GVL football preview - Mooroopna v Benalla

By Tyler Maher

Benalla will be looking for a form reversal tomorrow when it makes the trip to Mooroopna.

The Goulburn Valley League Saints have lost their past two fixtures — against ladder leader Kyabram and third-placed Tatura — to fall to sixth spot on the table.

It means a win against the Cats is crucial for James Martiniello and his charges, especially with Mansfield and Rochester, which are both a game behind Benalla, facing each other this round.

Brody Webster (five goals) and Pat Warner were brilliant against the Bulldogs last time out and their performances will be important again tomorrow if the Saints are to keep their record, which sits at 5-4, in the positive.

‘‘It’s nice to be in front of the ledger,’’ Martiniello told the Benalla Ensign.

‘‘There were one or two games we would have liked to pinch, but it’s a really even competition this year, we’re happy at 5-4 and we’ll really push on in the second half to consolidate a top six finish.’’

The key for Benalla against the Cats will be winning the ball at the coalface and keeping it.

‘‘We need to keep our intensity for longer, reclaim the footy, and work to get possession,’’ Martiniello said.

‘‘We can’t turn it over. If you do that, good opposition will make you pay.’’

On the flipside, Mooroopna is on the bottom rung of the ladder at the halfway mark of the season.

After a win against Mansfield and a one-point defeat at the hands of Seymour though, the Cats have proven their ability to match it with anyone on the field.

Kyle Gray, Ben Hicks, Will Hetherington, Hudson Thomas, Jayedon Hexter and Kai Love-Linay were among Mooroopna’s better performers in a loss to Rochester last round, with the Cats pushing the Tigers for the first half of the contest before falling away.

Dale Osborne will look for his troops to extend their efforts for a full four quarters tomorrow in an attempt to take down the Saints.