Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Mooroopna hits its straps after pep talk

A half-time talk from Mathew Higgins has spurred Mooroopna on to a solid victory against Euroa in Goulburn Valley Hockey Association's A-grade women's competition.

MATTHEW GALEA August 13, 2014 3:15am

Euroa’s Danielle Carr and Mooroopna’s Sally Higgins scrap for possession.

Mooroopna overcame a rocky start to romp to victory against Euroa.

The Cats took a big step towards finals hockey with a 4-1 win in Goulburn Valley Hockey Association A-grade women’s action on Sunday, but they had a special helping hand.

GV hockey great Mathew Higgins — husband of Mooroopna player Sally — was on hand to provide just the right words of inspiration at half-time with the scores locked at 1-1.

Mooroopna’s Victorian state team gun Mardi Petherick opened the scoring for the Cats, but her effort from a short corner was cancelled out by Grace Arnold.

The stand-in coach’s presence inspired a much better second half from the Cats much to the delight of Ellie Winzer.

‘‘It was a very positive half-time talk and we tried to keep the negatives out of it,’’ Winzer said.

‘‘We found our stride after that and we regained our strength and our structure.

‘‘He just spoke to us about what we were doing and how we could improve and we utilised that advice very well.’’

The Cats were more structured and disciplined in the second half and scored three, spaced-out efforts to see off Euroa.

Mooroopna spread itself more effectively across the ground, stretching the Euroa defence and pressed forward as a team.

Alicia Cornelius put the Cats back in front before Petherick doubled their advantage.

Lindi Cardamone rounded off the scoring and the result with a rare effort after journeying up the pitch from defence.

The win puts the Cats five points ahead of last-placed Euroa, meaning even a point next week against fourth-placed Strikers would guarantee finals.

Sally Higgins impressed, as did Petherick.

‘‘Sally’s second efforts in particular were really good,’’ Winzer said.

‘‘Her husband’s coaching must have helped.’’

In the round’s other game, Echuca-Moama beat the Strikers 5-0 to secure the minor premiership.

The River Rats have built an uncatchable lead sitting eight points clear of second-placed Shepparton Youth Club — which had the bye at the weekend — with two rounds to play.

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