MATHOURA has cut its run of losses in the Picola District league with a massive victory, thrashing Yarroweyah by 156 points at the Mathoura Recreation Reserve on Saturday.
The Timbercutters piled on 29 goals and dominated each area of the game against a hapless Yarroweyah side, the win justifying coach Phil Hazelman’s belief his team is not too far off the top sides.
‘‘Our confidence going in wasn’t great, but we knew we’ve been matching it with teams for large stretches with 15 to 20 minute patches that were letting us down and inflating the margin,’’ Hazelman said.
‘‘We’ve been competitive and with four players back in we played a lot better.’’
Hazelman himself starred up forward for the Timbercutters kicking six goals, with another six from the returning Jake Ellery helping to build their big score.
The coach said a more dynamic forward line had helped the team click.
‘‘We made a few changes up forward and went for a bit of a quicker lineup instead of a taller one,’’ Hazelman said.
‘‘To be honest we moved the footy a lot quicker all over the ground. We played a more positive style and took more risks.’’
Hazelman praised the performance of his team in every aspect of the game.
‘‘We outplayed them everywhere, our half-back line was really solid and our backs worked hard and didn’t get beaten all day,’’ he said.
‘‘We also smashed them in the midfield; guys getting 10 to 15 touches the week before were getting 30 touches yesterday.
‘‘There were lots of signs of progress, but the opposition weren’t the greatest. The only was to gauge if we are progressing is against the top sides and we get that opportunity this week against Deniliquin Rovers.’’
The coach was full of praise for the goalkicking performance of Ellery, as well as forward Bryce Bish who kicked five goals.
‘‘Jake’s a quality player from division one footy in Melbourne, he’s a solid-bodied midfielder who can go forward and kick goals,’’ Hazelman said.
‘‘Bryce Bish could have kicked ten if he hadn’t missed a couple of shots and then passed a few off to other players.’’
After consecutive losses of 91 and 83 points, Mathoura still entered the contest with cautious optimism.
‘‘We were confident we could win but you don’t like saying that, and everyone still has their doubts,’’ Hazelman said.
‘‘The big challenge now is to try and continue to play like that against the top sides.
‘‘We were a lot smarter and able to handball our way out of trouble with a bit more time to steady. That comes down to pressure from the opposition and it’s tougher against those top teams.’’
Mathoura travel to Deniliquin next week to take on the Rovers in a match that will measure what the Timbercutters have learned from their first three weeks of football for the season.