Mulwala seniors headed to Numurkah with a clear intent to secure their position in the top four and the coveted double chance come finals.
Numurkah 4.2 9.4 12.8 20.14 (134)
Mulwala 5.1 10.4 14.6 16.6 (102)
Goals – Numurkah: N. Hicks 6, M. Herlihy 5, J. Hoffmann 4, B. Gunning 4, B. McKeown.
Mulwala: W. Barden 3, H. Crossley 3, S. Robinson 3, B. Clarke 2, T. Dow 2, C. Magher, L. Howroyd, J. Gash.
Best – Numurkah: J. Holmes, B. Gunning, B. McKeown, N. Hicks, J. Fulton, L. McKeown.
Mulwala: J. Hammond, H. Crossley, G. Dominick, T. Dow, C. Magher, W. Barden.
Numurkah are a team who had the same aspirations, which set up an epic class between the two teams.
The teams were very close to full strength in both camps, with Numurkah welcoming back a host of top liners and Mulwala with one of their strongest line ups for the year.
Mulwala opened up the game with a solid first term hitting the score board with five majors to set up a slight lead at the first break.
Harry Crossley was dangerous inside the forward fifty, maximising his chances and using the ball creatively.
Hamish Hoskin was back from his international peace keeping duties in South Korea and was having a battle with the Blues big man Price.
The honours where being evenly shared at ground level with Jackson Gash setting Mulwala up around the stoppages and Beau McKeon doing the same for Numurkah.
In the back half the quite achiever Josh Hammond was continuing his excellent late season form cutting off many promising attacking moves by the Blues.
Josh was getting solid support from Ely Boyer who had earned his position back in the team after overcoming a mid-season injury.
Ely’s determination at the contest and his use of the ball going forward set up multiple attacking opportunities.
Mulwala were managing to maintain the lead throughout the game through determined efforts around the contest by the likes of Tom Dow who has really stepped up to the pace of senior football over recent weeks.
Mulwala’s key match ups were managing to break even with the Blues class players with each side striving to break the other open with creative running play.
Jackson Gash was the target of a disciplined tagging effort from Fothergill which was proving hard to shake around the contest.
The game was in the balance with the last quarter set to decide the team who secured their position in the top four on the ladder with one round remaining before finals.
Mulwala were protecting a slender three-quarter time lead and Numurkah were determined to bridge the gap with some exciting free flowing play at the beginning of the last term setting the tone.
The Blues took control of the contest after Mulwala kicked the first goal of the final term banging through seven unanswered goals to break the contest open and secure a hard earned win.
Mulwala has the big challenge of taking on Cobram at home in the last round to give themselves a chance of securing fourth spot on the ladder and a double chance.
The outcome of the Tongala verses Nathalia game will determine if Mulwala can get up into fourth position.
Tongala are coming off a giant killing effort beating premiership fancy Echuca United by eighty points and will be looking to take down the Purple power house who sit on top of the ladder.
Numurkah 4.7.31 def by Mulwala 18.9.117
Mulwala has dominated Numurkah to record an 85-point win. The result was never in doubt as the Lions opened up a 30-point lead in the first quarter and then extended it at every change.
The enigma, Andrew Maskull-Dunstan was the star of the show, kicking 6 goals in a best on ground performance.
The bag of goals had everything; floaters, pack marks and stiff arm fend offs, although a smile was still impossible.
Wade Dennis continued his strong form with plenty of run down the wing whilst Adam Rouel danced his way around the field and kicked 3 goals of his own.
The targets where everywhere for Mulwala with Joe Bland a star at centre half forward, whilst Andy Miller and Cam Nye kicked two goals apiece.
Miller has been a revelation this year and will push towards senior selection through the finals.
Down back, Nathan Beasley was once again instrumental in preventing any kind of Numurkah momentum, with youngster Lachie Wood clearly winning his position and launching several long bombs into the forward line.
With plenty of goal kickers, the Mulwala boys all enjoyed the day with Dennis Phibbs matching it with some of his team mates, who were not even born, the first time he retired.
Mulwala will now take on Cobram this Saturday for a chance to play finals football.
Goals: Numurkah: D. Ebborn, C. Goodrum, L. Mansfield, B. Vidler.
Mulwala: A. Maskell-dunsta 6, A. Rouel 3, D. Phibbs 2, A. Miller 2, C. Nye 2, J. Ednie, W. Dennis, J. Bozzola.
Best: Numurkah: B. Shanahan, K. Rees, G. Gallus, S. Spicer, P. Millen, J. Morris.
Mulwala: A. Maskell-dunsta, N. Beasley, A. Rouel, W. Dennis, J. Bland, L. Orr.
Numurkah 10.8.68 def Mulwala 7.8.50
Goals: Numurkah: D. Ebborn 5, M. Hodgson 4, M. Mansfield.
Mulwala: A. Psaltiras 3, K. Abikhair, L. Martin, J. Ednie, D. Psaltiras.
Best: Numurkah: B. Roberts, P. Masters, K. O’Dwyer, F. Penberthy, D. Pellegrino, M. Hodgson.
Mulwala: B. Conway, A. Psaltiras, Z. Scott, K. Fisher, K. Abikhair, R. Norman.
Numurkah 3.3.21 def by Mulwala3.5.23
Goals: Numurkah: W. Smith, K. Rahilly, N. Page.
Mulwala: T. Jones, Z. Oliver, J. Wheeler.
Best: Numurkah: K. Rahilly, O. Masters, N. Page, N. Hughes, A. Siermans, A. Hicks.
Mulwala: D. Kirchen, Z. Oliver, V. Kreeck, J. Wheeler, M. Paine, T. Jones.