A NINE-GOAL haul from Moama Football Club forward Tyler Jones saw his side thrash Tongala by 142 points at Moama Recreation Reserve on Saturday, proving its finals campaign is well and truly on target.
Jones kicked seven in the second half and could have made it eight had he not decided to give the ball off to Callum Doyle for a shot at goal in his senior debut.
The 16-year-old missed on the first attempt, but a secondary unselfish act from Cooper Barber saw Doyle get his first senior goal at the 26 minute mark of the fourth quarter.
Coach Mark Lloyd said it was a highlight of the game and spoke volumes of the mindset of the playing group as every player, including Paul Van Der Sluys at full-back, ran down to celebrate.
Lloyd said the club was reaping the rewards of a strong junior program as the guys who’d played a lot of successful junior footy together were now coming through the senior ranks.
‘‘We’re really starting to build towards finals and starting to deliver the top footy we’re wanting to play,’’ he said.
‘‘Having a bit more experience back in different lines out on the ground makes a difference, but a lot of it’s from our kids playing exceptional footy.
‘‘Nine or so players out there were still teenagers and they’re all playing good, team orientated footy.’’
Lloyd said it created a lot of camaraderie around the club and supporters enjoyed coming to watch the young players improve and develop each week.
Rhys Archard again stepped up to lead his team in another outstanding best on ground performance.
Along with a mix of other experienced players, he helped settle the side and while he uses the footy well it’s his decision making ability which sees him among the best each week.
‘‘He’s able to bring other guys into the play and makes a lot of other players look better,’’ Lloyd said.
‘‘He’s had an outstanding year again and put in a really high performance (on Saturday).’’
Moama had a few players out this week giving its young players the chance to make an influence in the midfield.
Mitchell Eade was out for the week which meant Liam Ritchie got a run through the middle as well as Cooper Barber and Fraser Verhey who relished the opportunity to play alongside a good blend of old heads.
Their number one ruckman Josh Edgar and full back Chris Boxtel were both rested, and Michael Sage came back into the fold for his first game since round seven.
Jake Hare was still waiting in the wings as a potential for selection this week or next.
‘‘It’s exciting for the club and putting more pressure on players for spots,’’ Lloyd said.
‘‘We’re starting to get close to full strength and we’ve always said we want to be playing our best footy come September.
‘‘Jake Hare will bring a lot to the forward line with Tyler Jones who already gives us that killer instinct up forward.’’
Moama set the tone early on Saturday to score nine goals to Tongala’s one in the opening term.
Lloyd said their main focus going into the game was to minimise the opposition’s impact on the scoreboard early — which they accomplished.
They had a minor lapse in the second quarter, letting the Blues through for three goals to two, but the half-time address ensured the boys came out defending hard.
‘‘We kept Tongala goalless in the third quarter and had 18 inside 50s to none which we hadn’t done all year,’’ Lloyd said.
‘‘To have them not penetrate their forward 50 all quarter was a great effort from the boys.
‘‘We controlled the game from the outset and had the majority of the ball in our hands.
‘‘We were good in contested ball and when we were concentrating on our defensive mechanisms we put Tongala under immense pressure and were able to force them to turn the ball over and get them on the overlap.’’
Lloyd said they could’ve easily cruised through the second half to win by 10 or so goals, but instead accomplished a four quarter performance for a good percentage boosting win.
Fourteen goals to Tongala’s one in the second half saw the Mowers run out the game 26.19 (175) to 5.3 (33) and had them going into this week’s game against Mulwala quietly confident.
‘‘We have Mulwala this weekend which is a huge game,’’ Lloyd said.
‘‘If we can win these games at the back end of the year against teams above us (on the ladder) there’s no reason why we can’t keep progressing up the ladder.
‘‘We have a tough run home, but we prefer it that way to playing easy sides.
‘‘The pressure and intensity goes up which will give us a good grounding come finals.’’
Moama again had an even spread of contributors on Saturday with 11 individual goal scorers.
Cooper Barber came home with four and Jade Pumpa was next highest on three.
Lewis Hooper was the top scorer for Tongala with two goals, and Nathan Torney, Corey Nexhip and Ryley Cowley each kicked one.
Young gun Bailey Waasdrop used his TAC Cup experience to deliver a best on ground performance.
Tongala was facing Cobram at home this weekend which was a game that got away from them at the start of the year.
The Blues are outside of finals but could find a way to overcome the Tigers, who were just two spots above them in seventh, however a lot would rely on who was available this week.