Magpies power unit kills Lions

September 04, 2017

Jordan Ives of Moama handballs during the MFNL seniors football elimination final between Mulwala and Moama. Photo by Luke Hemer.

MOAMA saved its best football for its most important game, turning in a powerful performance in the Murray Football League second elimination final to end Mulwala’s season.

The Mowers were challenged early but took control after quarter-time and eventually cruised across the line in a 54-point triumph.

Tyler Jones led the way with six goals and many more score assists in an exceptional display, but he was just one of a number of strong contributors in a balanced team performance.

The game put Jones head to head with Mulwala gun forward Ash Froud, but the century goalkicker was comprehensively beaten again by Logan Power and held to just one goal, his lowest return of the season.

‘‘Obviously Froud is a classy player and to see them go head to head was great,’’ Moama coach Mark Lloyd said.

‘‘It was like that early and I thought Logan did a terrific job on him again. He’s beaten him twice, in that last quarter Loges was all over him, it was super.’’

Power’s dominance summed up the Mowers’ brilliant day — a team full of sensational performances.

It started early at the Moama Recreation Reserve, Jones capitalising on great delivery from Jade Pumpa and Noah Wheeler for his first two of the day.

But the Lions landed their first punches in response, consecutive goals for Ross Ansaldi and Joshua Hammond helping them to a two-goal lead.

The Mowers answered, a couple of goals to Rhys Archard and another for Jones wrestling back the quarter-time lead.

And the pair would kick the only two of the second, Moama’s defence holding up brilliantly and slowing the Mulwala ball movement to a crawl.

Ahead by 19 points at the half, the game was certainly the Mowers’ to lose, and they gave themselves breathing room early in the second half with two goals in two minutes for Jones.

They moved the ball with pace and could have done even more damage on the scoreboard, still 33 points ahead at the final change.

Mulwala kept fighting in a fiery final quarter with neither side willing to give an inch in a number of skirmishes.

But Moama made the most of it, Mitch Eade goaling after 100 metres of penalties before Cooper Barber fought through cramp to drill his first of the day.

Lachie Collins, Fraser Verhey and Archard goaled late to run up the score, the Mowers comprehensive 54-point winners.

Attacking firepower a trademark of the side, Lloyd said the lockdown defence had been just as important in the win.

‘‘We spoke about it before the game, the back six were really a crucial part of how we were going to go today; if they were able to do jobs, it would just free up other guys through the midfield and some up forward that might have had to swing back,’’ Lloyd said.

‘‘They’ve been doing it all year our back six, they’re really settled and they know each other well now. You can see when we run and start to get on top of sides we can really connect well.’’

Moama’s brilliant win moved them to Sunday’s semi-final against Barooga, its season on the line for a second time.

The coach said confidence remained sky-high among the playing group, the side in its best form of the season.

Archard was named Moama’s best, accumulating a stack of possessions and hitting the scoreboard for four goals.

Power was just as good, Wheeler, Barber and Chris Boxtel other standouts.

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