Sport

PDFL: Mathoura books finals spot

By Alex Mitchell

Mathoura's eight-year wait for finals football is over after the Timbercutters punched their ticket to the Picola District Football League post-season on Saturday.

Against Katunga, the Timbercutters once again had everything to play for at three-quarter-time with just a one-point lead, but quickly found top gear to kick five goals to one in the final stanza and run away with a 26-point win.

As a result, they end the regular season eighth on the ladder and with a date for an elimination final against Rennie next weekend, a game they enter full of confidence after three consecutive wins.

Keeping a lid on the bubbling enthusiasm within the footy club, Mathoura coach Darcy Robinson understood the importance of his side returning to finals.

"It was good, it's what you play football for, finals footy," he said.

"For the club to get a finals appearance after eight years is a big step for us."

Saturday's win by no means came easily, again forced to scrap against a Katunga line-up out of finals contention - and while the Swans had nothing to play for, they also had nothing to lose.

They kicked three goals to one in the second quarter to be a single point up at the half and as the pressure on Mathoura continued to rise, the Swans made sure nothing would come easily.

Robinson said winning the game required a big lift that began in the engine room, with his side eventually able to break the game open late in the third term, before steamrolling the Swans with five goals in the final frame to win well.

"Credit to Katunga, it was their last game of the season, they had nothing to lose and they had a real crack," Robinson said.

"We tried to get our game going, that free-flowing style, but we couldn't do it early.

"It was pleasing we were able to do it after an arm-wrestle for three quarters. The work-rate needed to lift, we got our hands on the footy first."

Sam McHale and John McGowan kicked three goals each, while Robinson and Zac Cockayne found a pair, but the win started in exactly the same way the Timbercutters' entire back-half of the season improvement has - with its leaders.

"Amos Farrell's last five weeks have been unbelievable, as has Jake Ellery's entire year, exactly what we expect for him," Robinson said.

"Zac Cockayne is another leader and that's what those guys do, if we're having a bad game, they drag us to where we need to be and they understood they had to do that yesterday."

FINAL SCORE

Mathoura 3.3, 4.7, 6.10, 11.12 (78)

Katunga 2.0, 5.2, 7.3, 8.4 (52)