Finally fanfare at Finley

August 21, 2017

Bringing down the Bacon: Riley Bacon (Tongala) is tackled by a Finley player.

Get back here: Tongala's Bryce Denham tries to contain Cam Robertson (Finley).

Finley has provided football fans with a lesson in persistence this year.

After a tumultuous summer, the Cats entered the season dangerously undermanned and were rag-dolled against other clubs in the competition by massive margins.

Slowly, but surely, Rob Daniel’s charges worked into the campaign, improving every week under his tutelage.

Finally on Saturday the Cats were able to sing the song after scrapping and clawing for a maiden victory against Tongala.

‘‘It’s bloody awesome, the boys were sensational today,’’ Daniel said.

‘‘I knew we were building up to a win and I thought today would be the day and it was, which was good.

‘‘I’m very proud, our goal this second round was to halve our margins from the first round, which we have, and to be able to get over Tonny, I think they beat us by about 80 or 90 points the first game, so it just shows the improvement the boys have shown throughout the year.’’

The away side had a slender lead at every change at Tongala Recreation Reserve before eventually securing the win, with Daniel pleading with his troops to leave everything they had out on the field at the final break.

‘‘I think I might have lost my stuff there a bit at three-quarter-time, but the message was just to give it their all,’’ he said.

‘‘It was our grand final basically, don’t worry about next week we’re just going to get the four points today and give 100 per cent at every contest and they did, they just gave everything they had.

‘‘There was a few boys that will be very, very sore tomorrow.’’

Lachie Hawkins, Tim Meulendyks, Lachie Small, Sam Orro, Nick Campbell and Scott Jewell led the way in the triumph, which will be celebrated accordingly before attention turns to the final game of the year.

‘‘I tried to ring my wife to say that I might be a little bit late, but I couldn’t get a hold of her, so I’ll have to give her a ring on the way home, but yeah we’ll celebrate,’’ Daniel said.

‘‘We’ll have a fair crack at Mulwala, they’re a good side, but we’ll give them a run for their money.’’

Tongala had its fair share of opportunity in front of goal, but could not find a way to reel the Cats in with scoreboard pressure.

Adam Nunn, Logan Church, Riley Bacon, Nathan Torney, Jayden Vick and Jesse Robilliard tried hard all day, while Ryley Cowley booted two goals in the defeat.

As for Finley’s future next year, Daniel simply hoped his rising stars stuck around for the ride.

‘‘Probably our problem is just keeping the thirds boys, we lose a few to other clubs like Yarrawonga and a few of those other clubs, but hopefully we can keep them involved because we’ve been strong with the thirds for a long time,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ve had Zeke Carruthers there today play with us who’s a good player and Lukey Moore was one of our best again, so that’s our main aim, to keep those boys involved with the Finley footy club and not have them go elsewhere.’’

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