FINLEY will enter the bye battered and bruised but optimistic about their top-six chances after surviving a bruising encounter with Deniliquin.
By coach Andrew Richardson’s admission the match “wasn’t much of a spectator’s game”, but nonetheless, the Cats were too strong for the Rams, withstanding a late charge to snap a two-game losing streak.
The Cats struggled for accuracy in the 7.13 to 4.9 win, but Richardson said he was happy to get to the bye still in finals contention.
“We should have eight wins instead of six, but we’ll come back stronger after the bye,” Richardson said.
“There were a few lapses in concentration in the final quarter and we gave them a bit of a sniff.
“But I was really pleased with the way we stood firm in the face of that, it was a game we absolutely had to win, and we came away with the points.”
The Cats will be bolstered by the return of key position players Harley Middleton and Nick Robertson after the bye, with big games against Numurkah and second-placed Barooga to come.
Nathalia firmed up as a finals side with a convincing win over Tongala, kicking 10 goals to three in the second half to put the Blues to the sword.
After dominating in the early stages of the season, the Blues have dropped off the pace, their loss to the Purps their third straight after winning their first nine. Rumbalara continued its mid-season resurgence with a strong 45-point victory over Numurkah, led by playing coach Damien Cupido with four goals.
Four goals to one in the third quarter put the result beyond doubt after the Blues showed plenty of fight in the first half, but Rumbalara proved far too stroing, setting up an interesting clash with Tongala two weeks from now.