Crunch time for Warriors

Stawell Westlift Warriors coach Brad Cassidy has issued an ultimatum to his players to shape up or ship out, in the wake of a crushing defeat at the hands of Minyip Murtoa in the Wimmera Football League on Saturday.

Stawell Warriors youngster Liam Scott takes a strong pack mark during the clash against Minyip Murtoa on Saturday at Central Park.

Stawell Warriors youngster Liam Scott takes a strong pack mark during the clash against Minyip Murtoa on Saturday at Central Park.

Bitterly disappointed with the way his team capitulated in front of their home crowd at Central Park to eventually go down by 83 points, Cassidy said he would take a few days to gather his thoughts, before addressing the players as a group and individually at training tonight.

"It's tough playing Wimmera footy, there's no doubt about that," Cassidy said after the match.

"They were a good side, they moved the ball cleanly, backed themselves and backed each other up. These are the things we didn't do.

"You blokes need to ask yourselves am I prepared to put in the extra work to be the best I can be, because what we delivered out there today was far from it.

"I'm going to take a few days to gather my thoughts before I address you, but be assured, there are some of you who are going to hear some real home truths, one on one."

Stawell would have taken plenty of confidence into Saturday's clash, particularly given Minyip Murtoa spearhead Clinton Midgley, who kicked a match winning bag of nine goals against the Warriors last time they met, was missing through injury.

This allowed Cassidy to free up Jackson Dark who moved from defence to attack and kicked Stawell's first goal at the six minute mark of the opening term.

Stawell kept with Minyip Murtoa for most of the term, but the Burras were applying more scoreboard pressure.

Despite entering their 50 metre zone only four times more than Stawell for the term, the Burras were able to break away late to open an 11 points lead at quarter time.

Unfortunately, this was as close as Stawell would get for the rest of the day. Cassidy pleaded with his players to apply more pressure, increase their tackle count and be more accountable at all times.

The tackle count did increase in the second term, but so too did the free kick count, which clearly favoured Minyip Murtoa who were first to the ball and backing themselves in.

At half time, Stawell limped from the ground trailing by 32 points, with their hopes of causing an upset slipping away.

It was a dominant third term by Minyip Murtoa's big men that hammered the final nail into the coffin, the Burras booting seven goals to one to blow the margin out to 70 points at the final change.

With pride on the line, Stawell did fight on in the final term, with Cam Kimber continuing to lead the way as he had all day. Kimber booted two goals in the term to take his tally to four for the match.

In the end though, Minyip Murtoa was too polished for the undermanned Warriors, who eventually went down by 83 points.


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