GALLERY: Cats bag their biggest win over fierce rivals
AUSSIE RULES: The Gympie Cats have emerged as frontrunners in the AFL Wide Bay premiership race after posting a convincing away win over the top-placed Hervey Bay Bombers on Saturday afternoon.
The Cats put their bitter rivals to the sword in the second quarter, kicking four unanswered goals to turn a 10-point quarter-time deficit into a 15-point lead at the main break.
It was a similar story in the second half, with the Bombers fighting to stay within reach in the third stanza before the Cats added another four consecutive goals in the final term to finish off 13.14 (92) to 7.10 (52) winners at Norm McLean Oval.
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Gympie's biggest win of the season was also their fifth on the trot, and coach Courtney Findlay was full of praise for his side post-match.
"We're absolutely wrapped to get this result, over the last couple of weeks we've been able to put four quarters together and play some consistent football, which is certainly pleasing,” Findlay said.
"Momentum is a big factor at this stage of the season, and fortunately for us we've won five in a row and played really good footy especially in the last two games against quality opposition.
"I think the boys are understanding each other's game and complementing each other more than earlier in the season, which is also important.”
The Cats' back six were instrumental in conceding just two goals after the first change, but it was ruckman Linton Congram and skipper Lanze Magin who led the way.
"Linton was enormous, to be the only ruckman all day against a side like the Bombers and consistently give our boys first use of the ball was fantastic,” Findlay said.
"He has a lot of heart, he's a huge presence for us.
"Lanze put in a huge captain's effort, he probably gave the best individual performance of anyone this year.
"He had a tough task being tagged and getting a lot of attention from the opposition, but his ability to tackle, chase and harass inspired a lot of the boys.”
Intriguing results around the league has given every side something to play for in the last round before finals.
Sitting second on the ladder and locked in a three-way tie for first place with the Bombers and Bay Power, the Cats return home to finish off their regular season with an attempt to secure an all-important top two position - against an Across the Waves Bundaberg side who must win to be any chance of qualifying for the fourth and last finals spot.
Findlay said the in-form Cats would not take their determined opponents lightly.
"There's really not a whole lot between five of the sides in the competition, we've had some good contests with them (Waves) in the past and we're expecting another challenge.”
Get down to Ray Warren Oval and support our Gympie Cats in their last home game of the season this Saturday.
First bounce at 3pm.