assisted in the senior match by loaning the Felines two players for each quarter, including some of their best players.
Thurgoona Bulldogs 9-9-63 def
Murray Felines 3-1-19
Goals: Chloe Mitchell 1, Tahlia Simpson 1 and Mikaela Trethowan from Thurgoona 1. Thanks to Tim and the Thurgoona girls who gave their all playing for our team.
Best: Kaitlyn Robinson, Tahlia Simpson, Kaitlin Muscat, Carlie Smith, Emily Gardiner and Kristin Holmes.
This brings the open team’s season to an end. The whole team can be proud of their efforts throughout the season. The individual and team improvement from the start of the season to the finish has been enormous and a credit to the payers and their coach, Darren Simpson.
The day started off poorly for the young Felines when it was realised that the water bottles were left at home. Unfortunately, it was soon discovered that the team had left more than the water bottles at home with most of their game play missing during the match against Thurgoona.
The Felines drew first blood in wet conditions, scoring the first goal of the match. But the team’s lead was short lived and it was largely one-way traffic as the Thurgoona midfield got on top and they were able to camp the ball in their forward line.
Coming off the bye, The Felines showed that the extended break didn’t do them any favours as the team’s skills were rusty and they struggled to maintain possession of the ball for any significant passage of play.
The Felines struggled to generate clean entries into their forward 50, which really hurt their scoring opportunities and effectively took them out of the match.
Conversely, the Bulldogs showed no signs of rust as their possessions were well measured and on target which translated to a flurry of goals on the scoreboard.
In the end a Thurgoona victory was never threatened and the Felines showed that they will need to hit the training track hard this week if they’re a chance to upset the Bulldogs in the semi-final on Sunday.
For the Felines, Breanna Wojtowyez was solid at full back, Stella Morrison kept busy all day at centre half back and Emily Keys continues to lead from the front and never stopped trying all day.
Thurgoona Bulldogs 11-6-72 def
Murray Felines 1-0-6
Goals: K. Cleal
Best: E. Keys, B. Wojtowyez, S. Morrison, Y. Budic, M. Lewis, K. Cleal
The young Felines take on the same team, the Thurgoona Bulldogs, next weekend in the first semi-final at Whorouly. The Felines used one of their lives this weekend, but with some more training, and some players to come back into the team for the final, the team is sure to lift their performance and be more than competitive for the big clash.