Cats go down fighting
WELL-PLAYED: Bronzen Rowlands was one of the standouts in the Cats' battle against Pomona on Saturday. Darryn Smith
AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL: The Gympie Cats suffered their first loss of the year on the weekend, going down 100-34 to competition leaders Pomona.
After winning their first two matches of the season, the Cats were confident of toppling the Demons for the first time in several years on Saturday.
However, a slow start saw them down 39-6 at quarter time, a deficit from which they never recovered.
"It's pretty hard to come back from a start like that," Gympie coach Hugh Stewart said.
"They came out of the blocks very quickly, and had six goals on the board before we kicked one.
"Adam Hendry was forced off with a broken ankle early in the match, which was a massive loss, not only because of his potency in the forward line, but he's a real leader among the group."
Gympie picked up the pace in the second half, with Billy Mitchell kicking three goals and Wayne McEwan and Jordan Tucker one each, but Pomona proved too good as they ran away with the 66-point win.
"While the result was disappointing, there's certainly a lot we can take from the match," Stewart said.
"I think our lack of experience was the difference in the end, but to the boys' credit, they never once stopped trying.
"We had a few players out with injury, but guys like Jesse Hawksworth, Bronzen Rowlands, Wayne McEwan, Jack Clouston, Cody Andrews and Jason Moore-Smith really stepped up and played brilliantly.
"We need to work on starting the game much better though, or we will be punished by Maroochydore this weekend."
Joel Perry-Warren will come back into the side after being rested on Saturday, while the club monitors several players hoping to return from injury in the next few games.