Mundulla stormed home in the second half of the 2021 Kowree Naracoorte-Tatiara Grand Final to win their third KNTFL Premiership in a row. The Tigers had a slow start, but re-grouped at half time and created one of the greatest second half comebacks to win the Premiership in recent history. What made it even more amazing, was the fact that it was produced on Padthaway’s home ground.
Padthaway jumped out of the blocks in the first eleven minutes with goals to Cody Marshall, Luke Harder and Josh Vandermeer as the Lions got the quick start they wanted. Lachie Eats added another as Padthaway were taking full advantage of kicking with the breeze in the first quarter. James Hinge set up Jake McGrice for Mundulla’s first goal after a handball to McGrice. Padthaway led by 19-points at quarter time. Archie Longbottom, Nathan McCarthy and Lachie Eats had started well for Padthaway. Jake McGrice was in the packs for Mundulla trying to get the ball going their way. Darcy King was also presenting well for Mundulla when the ball went in to his area.
Padthaway defended very well in the second quarter and increased their lead in the second quarter to 24-points. Tom Edwards led the way for the Lions off half back, rebounding well for the Lions. Tarak Redigolo and Luke Harder were getting plenty of the ball and driving it forward at every chance they got for the Lions. Mundulla fought back in general play, but couldn’t get the reward on the scoreboard. Devon Ridgeway was providing the Tigers with more dash through the midfield. A one-handed mark at the 50 by Daniel Obst was a highlight for the Lions. Obst sent the ball forward to Tobin Cox who did a chip pass to the top of the square to a free player in Nathan McCarthy who put through a goal for Padthaway to extend their margin out to a lead of 24-points at the 15-minute mark of the second quarter.
Jason Dicker got a free from the middle and quickly handballed the ball to Luke Harder who found Jake Vandermeer at the top of the forward 50. Vandermeer kicked the ball towards Matt Raitt who smartly tapped the ball down to a running Nathan McCarthy who found Tobin Cox in the goal square for another Lions goal and the margin was out to 30 points. Darcy King got a goal back for Mundulla after he snapped a set shot. Jake McGrice again instrumental in the play. Padthaway were ahead by 24-points at the 20-minute mark of the second quarter. Mundulla were attacking hard towards the end of the second quarter, but Ray Jaensch and Tom Edwards stood tall for the Lions and were able to stop the Tigers from scoring again before half time. Padthaway went in to the long break 24-points ahead. Archie Longbottom, Nathan McCarthy and Joshua Vandermeer were having great games for the Lions. Tom Gaden, Daniel Noll and Jake McGrice worked hard for Mundulla to keep them in it.
Mundulla dominated the opening half of the third quarter as they attacked the goals hard and started to get back in to the game. Brayden Redden won the ball and kicked it long inside 50 where it found Darcy King out the back as he took a great mark over a Padthaway opponent. King kicked the goal and the margin was back to three goals the difference. Mundulla’s Thomas Perry then caught Padthaway’s Cody Marshall in a great tackle to set up a shot on goal after receiving a free kick and he kicked truly as Mundulla were now only two goals behind early in the third quarter. Darcy King kicked another goal after taking a mark after Nicholas Mosey got a clearance and got the ball forward. Mundulla kept on the attack and Padthaway’s Thomas Edwards was trying his best to hold up the Padthaway defence. Even when Padthaway got the ball forward, Tom Gaden was right there taking clearing marks and sending the ball back Mundulla’s way. Mundulla went forward where Luke Wiese had a fresh air kick in the goal square missing the ball, but luckily, he composed himself for a second kick at it and this time converted the kick to put Mundulla ahead by two points at the 20-minute mark of the third quarter. Reagan Tink then snapped a bouncing goal after he roved off a pack and Mundulla suddenly had an eight-point lead and all the momentum. Mundulla went in to three quarter time eight points ahead after a big third quarter and holding Padthaway goalless for the quarter. Jacob Eats, Thomas Edwards and Archie Longbottom worked hard for the Lions in the third quarter to try and stop the Tigers onslaught.
Mundulla went forward early in the fourth quarter where Luke Wiese was able to rove and snap a great goal at the 2-minute mark as the Tigers went ahead by 15-points. Nicholas Mosey won the ball from a thrown in and kicked it forward where Brayden Redden gathered the ball and handballed to a running Sam Luckett who found a leading Luke Wiese inside 50 for the Tigers. Wiese kicked the goal as Mundulla went ahead by 19-points at the nine-minute mark of the final quarter. Padthaway kept attacking hard, but Mundulla had a great defence going on across half back and the Lions just couldn’t get past it. Mundulla Ruckman Jacob Grosser took some great grabs across half back when he floated back there to help out. Mundulla just kept the pressure on in the 4th quarter and the second half and this made Padthaway make mistakes under pressure and turn the ball over. Mundulla went on to win their third KNTFL premiership in a row in a famous comeback.
Story credit: Matt Beggs