So close, yet so far for valiant Cats

The Australian Hotel Cooma Cats had an exciting draw with the Cootamundra Blues at Snowy Oval on Saturday to share the points and to be just outside the top four in another great game for the Cooma side.

The final score read Cooma 10-10-70 drawing with Cootamundra 10-10-70.

The game was within Cooma's grasp up until the dying seconds when Cootamundra managed to force a behind in tough play deep in their forward pocket and tie up the score just before the final siren.

Cooma Cats club president Dave Paterson praised both sides for a terrific display of exciting football in a game which meant so much to both sides in the lead up to the finals.

"On paper, both the Cats and Cootamundra were still a chance to grab the final spot in the top four, but the draw now makes it virtually impossible for both sides to stay in the race," Mr Paterson said.

Knowing the importance of a win in terms of playing finals footy, both sides played hard and fast football in what can be best described as demanding conditions.

Cootamundra came out fast in the opening minutes of the game, kicking three straight goals against a strong wind and stamping their authority on the game.

But the Cats regrouped and kicked 4-8 to take a 14 point lead into the first break. The Cats failure to convert many of its chances in this first quarter was the difference between both sides and ultimately cost Cooma the game.

In the second quarter it was Cootamundra's turn to enjoy the strong wind advantage, but Cooma battled hard to prevent the Blues from kicking away and managed to take a three point lead at the major break with the score reading Cooma 7-8-50 to Cootamundra 7-5-47.

If the Cats were going to win the game, they had to come out in the third quarter and take advantage of the wind and build an unassailable lead to withstand the expected onslaught by Cootamundra in the final quarter.

The third quarter was a titanic battle as the Cats tried to kick away, but the Blues fought valiantly to stop them.

When the siren sounded at the end of the third quarter, the Cats only managed to hold a nine point lead with the score reading Cooma 9-10-64 to Cootamundra 8-7-55.

The Cats came out into the final quarter and at one stage managed to extend the lead out to 16 points with 12 minutes to go. But Cootamundra came back and managed to snare two quick goals which reduced the margin to four points.

In the final minutes, the game became a desperate battle of wills as Cootamundra threw everything forward to snare a match winning goal while Cooma did all they could to prevent it and hold on for what would have been a miraculous win. Cootamundra managed three points through inaccurate kicking and with seconds remaining on the clock, Cootamundra rushed a final behind to level the score.

The Cats head to Goulburn this Saturday before their final game of the season at Snowy Oval the following week against Harman.

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