Best Battles returns for another edition, as sports journalist Meg Saultry throws back to some final quarter thrillers for our local teams.
GOULBURN VALLEY LEAGUE
BENALLA V SEYMOUR
Round 2, 2013 at Benalla Showgrounds
Benalla 11.13 (79) lt Seymour 12.12 (84)
An in-form Saad Saad was the star of the show in Seymour’s early-season contest with Benalla, his eight goals going a long way to securing a five-point win for the Lions.
In a mouth-watering start to his season it was the second straight week Saad booted eight goals - the full-forward eventually ticking past three digits by season’s end.
While the match was a touch scrappy, the scoreboard remained close as the Saints edged ahead by three points midway through the contest.
But it was ultimately the Lions who were more effective, snatching the lead ahead of the fourth quarter before holding on for the win.
Coach Shane Robertson said the Lions showed their true character late in the game.
‘‘We were under the pump at three-quarter time, our captain (Brent Colbert) who was injured put his hand up in the centre of the ground and a few other old stagers stepped up when required,” Robertson said.
“We showed some Seymour character across the line, some self-belief, rather than fall away with the game in the balance — the older guys produced.”
Lions midfielder Gerard Liddell was another to perform strongly, while Sam Martyn and James Dalton were gun performers for the Saints.
KYABRAM DISTRICT LEAGUE
VIOLET TOWN V TALLYGAROOPNA
Round 13, 2011 at Violet Town Recreation Reserve
Violet Town 11.17 (83) d Tallygaroopna 12.9 (81)
A stunning comeback from Tallygaroopna fell just short midway through 2011, as Violet Town held on for a two-point win on home turf.
The Towners were in a comfortable position heading into the final quarter, sitting 30 points clear of their rival.
But the visitors mounted a counterattack, cutting the margin by 28 points to finish two points shy of the upset.
Violet Town veterans Sean Horsburgh and Tim Ross were superb, kicking four and three goals respectively, while James Bodycoat lit up his home park.
Tallygaroopna forward Braden Mcintyre expertly held up his end with five goals, while Aaron Wood was hard to contain, named as the Redlegs’ best.
OVENS AND KING LEAGUE
Benalla All Blacks v Moyhu
Round 15, 2011 at Moyhu Recreation Reserve
Moyhu 15.10 (100) d Benalla All Blacks 13.15 (93)
Going deep into September, Benalla and Moyhu would eventually find themselves fighting it out in the preliminary finals in 2011 - though it was the Grasshoppers who were victorious on their way to the premiership flag.
But it was this late-season home-and-away match that year which edges ahead as the better of the two contests.
With Moyhu and Benalla sitting first and second on the ladder respectively, a final quarter showdown was a fitting finish for the competition's best sides.
The match had all the hallmarks of a drama-filled contest, with a melee breaking out in the first quarter, while Duane ‘Brush’ Haebich was reported twice before being sent off for the remainder of the match at quarter time.
In a see-sawing contest, the Panthers took the lead into the second and fourth quarters, while the Hoppers had the edge at half time before finishing their rivals by seven points in a finals-like finish in the fourth.
Benalla’s Mick Donehue and Brendan Smith combined on the scoreboard in the second half with nine goals between them, while Kaine Dockery dominated at centre half-forward.
Goorambat v North Wangaratta
Round 5, 2011 at Goorambat Recreation Reserve
Goorambat 16.4 (100) lt North Wangaratta 16.9 (105)
Goorambat started its 2011 season in heartbreaking fashion, either losing by a landslide or losing in a nail biter.
Its five-point loss to North Wangaratta was among the latter group, with the result going down to the wire in the final quarter.
Down by seven points heading into the final quarter, it was a slight misfire with inaccuracy that cursed the Bats late in the game, as the home side kicked 5.2 to the Hawks five straight in the fourth quarter to just miss out on the four points.
Wangaratta’s Daniel Vihm was the star of the show, kicking a massive nine goals, though Goorambat’s Damien Grey was no slouch either, bagging six himself.