Cats still alive in race for another flag

LOCKINGTON-Bamawm United remains in the hunt for a fourth-straight Heathcote District Football League premiership after keeping its season alive on Sunday.

The Cats defeated Mount Pleasant by 33 points in the first semi-final at Gunbower, winning 11.15 (81) to 7.6 (48).

The Cats took control of the contest in the second half after the game had been in the balance at half-time when the Blues led by four points, 6.3 to 5.5.

But the Cats’ wealth of finals experience proved telling after the main break as they added 6.10 to 1.3 to set up another crack at Leitchville-Gunbower in next week’s preliminary final.

“The game could have gone either way at half-time, but the boys really dug deep, used the football a lot better in the second half and put the score on the board,” Cats coach Adrian Dohnt said.

“We were really good with our centre clearances in the second half and our forward pressure lifted, which was important because they set-up from half-back well.”

The Cats had the chance to break the game wide open in the third quarter when they had 16 inside 50s to three, but squandered opportunities with a return of 3.7 to 0.1.

That left the margin at three quarter-time 20 points in their favour, and they ensured there wouldn’t be a repeat of the previous week’s qualifying final fadeout against Leitchville-Gunbower by adding 3.3 to 1.2 in the last term.

Midfielder Matt Bongiovanni was the Cats’ best player, with his work at the contest and his run-and-carry a standout.

Marcus Angove, who had an enthralling duel with the Blues’ Jarrod Findlay, Rhys Woodland, who held Matt Gretgrix goalless, ruckman Liam Main, Ryan Jensen (three goals), and Daniel Lucas, who was matched-up on Kain Robins, were also influential.

As well as Jensen, Lachlan Collins also kicked three goals for the Cats.

However, in what’s a major blow for the Cats, key forward Kahl Oliver suffered a groin injury and Dohnt conceded it was likely to be season-ending.

The loss brings to an end Mount Pleasant’s first finals campaign since 2008, when the Blues had also been eliminated by the Cats.

“We were with them for the first half, but their finals experience just stood out in the end,” Blues coach Derrick Filo said.

“They got control at the stoppages in the second half and once they cut down our supply, we were always reactive, and that’s full credit to Lockington.”

Backmen Taig Griffin, Chris Black and Tim Hill were among the best players for the Blues, whose only multiple goalkicker was Kain Robins (three).

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