FINLEY signalled its intent from the opening quarter as it knocked off Murray League leaders Mulwala.
The Cats established a 44-point buffer at the close of the first term, a lead they almost rel-inquished by half-time.
But coach Damian Sexton stirred his team into life as the Cats came out to finish the game at Mulwala as 18.11 (119) to 11.9 (75) victors.
“We went there knowing they were top of the table,” Sexton said.
“And as a club they’ve recruited some really good blokes and they’ve got some good kids.
“So we knew we had to perform if we wanted to beat them.
“To Mulwala’s credit we went to sleep in the second quarter.
“But after half-time we came out and played good footy and played like we wanted to win.”
Sexton said it was an important lesson for the Cats having played one of their best quarters of the year.
“You can set up well but you have to maintain that,” Sexton said.
“We learnt if you take the foot off the pedal you’ll give a good side — any side for that matter — an opportunity.
“We were challenged.
“But the beauty is that — at end of day — we showed we’re fair dinkum about our footy and played our last half very well.”
Forward Tom Seccull continued his good season with five goals for the Cats.
Reid Crowe chimed in with three of his own.
Chase Strawhorn booted four majors for the Lions.
Jordan Daniel, Seccull and Tim Robertson in ruck were among the Cats’ best.
“At the end of day you’ve got to win it from midfield, take it forward and take shots on goal,” Sexton said.
“Our small on-ballers worked consistently very hard all day.
“And our back six were predictable to each other and very solid.
“So it was a good, all-round effort.
“We want to be working as a team.
“As a club you don’t want two or three blokes stand out, you want 21 blokes that do their jobs.”
The Cats’ win has opened the season up with five sides now on 24 points, making victories like this all the more important.
“That’s how it is as a league,” Sexton said.
“It’s going to be about who manages themselves best and takes those opportunities when they come.”