Cats go down fighting in courageous first hit out
AUSTRALIAN RULES: In scenes one might expect to find at a local footy grand final, the players of the Gympie Cats Women's team officially made history on Saturday night.
Playing under $150,000 worth of new lighting, supporters adorned Cats Oval with banners of support while the healthy local crowd was at times deafening.
While the final result may not have gone the home side's way, Cats coach Tony Kirsopp could not wipe the smile off his face.
"Obviously we are playing to win but we want to teach these girls how to play footy,” Kirsopp said.
"They had a cracking effort tonight, especially in that last quarter. It was an awesome effort.”
The Cats ended the first quarter leading their more fancied metropolitan rivals by 6-2.
The second quarter saw the experienced Sophie Jones and Caite Sing take control in the middle but consecutive goals to Sandgate narrowed the gap with the Cats going into the half-time break leading 12-10.
However, a third and fourth quarter revival by the visitors had the Cats on the back foot for the remainder of the game, with Sandgate running out winners 24-14.
For Kirsopp and his charges, the game was a proud milestone for the club.
"A lot of our players are starting from scratch,” Kirsopp said.
"We have people who have never played footy before.
"Yet we have 16 women out there that are trying their hardest and that is the best thing about it.”
In other results, the Cats men's side were in the best possible position to claim their maiden win of the year before a Pomona scoring spree in the third and fourth quarter left them reeling.
The final score 6-10-46 to 12-7-79 in favour of Pomona.