Can’t buy finals experience

September 11, 2017

Nagambie coach Linc Sullivan said he was pleased with his side’s ability to come together in a crucial match.

Experience matters when it comes to finals.

Nagambie proved that on Saturday to ensure it is one win away from a third Kyabram District Football League premiership in four years.

The Lakers grinded their way to a 16-point victory against minor premier Violet Town in the second semi-final at Stanhope.

After being smashed by 90 points when the teams last played in round 17, Nagambie proved that was a complete anomaly.

In a low-scoring scrap, the Lakers broke the game open with five goals to two in third quarter as star midfielders Mick Shiels and Anthony Haysom asserted their authority on the contest.

Shiels, Haysom, Michael Roberts and Steve Barber were notably missing the last time these teams met.

Nagambie coach Linc Sullivan said he was pleased with his side’s ability to come together in a crucial match.

‘‘You naturally work all year trying to get into this position and we were able to work together to make our way into a grand final and it’s a nice reward,’’ Sullivan said.

‘‘During the year we were extremely undermanned in those games, not to use that as an excuse, but we had all those guys back yesterday and firing.’’

It was a solid spread of goalkickers that got the job done, with full forward Pat Rattray kept goalless.

While Nagambie will go into the decider at Mooroopna on September 23 having played just two games in five weeks.

But Sullivan said the break could be a positive for some of his more experienced players.

Marty Shadbolt will push for selection for the grand final as the Lakers look to go back-to-back and add silverware to their triumph last year and in 2014.

Violet Town playing coach Sean Horsburgh said it was a poor showing from his side and it had to respond quickly from a disappointing performance.

‘‘We wasted a lot of opportunities and we were nearly outplayed in every area on the ground,’’ Horsburgh said.

‘‘There might have been a few nerves with some people, but you can only really blame that for the first quarter and then everything settles.

‘‘Nagambie have to take a bit of credit because they played well, but we need to get better.

‘‘We’ve worked hard all year to get the double chance and we need to use that now and bounce back next week.’’

Rob Staff managed three goals, while Ash Hobbs and Pat Horsburgh booted two each.

Zach Economou was a standout, while Ryan Sutherland, Leigh Lugg, Greg Dyer and Tim Ross battled hard.

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