Macorna’s hoodoo grows

EMOTION. Murrabit players rejoiced after defeating Macorna by 37 points in the Golden Rivers Football League first semi-final at Ultima.The 37-point loss meant the Tigers have now not won a Golden Rivers Football League finals series fixture since making the season decider in 2002 – a decade-long stretch of defeats.

With both sides knowing that the vanquished foe would be heading home at full time, there was a frenetic start to Saturday’s game.

Shaun Pearce kicked the first goal, but this was matched by David Millard, and two more majors from Nathan Henry.

Millard had started really well, and the match-up between the coaches in Josh Bray and Wayne Mitrovic was also enticing.

Jon Hirst kicked another from a contested mark in the goal square, and it was the Blues with all of the early momentum.

Mitrovic placed himself on to the ball, from which Bray followed and preceded to get himself into the game.

The returning Michael Rowe then replied after a high tackle, and snagged another out of a clearance to bring the Tigers back into contention.

Jordan Simpson also added a goal, and after conceding the early start only had a one-point deficit at the first interval.

The second quarter began slowly with inaccuracy from the Tigers, which was eventually capitalised on.

As a result of a poor kick-in Jon Hirst was able to run in to an open goal.

Simon Morton had picked up lots of the ball with his hard running and Josh Pearce was able to capitalise and further extend the Murrabit lead.

Bray was doing a really good leadership role on Mitrovic, and Brendan Murchie was also being kept quiet by tagger Richard Ogilvie.

Michael Liverton was able to reply with a brilliant running goal from the boundary, and this was matched equally by James Murphy who crumbed a stoppage well – and Henry who slotted his third to extend the Murrabit margin to 23 points.

Hirst added to that again, and it seemed as if the neutral-fan premiership favourites were right up on the ropes going into half time.

Murphy was running very freely on the wing, and his second broke the game apart to grab a 35-point lead.

Mitrovic tore into his charges, imploring them that their season was on the line, and that they had not showed enough desperation.

They needed a major lift from their prime movers, and Daniel Needs began the second half by kicking a goal.

He had been extremely quiet early, so he had needed to lift.

Brad Ladson then kicked a goal to reduce the margin to 22 points and it had looked like Mitrovic’s spray had worked.

Liverton then added a team-lifter from 50 metres out and the Tigers had worked their way back into the contest.

Liverton’s run and carry was almost single-handedly drawing the margin closer, and an interception from a Josh Pearce kick resulted in Michael Distefano narrowing the margin to seven points.

Simon Ettershank then slotted a steadier for the Blues, one that was much needed, and right on the three-quarter-time siren David Millard kicked a goal that dribbled through and gave Murrabit a 20-point lead.

The Blues began the last by gaining a quick clearance and goal through Henry and it seemed like they were on the way to a preliminary final date in two weeks’ time.

Rowe wasn’t going to have any of it, however, and goaled from a tackle, but this was responded to by Hirst who kicked his fourth.He then slotted his fifth, and it was party time for Murrabit.

The Blues were too good all over the ground, and had done a lot of homework with their match-ups, which was a master-stroke from Bray.

The premiership’s second-most fancied challengers were gone, and now Murrabit awaited the loser of Nullawil and Wandella in two weeks’ time at Moulamein.

Best players: Murrabit – David Millard, Leigh Millard, Josh Bray, Jon Hirst, Nathan Henry. Macorna – Michael Liverton, Matthew Trigg, Luke Spalding, Steven Schut, Jordan Simpson.

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Posted by at 22/07/2019
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