Best Battles | Giant win not enough for Lions finals hope

By Meg Saultry

Seymour v Mansfield

Round 18, 2013, at Mansfield Recreation Reserve

Seymour 26.15 (171) d Mansfield 15.11 (101)

A 70-point win in a final home and away match would have almost every team celebrating.

But Seymour’s grand win against Mansfield was ultimately bittersweet, the win not enough to get the Lions into the final six as they fell by the wayside by percentage alone.

Up by 17 points at half-time, the Lions did the most damage in the third quarter, upping their lead to 61.

But after trailing Shepparton Swans by 1.51 per cent before their trek to Mansfield, Seymour’s finals aspirations were already blown as the Swans were well on their way to dismantling wooden-spooners Shepparton Bears by 174 points.

On another celebratory note, Saad Saad booted nine goals to reach the illusive triple figures, finishing the year on 101, while Paul Colbert was just as handy, kicking five.

Seasoned performers Jason Cole and Gerard Liddell was again influential, while the workload was well shared among the team with 12 individual goal kickers.

Mansfield’s Josh Fraser had a strong day up forward, finishing with six goals.

Avenel v Rushworth

Round eight, 2009, at Rushworth Recreation Reserve

Avenel 14.5 (89) d Rushworth 12.16 (88)

Avenel and Rushworth have fought it out in two lone point games since 2009, with each team taking honours on different occasions.

The first time around, Avenel’s accuracy was the real winner as the Swans weathered a final assault by Rushworth to remain ahead.

An earlier Tigers lead reached as much as 32 points by half-time, before the Swans fired up to bank eight goals to one in the third quarter.

Rushworth fought back in the final quarter, producing more scoring shots, but couldn’t wrestle the lead away from the Swans.

Avenel's Jared Smith and Paul Arandt finished with three goals each, while John Duckworth was judged best on ground.

Nagambie v Stanhope

Round 13, 2011, at Nagambie Recreation Reserve

Nagambie 14.14 (98) d Stanhope 10.12 (72)

Nagambie and Stanhope have duelled in several bumper games over the years - including three finals - with both clubs regulars in the top six.

So it was an odd sight to see Nagambie fall out of finals favour in 2011, finishing eighth.

But as with any Lakers outfit, they could still land a killer blow, beating top three side Stanhope mid-way through the season.

A see-sawing first half eventually fell the way of the Lions by three-quarter-time, up by 19 points.

But in a final quarter tsunami, the Lakers flipped the switch, kicking eight goals to one to run over the Lions by 26 points.

Adam Bourke was at his best up forward, kicking four goals, while Willie Tranter and Scoot Paulke also did well for the Lakers.

Nagambie coach Eddie Shiels was delighted by the result.

“We really took off in that last quarter once we got our tails up and that was really pleasing against a good side,” he said.

“Once we got a bit of a sniff, we put the foot down and off we went.”