SLOW starts are what every team wants to avoid in football — but the Murray Football League couldn’t do that on Saturday.
Despite kicking the first goal of the game through Tongala’s Coby McCarthy, the Wimmera Football League soon began to get their hands on the ball and dictate the tempo of the contest.
By quarter-time, the visitors held a 24-point lead before extending the gap to 44 points at the main break.
From there, the Murray was simply playing catch-up as they fell by 45 points.
Wimmera’s ability to have the game played on the outside was the difference according to Murray coach Jye Warren.
‘‘Their spread around the contest in that first half really killed us,’’ he said.
‘‘We didn’t go with them and we tried to play a bit too pretty.
‘‘Blokes were looking around for their opponent and next thing you know they’re out wide getting the footy and pumping inside forward 50.
‘‘It put a lot of pressure on our defenders.’’
Despite trailing by 50 points at the final change, the Murray side refused to give in.
Although they didn’t reduce the margin significantly in the final term, there was no questioning the effort from the players when they could have easily gone into their shell.
‘‘I will never second guess my team’s endeavours because they all want to play for each other,’’ Warren said.
‘‘In the last quarter we came back with some really nice footy.
‘‘If we had played that same footy for the first three I reckon we would have been in with a shot.’’
Being able to put out a strong team to represent a competition isn’t always easy but going forward Warren wants to see more players put their hands up for selection.
‘‘We put the best team on the park that we could, the guys who really wanted to play,’’ he said.
‘‘Hats off to the blokes who wanted to play because it doesn’t come around often.
‘‘Hopefully in future we see more guys wanting to have this wonderful opportunity.’’
Michael Herlihy from Numurkah was named the best player on the ground.
In the under 18s, the Murray also suffered a loss going down by 42 points, 14.9 (93) to 7.9 (51).