The Timbercutters lost their match to Tocumwal on Saturday but their coach is taking some positives from the game.GEORDIE COWAN May 12, 2014 3:04am
Mathoura may have lost its fourth match of the season on Saturday, but it is clear the team is building towards a set plan under coach Mick McInnes.
Defensive pressure has been the new coach’s main focus in his first pre-season and it showed during a solid first half, before Tocumwal made the most of its chances to kick away to a 14.17
The Bloods have now won four of their six matches after moving into the Picola and District Football League north-west this year.
While their supporters were not overwhelmed by the quality of the team’s display, Tocumwal is likely to finish among the top three or four teams at the end of the season.
Vice-captain Micharl O’Riordan and Ashley Crawford had solid games for the visitors, while Dylan Flanagan kept up his record of scoring at least three goals every game to finish with four.
Mathoura’s best players were spread around the ground, with defenders Nathan Rowbottom, Matt Giorgianni and Nick Tucker doing well under fairly constant attack.
Andrew Mortimer, Tim Sparey and Chris Allingham were good through the midfield, while Nathan Kavanagh provided a good target on the wing and at half-forward, with Beau Duggan-Hulands and David Reardon also important in attack.
Youngsters Ash Vesty and Dan Gretgrix were also impressive, while Bryce Bish, who came on as the substitute in the third quarter for his senior debut, showed a bit of spark and put his name up for a possible full spot in the seniors this week.
With light, persistent rain affecting the quality of play for much of the game, Mathoura’s immense pressure on the ball was a feature in the first half, with the Bloods players often struggling to cope with it.
The visitors started well with many forward entries, but the Timbercutters’ defence held firm and were able to kick the first goal of the game through Rod Reeves.
Going goal-for-goal, Jon-Ross Cardillo replied through a turnover, before Duggan-Hulands nailed a 50m set shot for the home side.
Tocumwal again lifted its attacking intent, with Tucker busy in defence, but Crawford eventually made the most of the pressure to shrug off one tackler and kick a classy goal.
However, Reardon responded immediately after Mathoura won the centre clearance and the home team led 19-16 at the first change.
The second quarter started in a similar fashion to the first with the Bloods missing a few chances, before a Sparey goal out of the blue saw the home team lead by five points.
With goals hard to come by, Tocumwal then scored two in a row before Matt Nunan nailed a set shot late in the quarter as Mathoura held a one-point advantage at the long break.
The Bloods started the third term full of determination and produced more damage on the scoreboard.
Marcus Oussa kicked the first goal of the quarter — the ninth and final lead change of the match — and when Flanagan converted from a lace-out pass it started to look ominous for the Timbercutters.
Jacob Hore then nailed a set shot from the pocket and with Mathoura starting to fumble the ball and drop uncontested marks, the momentum was with the visitors.
However, Bish’s introduction to the game sparked a good attacking move for the home side and Nathan Kavanagh made the most of a free-kick.
With Mathoura full of run, the home side was unable to make it count and the Bloods finished with the last four shots of the term to lead by 21 points at the final break.
Needing a quick start to get back into the contest, it was instead the Bloods who continued where they had left off to kick the first four goals of the term, before Mathoura fought back towards the end.
Duggan-Hulands kicked his second after a long bomb bounced kindly, with Vesty and then Dan Kavanagh adding goals.
The Bloods cracked triple figures with two more majors before the game finished, with Reardon kicking the last two goals of the match as Mathoura lost by 28 points.
The Timbercutters won every quarter in an impressive performance, with Darren Kirby leading the way in the forward line with six majors.
Best players were not listed for either team.
Congratulations to all our award winners in Greater Shepparton. To find out more about what our amazing recipients have done, see tomorrow's Shepparton News.
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