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Cats to lick wounds and move on

Mooroopna won't be dwelling on its defeat to Shepparton on Friday night as coach Blake Campbell praises Bears and prepares for next contest.

DAMEN FRANCIS April 28, 2014 3:10am

Mooroopna coach Blake Campbell says he won’t allow his side to dwell on Friday night’s shock defeat to Shepparton.

The Cats were stunned by a hungry and committed Bears side that claimed its first win since round 16, 2012, with a four-goal victory at Deakin Reserve.

Campbell accepted questions would be asked of his side, but the second-year playing coach said too much focus on his side’s flaws would be unfair on Shepparton.

‘‘The fact they haven’t won a game for a long time you didn’t want to be the side they ended up beating, but I think we’ll look at it at the end of the year and realise Shepp are actually going to be a fairly decent side,’’ Campbell said.

‘‘We’re three rounds in, they’ve got about a dozen new players in the side and their first game was a write-off, but I watched them against United and they were very good.

‘‘We are a young group and I reckon their form is going to fluctuate a fair bit.’’

The Bears caught the Cats napping at the opening bounce and were able to get the jump on the visitors.

For much of the night there was a sense of inevitability about Mooroopna breaking the Bears’ stubborn resistance, but by the early stages of the final term the tables had turned and fate finally seemed in Shepparton’s corner.

‘‘I felt in the last quarter if one side got a couple of goals in front it would have been hard to peg them back,’’ Campbell said.

‘‘We could have really hurt their confidence and when they got in front of us by a couple of goals and got the support of the crowd behind them kicking to the Shepp end I had in the back of my mind it was going to be hard to stop them.’’

Daniel Lewis was one of few clear winners on the night for the Cats, but the inclusion of VFL player Pat Contin did not make up for the loss of Luke Conca going the other way.

‘‘Lewis was brilliant, but our forwards weren’t smart enough with allowing their opponents to sag off onto him,’’ Campbell said.

‘‘Luke Conca has been important for us the first two games and him not being there really hurt us, he’s done that crumbing role really well the first two weeks and we really missed him.’’

The match was also the first meeting between Campbell and his brother Brad.

Campbell said he shared a beer with the Bears coach after the game and there were no hard feelings.

‘‘They’ve got a really good coach there, he’s that thorough, probably over-the-top thorough, but that’s the way he does it with his coaching, and he’ll get the best out of any group he coaches,’’ Campbell said.

‘‘(Our clubs) are trekking the same path in what we are trying to do and I’ve got no doubt over the next couple of years there’s going to be some good battles between Shepparton and Mooroopna.’’

The Cats have the bye this week and will have to wait until May 10 for a shot at redemption against Rochester.

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