FRUSTRATED player-coach Luke Faulkner was at a loss to explain how the Tigers managed to turn what was shaping as a major upset into a13-goal loss at Everton Park on Saturday.
By Terry Wilson
Up against high fliers Western Magpies, the winless Mayne started with a bang, kicking 7.1 to 2.1 in the opening term.
Mayne still led by 11 points at half-time, but the power switch was switched to off after that and the Magpies surged away to win easily by 20.19 (139) to 10.1 (61).
Asked what happened to a side that kicked seven in one term, then only three more goals after that, a nonplussed Faulkner said: “Who knows. Our footy at the moment – the gap between our best and our worst – is just too vast.
“I don’t know why, but I know it’s not our fitness. Maybe it’s just a mental thing because we have a lot of young guys who are up and down each week.
“For the first three quarters we definitely matched them, but then we just capitulated and let in 11 goals in the last quarter.”
Not even the presence of members of the 1961 Mayne premiership side – at Everton Park for a reunion – could get the Tigers over the line.
Magpies coach Peter McClennan was equally at a loss to explain why his side started so tardily.
“Maybe we need to play a quarter of footy before we start,” he joked.
“But I think were shocked into action, In the second quarter we started to get it back, then we went up a couple of gears after half-time.”
The slow start was not the only problem for McClennan. He acknowledges off-linen kicking for goal is a worry – at the moment.
“The conversion will come,” he forecast. “And the day we play a side and it (accuracy) does come, watch out.”
Former St Kilda-listed Ed McDonnell was a standout for the Magpies at centre half-back, young ruckman Dominic Beer continued his rise to prominence and ever-reliable Val Pope stood out, as usual, in roles on the ball and up forward.
For Mayne, central defenders Taylor Murtha (centre half-back) and Ryan Louwen-Skovdam (full-back) were excellent under the scoring barrage and Blake Faulkner, younger brother of coach Luke, showed plenty of potential on a wing.