Cats start with win

Cody Bench (Ljubica Vrankovic) 359359_02

Tara Murray

Albion showed plenty of fight as it held off the Sunshine Kangaroos to open the Western Football League division 2 season with a win.

The two sides faced off in a standalone game in front of a big crowd, eager to start the season on a winning note on Saturday afternoon.

With both sides expected to be in the finals mix, it’s not surprising that not much separated them.

The Cats led by four points at quarter time and the margin was increased to seven points at half time.

That was reduced to just one point at the final break.

The Cats kicked four goals to three in the final quarter, to seal the 9.16 (70)-8.13 (61) win.

Cats coach Blake Richards said they were just happy to get the win.

“It was good to get one away from home with a nice big crowd there,” he said.

“Both sides would admit it wasn’t the most skilful game. It was a hard fought contest that could have gone either way.

“Our backline stood strong and their transition couldn’t get past our backs.”

Richards said the win came under adversity.

They lost one player in the warm up which meant a reserves player had to double up.

Benjamin Doll then went down in the first quarter and Brandyn Di Sisto also ended up injured, meaning limited rotations for the second half.

Richards paid credit to the midfielders who stepped up when they needed to in the second half despite limited rotations and showed they could handle adversity.

Co-captain Cooper Muir kicked four goals for the Cats, in what Richards said was his best game for the club in his time as coach.

He said Chris Tomazos was another standout in the win.

With six new players in the side Richards said it was a pretty solid performance as they all learn to play together.

“Josh Bench came back to the club and stepped up in the third quarter,” he said. “He was a level above at times. We’ll see him play better football.

“Juy Capp kicked a couple of goals and Amar Elnour was good in the back line. I was pretty happy with those six guys.”

For the Kangaroos, Declan Moloney kicked three goals. Murray Boyd and Patrick O’Keefe were named their best.

The Cats this week face Albanvale as the competition fully kicks off. It’s the first of the teams from last season’s division 3 the Cats are facing.

Richards said they were looking forward to it.

“It’s our first home game which will be good,” he said. “We played them in a practice match last year.

“We’re expecting it to be a tough contest.”

The Kangaroos face North Sunshine as they look to get their first win of the season.