Mulwala travelled to Numurkah to take on the Blues who are one of the ladder leaders and knew matching them on their home deck would be a challenge.
The Blues have been in strong form in recent weeks with a win over arch rivals Nathalia last season’s premiers. They had come up just short against Barooga in their last game which had left them smarting, as they had dropped back into second on the ladder.
Mulwala had plenty to play for due to dropping their last game against Moama at home, which could well see them miss the chance to play their first final at Lonsdale Reserve.
The Blues opened full of running on their huge home ground to set up an early goal and looked like they were intent on taking control of the contest early.
Mulwala was not getting their hands on the ball first which helped the Blues midfielders to drive the ball inside their forward fifty regularly during the first term.
The Mulwala backline was under constant pressure but was able to repel many of the promising moves through the good work of Damien and Nathan Cook.
Nathan McNair was attacking the contest extremely hard, which resulted in some good clearing runs from deep in defence.
The wide open spaces of the Numurkah showgrounds enabled Beau Clarke and Dylan McNamara to work up the ground on long searching leads.
These boys took a number of strong contested marks high in the forward zone but the Blues were able to cut the attacking moves off before they got into Ash Froud.
Ash was able to create an opportunity to goal off a strong lead and mark, which would prove to be Mulwala’s only major for the first term.
The Blues at the other end were able to post six majors and the score line was looking ominous at the first break.
Mulwala opened the second term with a goal to Adam Rouel within the first twenty seconds which had a team lifting impact and gave some hope they could work their way back into the contest.
The clearance work of Jackson Gash and Sean Johns was providing opportunities out of the centre.
The Lions were working their way back into the game and got the margin back inside a goal late in the term, only for the Blues to sneak a couple of late majors to skip away just prior to the main break.
Mulwala went to the long break with some optimism that they had an opportunity in the second half to match it with the Blues.
The second half saw the opening of the flood gates with the Mulwala mid field completely dominated by Numurkah with Price getting on top in the tap outs the Blues smalls ran the ball forward with ease.
The Mulwala boys were working hard but just couldn’t take a trick or get their hands on the ball when it counted around the clearances.
Ash was keen to add to his goal tally but with only a couple of forward fifty entries for the term he was starved of opportunities. He had started the day in promising fashion with the magical 100 goal tally in his sights but lack of genuine chances to score meant his progress ground to a halt.
The third term was one to forget for the Mulwala boys, the backline was under constant pressure and doing their best to repel the attacking moves but the flood gates were open.
Damien Cook, Dylan Robinson and Nathan McNair were trying their best to stem the flow but it wasn’t to be with the Blues charging away to a match winning lead.
Mulwala’s endeavour was a constant throughout the game but they weren’t able to match the Blues in enough positions to keep the pressure on the ball carriers.
The last term saw Mulwala win more of the contested ball but the Blues were still able to extend their lead in a four gaols to one term.
Numurkah are a very even team who are looking to finish on top of the ladder and they will be one of the teams to beat come finals time.
Mulwala will need to regroup and focus on the next challenge against Rumbalara at home this coming week.
The game at Lonsdale Reserve will be one not to miss with Ash Froud on the verge of kicking the ton which he will certainly get the opportunity to do early in the game, as he will start the game on 98 goals.
Make sure you get to the game early to see him become the first Lion since Jamie Solyom 140 goals in 2001 to reach this amazing mark.
Sponsors, Mulwala supporters and local football fanatics make your way to Lonsdale reserve to make it a memorable occasion.
The Mulwala Reserves boys were up against Numurkah with the side decimated by illness and injury across the senior group.
To their credit they put up a spirted performance against a fellow finals contender, where they were able to win their fair share of the ball around the ground and through the midfield.
The hard work they put in was not able to be converted into score board pressure and the Blues were able to build a strong lead across the four quarters.
Lachie Orr was doing his best to hold out the Blues forwards and he gained some good support from Jake Savy who was able to pull down some strong marks.
Around the midfield Dave Nero was getting in and under winning the contested ball and forcing it forward.
Father son combination Jarryd and Robert Wilson were giving some determined resistance to hold up the Blues, Robert providing a viable option up forward.
Tommy Tout was keeping cool under pressure winning plenty of the footy and hitting his targets with his trusty left foot.
The players can be very proud of the effort they put in when all things were considered.
They may have been well beaten but at no stage did they give in and with a number of players to return at both senior and reserve level they will be able to put a much more competitive performance should they cross paths with the Blues come finals time.