Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Cats kick into gear to dispose of Magpies

After copping a quarter-time spray from coach Blake Campbell, Mooroopna has responded to get over the top of a stray-kicking Euroa.

OLIVER CAFFREY June 9, 2014 3:05am

Luke Conca kicked five goals on Saturday to steer Mooroopna to victory over Euroa.

Mooroopna grinded its way to a third Goulburn Valley Football League win of the season, holding off a wayward Euroa by 17 points on Saturday.

The Cats were pushed all day at Mooroopna Recreation Reserve, but made the most of their opportunities around goal, with VFL player Luke Conca utterly dominant, kicking five goals.

The Magpies controlled large periods of the game, but the Cats were cleaner with their disposal and impacted the scoreboard when it mattered.

Despite doing the bulk of attacking in the opening quarter, the Pies went into the first change one point behind due to a Daniel Lewis goal after the siren.

The home side might have been in front at quarter-time, but Cats coach Blake Campbell was far from impressed.

A blistering spray at the huddle kicked the Cats into action, kicking three goals in 10 minutes to break the game open.

Campbell said the win would give his side confidence for the remainder of the season.

‘‘I reckon it was a real character building win for the group, we knew Euroa was going to test us all the way,’’ Campbell said.

‘‘They asked a few questions of us today and we responded well and I felt the pressure and contested footy was really good after quarter-time.

‘‘I reckon our season has been okay, we’ve played some good footy at times and we’re confident deep down if we play the footy we played today and last week against Mansfield, we can compete with anyone.’’

With Lewis playing further up the ground, Conca had the forward 50 to himself at times, making the most of every opportunity.

Marty Curtis chipped in with two goals, while Kane Boyer, Dean Smith and Mitch Keddell were lively.

However, it was the back end where the Cats were able to gain a major advantage.

Lachie Devine and Tom Casey were outstanding in defence with unrelenting pressure.

It wasn’t all positive for the Cats as Brad Lowe fractured his cheekbone after a huge collision with Anthony Long in the third quarter.

For the Pies, it was a missed opportunity to win their first game away from Memorial Oval this season.

Euroa coach Nathan Gilliland said he was bitterly disappointed with the result, but believed it would take time for his side to play its best football.

‘‘You look at the scoreboard and miss that many chances at goal, you’re not going to win too many games,’’ Gilliland said.

‘‘Mooroopna took its opportunities and that was the difference in the game, they were a bit cleaner with the ball going forward.

‘‘We’ll bounce back, we’re still a relatively new group, with a few changes to the side and a new game plan, so the inconsistency will come.

‘‘We’re back at home next week, the reserves are playing well, so we’ll have a look at a few boys to keep trying to find our best mix.’’

The Pies were well served by Nick Snowdon, Mick Hamill and David King, while Robbie Wood finished with two majors.

Veteran Craig Bamford was quiet until he came to life in the last quarter, kicking two terrific goals on the run.

The Cats jumped above Euroa to seventh on the ladder by percentage.

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