Mulwala Lions retain coaches, boost flag hopes

MULWALA celebrated the re-signing of co-coaches Ben James and Chris McNamara with a 16-point win over Moama at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.

The Lions’ hard-fought 18.10 (118) to 15.12 (102) win consolidates fourth spot and coincided with James announcing his retirement as a player.

“We’re really excited (about re-signing),” James said.

“This year has been good for us as a club and we have a good base to build on.

“We’ve got a really young list with six or seven experienced players, and those young guys are going to be a year older come next season.

“Players like Jackson Gash, Jackson Weir and Liam Russell — they’re all going to be great for years to come so there’s plenty to be excited about for the future.”

The Lions missed the pace of Jackson and Weir, but that didn’t stop them.

“We got off to a pretty good start which has probably been something we’ve wanted to improve on,” James said.

“Moama then came back at us and it was neck and neck all day.

“But our experienced players, our leaders stood up and got us over the line and that was something else we’d spoken about during the week.

“Last round against Numurkah it was the young blokes who stood up and we needed our leaders and older guys to do that, which they did, especially in the last quarter.”

With a man sent off for swearing and the Lions leading by just one point at the start of the final term, James said Josh Hammond and Gareth Oughton made their mark.

Star South Australian recruit Pat Fittock is also hitting his stride.

Will Farrer bagged seven goals for Mulwala and Chase Strawhorn snared five, while Tyler Jones kicked six for the Magpies.

The tight contest was perfect preparation for the up coming finals.

“It’s still a race though,” James said.

“We’ve just got to keep winning because it’s still wide open.

“We knew this was going to be probably one of the biggest games for our year to help us reach our goal of getting to finals.”