Spectators at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday could have been forgiven for thinking the Murray Football League’s finals series had started early.
In a scintillating contest between two of the best teams in the competition, Mark Lloyd’s Moama had the measure of Michael Tout’s Mulwala, but only just.
‘‘It was a hotly contested game of football with a finals-type atmosphere,’’ Lloyd said.
‘‘It was a really good one to win.’’
With six multiple goalkickers, including three each to Tyler Jones and Lachie Collins, the Magpies simply found too many avenues to goal for the Lions to contain.
‘‘We had a good even spread again, which was great,’’ Lloyd said.
‘‘Guys bobbed up and contributed all day and we were able to hit the scoreboard.
‘‘We needed a good team performance and that is what we got.’’
However, it was down the other end of the field where the match was won for the away side, with Logan Power, 17, lowering Mulwala superstar Ash Froud’s colours and keeping him to just two goals.
‘‘We gave him that job and he had an outstanding day,’’ Lloyd said.
‘‘We’ve given him a few jobs in defence this year and each time he has gone in with a great mindset.
‘‘He looks forward to the challenge and did a great job yesterday, and from a coach’s perspective that’s really pleasing.’’
Rhys Archard and Luke Eldridge were also massive in the victory.
The Lions will be left to rue missed opportunities during the clash after securing more scoring shots than their opponent.
‘‘It came down to the wire, but it was pretty disappointing to have more scoring shots and make some silly mistakes during the game,’’ Tout said.
‘‘That probably cost us.’’
Co-captain Jackson Gash, Beau Clarke and Damian Cook were among the Lions who tried hard all afternoon.
‘‘We’re still in a sort of rebuilding phase with a young list, so it was pleasing that the boys didn’t give up,’’ Tout said.
Gun recruit Hamish Hosking twinged his calf during the warm up, but battled through the match to boot two goals.
A bye for the Lions should mean the ruckman does not miss any football, while Moama faces a tough match against a red-hot Deniliquin.