Fraser Marsh in defence. Image: Bobcats

Rampant Bobcats finish on a high

In the final match of the FFNC Premier League football the Maclean Bowling Club Bobcats hosted semi final bound powerhouse Richmond Rovers in what was expected to be a routine hit out for the visitors.

How wrong they were with the Bobcats putting on arguably their best display of the year with a commanding 3-1 win, making it three wins in a row to close out the season.

The afternoon started with the Bobcats 2nd Div taking on Majos FC in the local NCF 2nd Div competition. With Majos 17 points ahead of the Bobcats on the ladder, it was expected to be a difficult afternoon for the locals. However, when Harry “The Hammer” Evans opened the scoring mid-way through the first half there was a whiff on an upset in the air as the Bobcats went to the break a goal to the good. The second half exploded into action with a rejuvenated Majos equalising soon after the break. Livewire attacker Tristan Sharrock was creating havoc in the defence with his pace and restored the Bobcats lead 10 minutes later. Then when Braden Lewis showed the ice cool composure of a deadly striker sliding his shot into the bottom corner, giving the keeper no chance. it looked like the Bobcats were cruising to victory. To make it even sweeter the crowd rose as one for Lewis as it was his first ever senior goal. Majos did cause some heart flutters for the home fans when they pulled another goal back with 5 minutes to go but the Bobcats held on for a thrilling 3-2 win.

The Premier League started with a bang with Jarred Doyle released wide on the right to cross to imposing figure of Fraser Marsh to nod in at the far post to make it 1-0 inside three minutes. Guilty of conceding early many times this year it was a pleasant change in fortune for the Maclean outfit. Fortunes took a temporary change for the worse though when the Bobcats conceded an own goal mid-way through the half to make the score 1-1. That was only short lived as the unlikely Macca Allan restored the Bobcats lead, dispatching his penalty neatly in the bottom corner despite the keeper guessing the right way. When Nelson Burgess made a marauding run into the penalty area and slotted his shot in off the inside of the post the Bobcats were cruising into half time leading 3-1. The second half saw Rovers throw everything they had at Maclean, but the Bobcats defence held firm and in fact counter punched and could have scored a few more. Midfield maestro Burgess was awarded the McMahon Electrical Man of the Match.

That rounds out the season for the Bobcats Premier League team and whilst it is another year without semi final football there are plenty of green shoots of growth staring to show as coach Jarred Doyles rebuild starts to take shape. They won 10 of the 12 points on offer in their last four games including three wins in a row to round out the season as proof that Doyle has done a fine job in his first year at the helm. His ability to identify and develop young players and mould them into First Graders combining with the more established players has the Bobcats looking good for the future.