Mulwala were clinical in the way they set up the win over Murray League new comers Katandra at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
The Mul boys started off with a goal to gun full forward Ash Froud within the first minute of play to get things rolling for a strong first term performance.
Ash was leading well which had the Katandra backmen under pressure from the outset.
The addition of Katandra to the competition along with the other ex Picola League clubs has been a success and once they overcame the initial onslaught from Mulwala they settled into the game quite well.
Mulwala were able to establish a handy lead early in the first term off the clearance work of Jackson Gash, Sean Johns and Brad Wilson.
The Katandra forwards were getting opportunities but were being shut down by a determined Mulwala back six.
Tim Doyle was running the ball from defence and setting up forward attacks which ensured the scoreboard kept ticking over for Mulwala.
Tim was linking up well with Lachie Davis who’s speed through the middle of the ground was cutting holes in Katandra’s defence.
At the first break Mulwala had established a handy five goal break and expectations were that they would just keep going against the young Katandra outfit.
The Katandra coach had different ideas and he rallied his young players, who responded with a much more determined defensive effort during the second term.
Mulwala’s defence were also playing very determined football which limited Katandra’s scoring opportunities.
Nathan McNair was on top at full back with good support coming from Dylan Robinson and Cam Carling.
The margin was the same as quarter time at the long break with a more determined effort from the Katandra backline slowing Mulwala’s scoring opportunities up substantially.
Mulwala’s marking power with Nathan Cook and Beau Clarke dragging down multiple pack marks was testing the opposition around the top of the fifty arc.
The lapses in concentration were a concern for the Katandra bench as their young group struggled to maintain the pressure late in the term.
Mulwala players continued to work hard during the second half of the contest to build on the lead they had established in the first term and were able to come away with a comfortable win.
The forward set up with taller marking options in Clarke and Cook has created more pressure and with that pressure better opportunities for Ash leading from the goal square.
Ash Froud had been quiet in the past month in front of goals but five majors and three posters has his confidence building which will be a concern for oppositions backmen.
Kyle Looms played his first game of senior football as the sub and looked at home at the level collecting a number of possessions and using the ball very well when he was under pressure.
He was given good support by all the senior players, with the likes of Damien Cook and the Robinson boys hitting him up to get him involved in the game.
It is good to see the continued development of the Mulwala junior players coming through into senior football.
Mulwala were able to complete a comfortable win, which keeps them in touch with the top of the table clubs.
It has been a case of perform in the seniors or someone pushing up from the reserves will take your spot and with the reserves boys putting together a number of strong wins that pressure to maintain your spot continues to drive the playing group.
Katandra would be disappointed to have lost but with such a young playing group they should be proud of their efforts and be looking forward to continued improvement across the season.
Mulwala travels to Deniliquin this coming weekend and will need to be focused on achieving a strong win on a ground we often struggle to perform on.
Mulwala 4.10 10.11 14.18 19.22.136
Katandra 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1.1.
Goal Kickers: L. Rouel 5, D. McNamara 4, I. Bond 2, J. Weir 2, N. Beasley, D. Nero, C. Frauenfelder, R. Wilson, T. Dow, R. Ansaldi.
Best Players: L. Rouel, R. Ansaldi, D. McNamara, T. Dow, N. Beasley, J. Cook.
Mulwala Reserves strong form continued on Saturday, smashing Katandra by 20 goals.
Played in ideal conditions, Mulwala hit the scoreboard early with Lachie Rouel kicking the first of his five goals.
The dynamic youngster was the full package and held up a giant sign saying “pick me” with his performance on Saturday.
He was everywhere and found possessions at will, showing pose and grace at all times.
Mulwala’s zone was impenetrable in the first quarter with Katandra struggling to the get the ball past the centre at any stage.
Unfortunately for Mulwala, errant kicking meant they only kicked four goals for the quarter.
Dylan McNamara was on fire at full forward and could have had five goals to his name had he converted his opportunities.
Mulwala stepped up its dominance in the second quarter and piled on some majors.
Ross Anasaldi was one who hit the scoreboard and was clearly a standard above with his voice and usage first rate.
Tom Dow another senior player trying to find his way back in was also a cut above and did what he liked through the middle although what would have pleased Mulwala’s coaches was his willingness to chase and tackle.
Connor Sanderson, likewise was desperate and courageous in the backline and on the few occasions when the ball did come down he or his fellow defenders cleaned it up and back it came.
With Mulwala waltzing away with the game it was good see some big tackles with Corey Lindsay throwing his weight around.
Dylan McNamara continued to find the ball but also backed it up with a big bone crunching tackle to end the first half.
After half time Mulwala slowed for a moment as Katandra put numbers behind the ball, but with the midfield dominating and Robert Wilson and Dylan Leadingham putting on a show it was soon an all-out thrashing.
The only sour note for Mulwala was when Chris O’Neill was forced from the field when his head was surfed along the ground, removing the last few strands of hair from his head in the process.
The fourth quarter never reached any great heights but a bit of a scuffle gave Dave Nero a chance to give some lip.
Tom Dow capped his great game with a nice goal and Jackson Weir continued to impress as a small forward.
Mulwala 2.0 3.0 4.1 6.2.38.
Katandra 1.2 3.3 4.8 8.8.56.
Goal Kickers: F. Fletcher 2, L. Wood, D. Hoskings, A. Psaltiras, D. Psaltiras.
Best Players: K. Loomes, B. Young-Mail, K. Fisher, I. Pitches, Z. Scott, F. Fletcher.
Mulwala thirds have lost another close one, going down by a couple of goals to Katandra.
With their tales up early, Flynn Fletchers intercept and goal put them ahead in the second quarter before Katandra kicked clear to start the third.
The Mulwala boys showed heaps of character and came again with some quality efforts from Lachie Wood, Kyle Loomes and Zach Scott.
Although they came up short in the last quarter the coaches were full of praise for a great effort.
Mulwala 1.1 2.2 5.3 8.6.54.
Katandra 1.0 4.1 5.1 5.1.31.
Goal Kickers: A. Willett 3, D. Kirchen 2, D. Psaltiras 2, C. Phibbs.
Best Players: C. Phibbs, A. Willett, C. Lefevre, D. Psaltiras, M. Sanderson, D. Kirchen.
Mulwala fourths have won an absolute ripper with Austin Willet the hero, bagging three goals in their big win.
Cam Lefevere was superb on the wing and through the middle whilst the Psaltiras twins dominated as usual.
Connor Phibbs is showing what a class player he is and has played some inspired football in recent weeks.
This was also a win for the young boys who are stepping out of their weight division and giving it all they had.
Credit to the Katandra boys who played with big hearts also.