Cats land on their feet

Diggers Rest's Cameron McCabe tackles Macedon's Rory Henry. Picture Shawn Smits.

The feeling at Riddell District Football Netball League club Macedon is very different to what it was 12 months ago.

This time last year the senior football side was one of the competition’s strugglers and the A-grade netball side missed the finals after losing the last home-and-away match.

A year later, both teams are well in the mix for premiership glory.

Football coach Jeff Andrews said it was a nice feeling to be in finals again.

“Last year we couldn’t make finals from a long way out, winning only four games against two sides,” he said.

“There’s a big difference this year. We’re pretty excited and we think we can do some damage in finals.”

Andrews said the weekend clash with Diggers Rest was perfect preparation for finals with the Burras among the contenders. But the Cats lost 20.17 (137) – 8.6 (54) to show they still have work to do.

The game was over by quarter-time after the Burras kicked seven goals to two in the first quarter.

“It’s like a mini final and the intensity will increase,” Andrews said before the game.

“We played our best game of the year [against Lancefield] last week.

“We’re starting to hit form and getting some players back.”

After a flying start to the season, the Cats have been struck down with injuries in the second half of the season.

Andrews said some players returning from injuries lined up in the reserves last week and will add more depth to the squad.

“Some players may come straight back into the senior team but it will depend on how long they’ve been out for.”

Jason Davies returned to the senior side on Saturday, while Damien Fitzpatrick isn’t far away.

Forward Jack Kernan has played the past two games in the reserves.

One player who won’t return is star forward Marcus Kenny.

“He had surgery on his knee and is done for the year,” Andrews said.

“You have to learn to go from one option in front of goal to finding other options. We did that against Lancefield.”

Andrews said the side would tap into what finals experience the club had.

“A few of our players have played finals with other clubs.

“Shaun Harrison has played in two premierships with Deer Park the last two years. Harro will help ease the butterflies a bit.

“And a fair few of our under-18s have played finals, which is a bonus as well.”