The Murrumbateman Eagles have finished their 2023 home and away season with a frustrating 4.13.37 to 5.7.37 draw with the Southern Cats on Saturday at Murrumbateman Park. Photo credit: David M Ingold Images

Despite more scoring shots and holding a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter, the Eagles were unable to hang on to secure the win. 


The Cats clawed their way back late in the game kicking three straight goals to take the lead by a point, but a late behind for the Eagles meant things ended all square and the two teams share the premiership points. 

Luckily for Murrumbateman, the draw neither helped nor hindered their ladder position as they had already secured second spot heading into Round 14. 


Matthew Bell was the star up forward for Murrumbateman on Saturday booting three goals, while Blake Collins was the only other Eagle to register a goal on a day of wasted opportunities with 13 behinds as a team. 


Kaiden Armstrong, Matthew Bell, Matthew Walls, Benjamin Telford, and Pat Ryan were all among the best on ground for the hosts on Saturday.

Murrumbateman Coach Mark Welsh said the draw against Southern Cats was disappointing due to a number of factors but admitted that the result meant little in the overall context of their season. 

“At the end of the day, the result didn’t change our position on the ladder, who we were going to play in the finals, and what we’re aiming towards, but it was frustrating to let that lead slip,” Welsh said. 

“We just didn’t have the necessary will and want on the day. I think the Cats had a lot more on the line and they played desperate footy and were willing to do a lot more. 

“We had the bye and then the forfeit against Yass and those two things really didn’t set us up to win. You’ve got to be playing footy to be playing good footy and those two weeks that we had off showed.

“We just didn’t have the intensity that we wanted and came up against a team that were playing for a spot in the finals and had everything on the line.

“We had plenty of opportunities to win that game in the last quarter and sometimes you need some luck, and we didn’t have much luck. We probably didn’t give ourselves the best opportunity to have that little slice of luck as well.

“We had a couple of injuries in the last quarter, so we were down two rotations, which didn’t help. We don’t really like playing a shutdown game when we’ve got a lead. We always play to win and to keep the intensity. 

“Sometimes it may not work, like it didn’t on the weekend, but we want to play free-spirited, entertaining footy, which is what we’ll keep doing going forward. 

“At the end of the day, it came down to us not playing the type of game that we wanted and that’s what happens. We need to pull up our socks and come out completely firing against Yass.”


Despite the drawn weekend result, Welsh has a positive outlook on the rest of the season going forward to finals. 


“I like to take positives out of anything, and this draw has given us a bit of a kick. It puts a spotlight on where we need to be competitive in finals. I think that’s probably the wake-up call that we needed, which is a good thing.”

Murrumbateman will now travel to Yass in the first week of the finals to take on the Roos at Joe O’Connor Park next Saturday, August 19, in the Qualifying Final, with the winner to advance straight into the Grand Final. 


“There’s no time off for our boys heading into finals. We’ll do some recovery sessions this week to make sure we give everyone the chance to get their bodies right. Then on Tuesday and Wednesday next week, we’ll be training exactly how we want to play. We’ll be going hard,” Welsh continued.

“Yass are a young, quick, skilled side. I think we just need to match it with the speed that they’ve got. They like to move the ball quickly. We’ve got to be on our game and move the ball quicky as well. 

“It’s also important to get back and help out defensively. If we can match Yass and bring our own skills to the front, the rest will fall into place.”


Finals Week 1 Fixture: Saturday 19 August

Qualifying Final 1st vs 2nd: Yass vs Murrumbateman @ Joe O’Connor Park

Elimination Final 3rd vs 4th: Goulburn vs Southern Cats @ Goodhew Park



  • Yass – 52 points – 338%
  • Mururmbateman – 46 points – 208%
  • Goulburn Swans – 40 points – 161%
  • Southern Cats – 26 points – 117%
  • Cootamundra – 24 points – 127%
  • Belconnen – 20 points – 63%
  • Eastlake – 12 points – 37%
  • Tuggeranong – 4 points – 25%


Tim Warren