Sport

Seymour top of classroom

by
August 28, 2017

Kings Park was turned into a classroom on Saturday, with Seymour taking on the role of teacher.

Kings Park was turned into a classroom on Saturday, with Seymour taking on the role of teacher.

On the agenda was a lesson in finals football and unfortunately for the Magpies it was one they learned the hard way.

The Lions physically dominated the smaller Euroa line-up for most of the contest, dampening its youthful exuberance and resulting in a pair of unanswered runs of five goals in the second and third quarters, which blew the game wide open.

With third spot — and a subsequent dream run in September — on the line, this clash was always going to be heated.

After an arm wrestle of a first term, where both sides seemed to just feel each other out, the intensity lifted astronomically.

Bodies crashed into every contest at top speed, with Seymour defender Brent Ryan coming off second-best six minutes into the quarter and not returning for the rest of the match, while tensions boiled over in the form of regular spotfires across the field.

Euroa playing coach JD Hayes had started the game with his usual influence, despite Jordan Hockley wearing him like a glove, but it was no coincidence that as the Seymour scrapper began to win the battle, his teammates gained the upper hand in the war.

‘‘I rate him (Hayes) as definitely their best player and he was excellent against us the first time, so we just wanted to nullify his influence around the ground,’’ Lions leader Brent Colbert said.

‘‘I thought Hocks did a really good job, it was a tough day for him. He definitely earned that 120 minutes he was out on the ground, but he did really well.’’

In his 200th game for the club, Colbert showed he still had plenty left in the tank, roaming the half-back-flank with the vigour of a man on a mission.

Captain Jason Cole was clearly managed on his return to the field from a serious hamstring injury, but Ben Clifton’s and Andrew Sturgess’ midfield supremacy afforded him the luxury of remaining parked deep in the forward line.

‘‘He hadn’t played for 10 weeks, so I know he’s a gun player and probably everyone expected a lot more out of him today than what he delivered, but I thought he was excellent,’’ Colbert said.

‘‘He probably had to play a little bit longer because we had a couple of injuries, but that forward pressure he brings is excellent for us and just lifts everyone.’’

Cole had a front-row seat to one of the more complete attacking performances of the season from his side, with seven multiple goalkickers hitting the scoreboard, including five majors from Jake Anderson and four to Rory Scopel.

‘‘It’s always good when you kick 21 goals, but it was more so that we just looked dangerous,’’ Colbert said.

‘‘The ball was going in there and if you weren’t taking a grab, we had a lot of sort of mosquito fleet down there like (Rhys) Clarke and Cole and (James) Falcone.

‘‘It just puts the opposition under a lot of pressure as well and we didn’t allow them to rebound the footy the way that they wanted to.’’

If it was not for Euroa defender Adam Tarrant those numbers would have risen significantly, with the veteran doing all he could to stem the flow of Lions streaming towards goal.

The only downside for the home side was Ryan’s absence, but the backman is expected to make a full recovery.

Trent Storer took full advantage of the injury, booting six goals to provide the Magpies with a shining light on an otherwise dour day.

‘‘He was duking them everywhere, it was his best game for the year I reckon,’’ Hayes said.

‘‘But it was a very disappointing result, we’ve got a lot of issues that we need to work on and we’re looking towards next week.’’

Hayes finished the game with ice on his upper leg, while Ryley Bjorksten was also nursing a sore shoulder, but the young leader was not concerned.

‘‘We’ve got a few injuries, but it’s finals footy now, the sun starts shining and everyone feels better by Friday,’’ he said.

With red-hot Rochester looming in an elimination final, Hayes’ charges will have to find their steely resolve again quickly.

‘‘Contested footy has been our DNA this year and they beat us all around the contest, so all credit to Seymour they came out firing on their home deck and are a quality side,’’ he said.

‘‘We’re definitely not going to drop our heads, we’re going to come back and really crack in, we’ve got a point to prove now and we’re really looking forward to the contest.

‘‘It’s finals footy, anything can happen if we bring the right attitude and bounce back.’’

Meanwhile, the Lions face a Benalla team that has lost four games in a row, but Colbert said his troops would be as wary as ever.

‘‘No matter where you finish, I think anywhere from Ky (Kyabram) outside anyone can beat anyone I feel,’’ he said.

‘‘I guess we’ve earned the right to finish third now and we know who we’re playing, and the season does reset a little bit, but I feel like we’re coming into the finals series with a bit of momentum as well.’’

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