GVL | Mooroopna produces ‘grinding win’ over Shepparton

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Inconsistent: Mooroopna coach John Lamont said his side played well in bursts on Saturday. Photo: James Kleeman Photo by James Kleeman

Mooroopna continues to put its Goulburn Valley League finals case forward, with John Lamont’s side picking up another important win on Saturday afternoon.

The Cats welcomed Shepparton to Mooroopna Recreation Reserve for the round 11 clash and started strong, with an impressive first term putting the home side on the front foot early.

This early dominance showed on the scoreboard, with Mooroopna leading 4.2 (26) to 1.0 (6) at the first break.

In the second term things were a bit more even, with Shepparton making its way back into the game, yet Mooroopna managed to extend its lead to 21 points at half-time.

When the second half kicked off, the Bears continued their purple patch, with lapses from Mooroopna helping the visiting side cut the margin to just 14 at the final break.

However, in the final term the home side managed to steady the ship, with six last-term scoring shots to two seeing the Cats take out a 28-point win.

Mooroopna coach John Lamont said it was a “grinding” win.

“We played well in bursts, played some good footy in the first quarter, but I felt we were plagued with inconsistency across our game,” Lamont said.

“At times we moved the ball really well and other times we were stagnant and had too many skill errors.

“At times we defended really well and made it difficult for the Bears to move the ball forward and other times we defended poorly and were a bit slack on defence.”

Lamont said while he was pleased to do the double over the Bears this season, his side had a number of inconsistencies in its game it needed to work through.

“We’ve got a couple of massive games coming up now, with Rochester and Kyabram in the next fortnight,” he said.

“We’re definitely going to have to improve across the board and tighten up our discipline.

“We’ve got through pretty much injury-free, it’s a win at home, so we’re happy.”

Ben Hicks stood out for Mooroopna in the backline, while Jack Hunt showed energy in the middle of the ground and Chris Nield kicked five goals.

Saturday’s game was also a significant milestone for Cats stalwart Dean Smith, who played his 100th senior game for the club.

“He was all set to play his 100th game last year but then due to multiple COVID-19 delays he was left on 99 games over the summer,” Lamont said.

“He came in for his first game for the year and it was his 100th. He acquitted himself really well in the midfield, I thought.”

For Shepparton, Tyler Larkin stood out, as did coach Ted Lindon and Jayden Dhosi, with the loss another case of so close yet so far for the Bears.