Star Cat’s season could be over

Lara coaches Shayne Stone and Devon Smith. 417477_06

By Justin Flynn

Lara was left to count the cost of its second win of the season with star forward Mitch Day breaking his thumb in the seven-point victory against St Albans.

Day booted four goals for the Cats before injuring his thumb and could miss the rest of the season.

In a scrappy and low-scoring game, Lara prevailed 8.8(56) to St Albans 7.7(49) in a standalone Geelong Football League fixture on Saturday July 6.

The day marked the first Peter Kelly Cup in honour of the former GFL president.

Lara co-coach Devon Smith starred with a best afield performance in his return from a lay-off and said youngster Tom Gunther stood up when he replaced Day up forward.

“He (Gunther) can play anywhere,” Smith said.

“He can play forward, back, wing. He’s just got some serious, serious talent. Just hopefully he puts it all together.

“(It was) pretty scrappy. The second quarter we probably should have kicked a couple more goals to be a little bit further ahead at half time. To their credit the game was always close so it made it a bit more stressful with an exhausting game, but always good to win.”

Day has booted 28 goals this season and will be sorely missed as the Cats attempt to win two in a row this weekend against North Shore.

Smith said he would be able to string a few games together with golf commitments lessening during the next month and that Werribee-listed VFL player Connor Thar could return to face the Seagulls.

“Pretty much the rest of the season there’s a winnable game every second week or every week, but we just keep getting injuries to very important players and probably players that you can’t replace and at this time of year that makes it very hard,” Smith said.

Smith said it was becoming more difficult for the bottom clubs to attract quality players and that the fixture this season has been “pretty brutal”. However, he said Lara’s junior program looked promising, with the Under 18s sitting on top of the ladder.

“We’ve been knocked around a bit without confidence, I reckon, and the reality is that those top teams like St Mary’s, Leopold and what not, they’re just on a different level compared to us and St Albans and North Shore,” he said.

“We’ve got a really good junior program, so that’s probably where we need to focus our development on. We’ve got some really strong teams and multiple teams in those competitions.”

Lara meets North Shore, South Barwon, Grovedale, Bell Park, Geelong West, St Joseph’s and St Albans again in the remaining rounds.