A young Finley team were no match for Tongala in round 10 of the Murray League on Saturday.
Injuries sustained the week prior to veterans Paul Massingham and Shaun Kable matched with the unavailability of Kane Murphy and Robb Jewell presented opportunities to developing players on the Cats’ list but it was the Blues who proved too strong on their home deck with a 98 point win.
Coby McCarthy and Jack Hammond each slammed home six majors for the Blues, while Cam Ilett, Riley Bacon and Nick Woods also impressed.
Tim Robertson (three goals), Ben Ashley-Cooper and Matt Wilson battled hard for the Cats on a tough day.
Final score, Tongala 25.11 (161) to Finley 9.9 (63).
Tongala were quick to set the tone and repeat forward entries saw them register three goals before Finley had entered their forward 50.
Onballers Matt Wilson and Levi Middleton worked hard and both created chances midway through the first quarter but inaccurate kicking saw them only register points for their efforts.
Taylor Kleinschmidt instigated a clever passage of play, rebounding out of defence and ending with Matt Jackson on the burst 50m out for the Cats’ first.
Tim Robertson snapped truly from the stoppage in the forward pocket and the margin at the break was back to 16 points.
The Blues started the second term like the first with more shots on goal and extended the lead.
Some clever play in the goal square from brothers Tim and Cam Robertson saw the Cats claw one back.
Wilson displayed his best soccer skills controlling the ball for 40 metres with his feet before gathering it and snapping a goal around his body.
Tim Robertson then presented strongly on the lead taking a difficult mark and converting the goal.
Ashley-Cooper was given the task of playing on decorated Northern Territory recruit Cam Ilett.
It provided a fascinating duel with both winning their share of possessions.
The second half saw the bigger more seasoned players dominate for the home team.
Onballers Jack Hammond and Coby McCarthy helped themselves to six goals each as the flood gates opened.
The inexperienced Cats had no answers as Tonny ran out 98 point winners.
The loss sees the Cats slip a game outside the top eight.
They will now need to regroup for their match at home against Mulwala this week.