The bold and the beautiful

September 25, 2017

On your way: Shepparton's Rowan Hiscock was shown a yellow card in the first quarter and sent off the ground for 15 minutes.

Party time: Kyabram's Billy Burstin enters full celebration mode with a goal.

Searching: Shepparton's Joel Brett looks further afield.

Too big, too strong, too smart.

Too good.

Kyabram pulled off back-to-back perfect seasons at Deakin Reserve yesterday to etch its name into the history books as the best side to grace the Goulburn Valley League.

The Bombers made a gutsy call to kick against a howling breeze in the first term, but held up under immense Shepparton pressure to effectively seal victory by quarter-time after conceding just one major.

Paul Newman’s invincibles then piled on 5.8 to a solitary Bears behind to take full control of the contest.

Shepparton engineered a flicker of hope to start the third term with consecutive goals from Sam Dunstan and Joel Brett, but some Liam Ogden magic snuffed it out quickly.

The pacey midfielder gathered a loose ball deep in his forward pocket before engaging the afterburners, leaving a pair of Bears in his wake as he slotted a tough checkside into the teeth of the wind.

It proved a turning point in the game, as teammate Pat Wearden followed shortly after with a major of his own to stretch the lead back out to five goals.

Shepparton co-captain Ted Lindon capitalised on a free kick to boot another for his team, but it was the last for a side who simply wasted too many opportunities while kicking towards the scoring end.

This was highlighted by a Matt Ryan shot on goal just six minutes after Lindon’s.

Lining up with the breeze at his back and well within range, the young Bear let loose a ball that would be offensive to Blackhawks to call a helicopter.

It seemed to be the tale of Shepparton’s day, with little going its way.

You make your own luck, though, and one Kyabram player who would count himself lucky was Kyle Mueller.

Within a minute of the opening bounce the rising star found himself on the canvas and was subsequently stretchered off the field in a neck brace.

Miraculously, he passed a concussion test and returned after half-time, booting Kyabram’s first goal of the last term to make victory a certainty.

That is where the party really started for the Bombers, who slammed home the last five majors of the game as if trying to prove a point.

Jake Reeves was monstrous during the day and was awarded the Wilf Cox Medal, while Jordan Williams put in a power of work in the middle of the ground — not coming from the field once — and was given the AFL Victoria Medal for best on ground as adjudicated by the umpires.

Newman used Lachie Smith superbly, planted at the scoring end for the entire match.

It allowed the star to scupper Shepparton attacks, but also hit the scoreboard three times himself.

For the Bears, this loss will be a learning curve and could provide the impetus for future success.

But on their home deck, in front of a strong crowd, the work was left to too few.

Lindon and fellow leader Ash Holland tried hard all day, while Mitch Brett was the most prominent midfielder with Axel Childs magnificently shutting Ben Davies out of the game.

John Bradaric was recognised as the best player in the finals series, but had a dark day against the Bombers with minimal impact thanks to retiring Kyabram captain Josh Vick, while Liam Barrett continued his dominance over James Wong, with the latter rarely sighted after booting the opening goal.

Kyabram’s reserves also secured a flag on Sunday and celebrations at the club will surely continue deep into the week.

But the question on everyone’s lips was how far can this side actually go?

The answer is not a simple one, but on Sunday’s performance who would bet against the Bombers once again man-handling the competition?

Paul ‘‘Money’’ Newman does have a nice ring to it.

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