Belief drives Magpies’ bid

September 08, 2017

BOTH comfortable winners in week one of Murray Football League finals, Moama and Barooga will square off on Sunday to try and keep their seasons alive.

The Hawks blasted Echuca United by 98 points last weekend, the result never in doubt as the Eagles failed to bring the challenge to their powerful opponent.

And the Mowers were tested in the first quarter against Mulwala but took control after that to run away with a comfortable 54-point win.

‘‘We felt that winning against Mulwala in Mulwala was a real turning point, since then we’ve only dropped one game, beaten Nathalia and played really good footy against Mulwala,’’ Moama coach Mark Lloyd said.

‘‘We’re chock full of confidence, feel good about the way we’re playing and there’s a strong self-belief.’’

Playing Barooga in a final should bring back great memories for the Moama players, the Magpies producing a famous win in the same round of last year’s finals.

The Mowers went in to that semi-final without guns Tyler Jones and Rhys Archard and lost three players to injury throughout the game, hanging on for a miraculous seven-point win without a bench.

But they know it will take a similar effort to knock off the powerful Hawks’ line-up at Numurkah this Sunday.

‘‘We know our best is good enough and we’ve got a sound gameplan to stick to that we know puts us in a winning position,’’ Lloyd said.

‘‘Barooga will be a tough game but we’re confident our best can win the game, and that’s a great mindset to have.’’

It’s Barooga with the edge this season, beating the Mowers both home and away through the regular season.

The Hawks boast a plethora of talent up forward with four players contributing more than 40 goals this season, another stiff test for the Moama backline.

And defensively, Hawks’ co-coach Tyrone Downie was just as confident in his side, saying he believed their backline to be one of the best in the league.

‘‘We certainly go in as an underdog and we’ve got nothing to lose,’’ Lloyd said.

‘‘They finished third on the ladder and have beaten us twice. There’s some real firepower to contain and they’re certainly tough to keep to a low score.’’

But the Moama coach had confidence his side had as much quality as the Hawks.

‘‘Our midfield is playing great footy, Jake Hare going through there has made a real difference, Rhys Archard is in super form and Mitch Eade is one of the young guys who has stepped up along with Cooper Barber and Noah Wheeler,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ve got a lot of class, and some steady heads in the back half. We feel we’ve got just as much firepower as them if not more.’’

Moama lose Jack McHale from last weekend’s side, the youngster breaking his collarbone in the second quarter of the win; the Mowers taking inspiration from his ability to play through pain.

‘‘He was putting a shepherd on against one of Mulwala’s bigger bodies and came off second best,’’ Lloyd said.

‘‘It’s really disappointing, he’s one of the guys who’s played a variety of roles this season. Someone else will get an opportunity, to his credit he’s been at training this week, but with a four to six week injury unfortunately his season is done.’’

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