Sport

Cats bask in a milestone win

By Fraser Walker-Pearce

SNATCHING victory from the jaws of defeat wasn’t how the Cats planned to beat Colbinabbin — but it’s how Saturday’s game turned out.

LBU led by two points with a minute to play, before the Grasshoppers snatched a goal to put them four points in front with just seconds remaining.

Winning the centre bounce, the Cats sent the ball to the edge of the 50m arc where Jarod Bacon marked. He in turn fired the ball wide to fellow forward Lachie Collins who, as calmly as you like, slotted a major to win the game for LBU.

The 79-77 scoreline was basically a fairytale ending for Cats supporters.

Winning against a side they were yet to beat all year, who were fancied to do the double over them, could mean everything in the context of their season.

With one match remaining in the home-and-away season — against Leitchville-Gunbower on Saturday — the Cats’ 10-5 record is a far-sight better than the 2017 record of 4-12.

Cats coach Kahl Oliver said it was a tense final quarter to be a coach, let alone a player.

‘‘It was a huge win for us and it could have gone either way — the lead changed three or four times in the last quarter and a few times in other quarters,’’ Oliver said.

‘‘It wasn’t a hugely high-scoring game, but both sides had opportunities to win and we got our noses in front at the right time,’’ he said.

The win does not see the Cats rise up to fourth on the Heathcote District Football League ladder, but that won’t matter as they are locked into the fourth-fifth play-off come finals anyway.

With minutes to play, Oliver spoke to his coaching staff about how much a win over Colbo would do for their season.

‘‘We said a win will mean the world to the playing group here,’’ Oliver said.

‘‘It doesn’t change anything on the ladder but it is a real bonus to our confidence.

‘‘It was a stage in the game where you can’t get out and talk to the players individually, you just have to rely on the leaders to steer the ship and they did a really good job yesterday,’’ he said.

One game is left to play in the normal season — against Oliver’s pick for this year’s flag, LG.

‘‘It’ll be another real test, come finals we’ve had a super season and LG will be another test and learning curve.

‘‘I thought when we played everyone the first time around they were the best side and I think they’ll win this year,’’ he said.