Swans leave Lions la­ment­ing

Kyabram Free Press - - SPORT - By Gus Un­der­wood

STAN­HOPE is out of the Kyabram District Foot­ball League premier­ship race af­ter be­ing run over by Avenel in the last quar­ter of their first semi-fi­nal clash at Gir­garre on Sun­day.

The off-tar­get Lions were just four points down in a grim, low scor­ing strug­gle at three-quar­ter time but kicked five be­hinds while the Swans added 4.2 in the last term to run out win­ners by 25 points and book a pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal show­down with Vi­o­let Town at Tal­ly­ga­roopna this Satur­day.

Stan­hope missed their chances at the goal­front, which came back to haunt them at the fin­ish.

Goals were at a pre­mium in the tightly fought con­test, with Stan­hope man­ag­ing just four for the game but at the same time thread­ing through a frus­trat­ing 16 points.

Elim­i­na­tion fi­nal star James Gray didn’t have his straight kick­ing boot on for Stan­hope and fin­ished goal­less against a close­play­ing Avenel op­po­nent in John Green but let sev­eral chances go beg­ging.

Classy key play­mak­ers in Don Stir­ling and Mick McKen­zie stepped up and with elu­sive Matt Thomas and Lachy Dry­den also mak­ing an im­pact Avenel kicked the last four goals of the game af­ter Stan­hope missed a chance at the start of the last term to gain some mo­men­tum.

Stan­hope got an­other big­hearted game from ruck­man Col Har­vey, while de­fend­ers Mick Coad and Jack Ex­ell de­fended grimly all day in the scrappy, pres­surised con­test.

James Fraser, who started on a wing and went to de­fence, was an­other good con­trib­u­tor for the Lions as well as star on­baller Jack Young, while Jye Pat­ten chipped in with two handy goals in the dour strug­gle.

But Stan­hope will no doubt be con­tem­plat­ing for weeks to come what could have even­tu­ated if they had made the most of their chances.

Nagam­bie stuns Vi­o­let Town

IN the sec­ond semi at Stan­hope on Satur­day Nagam­bie up­set the mi­nor premier to book a spot in the premier­ship show­down.

The reign­ing pre­miers kicked five sec­ond half goals to the Town­ers three to pull off a 16-point win.

Vi­o­let Town was a point up at half-time through the ef­forts of Zac Economou, Ryan Suther­land, Pat Hors­burgh and Leigh Lugg.

But the Lak­ers, led by Tony Haysom, Mick Shiels, Kyle and Zac Win­ter-Irv­ing and Nathan Fothergill, were able to meet the chal­lenge and lead their side into an­other grand fi­nal.

Stan­hope re­serves kick on

STAN­HOPE re­serves re­mained in the flag fight with a 41-point win over Murchi­son-Toolamba.

The Lions dic­tated terms from the start with Lachy Firmer, vet­eran Leigh Hall, Tan­ner Stokes and Jack Cock­croft lead­ing from the front with sup­port from the ex­pe­ri­enced Dan Free­man and Lachy West.

Ja­cob Ewart, Lachy But­ton, Jack McCor­mack and Liam McDon­ald tried hard for the com­bine but lacked sup­port.

Stan­hope now meets Tal­ly­ga­roopna in the pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal this Satur­day with the win­ner tak­ing on Mer­rigum for the flag the week af­ter.

Mer­rigum dou­ble de­light

MER­RIGUM re­serves and thirds both booked grand fi­nal berths with sec­ond semi-fi­nal wins over Tal­ly­ga­roopna at Stan­hope on Satur­day.

The Bull­dog re­serves al­ways had a score­board edge on their ri­vals and in a tough slog emerged 19-point win­ners.

The Mer­rigum de­fence stood firm all day and leaked only four goals while Ja­son Chis­tou and Tristan Fitzsim­mons both kicked two goals each for the win­ners, which were vi­tal in the low scor­ing con­test.

Vet­eran Travis Thom­son showed the way for the Bull­dogs along with Liam Cross, Jer­ard Wat­son and Brett Ma­her while Stew­art McKen­ner and Tristan Fitzsim­mons also stepped up in the win.

Mer­rigum thirds will be shoot­ing for suc­ces­sive flags af­ter also down­ing Tal­ly­ga­roopna in their sec­ond semi-fi­nal clash.

It was a tight con­test with Tally com­ing back in the sec­ond term af­ter Mer­rigum had kicked four first-term goals.

Only 10 points sep­a­rated the sides at the long break but the young Bull­dogs, led by Chris Zam­paglione, Ryan Man­gan and Tyler Schoots in par­tic­u­lar, worked re­ally had to de­fend this lead. They re­ceived some sturdy sup­port from Sam Barba­gallo and Dy­lan Rowney.

The Bull­dogs had the chances to win by a big­ger mar­gin, with sev­eral frus­trat­ing misses on goal.

Mer­rigum now await the win­ner of this Satur­day’s pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal be­tween Tally and Avenel in the sea­son de­cider on grand fi­nal day at Mooroopna on Satur­day week.

Lan­caster thirds out

LAN­CASTER thirds bowed out of the premier­ship fight when they found Avenel too strong in their cut-throat semi.

Avenel was gen­er­ally in con­trol and ran out win­ners by 40 points.

The young Wom­bats were best served by Kyle Kidd, Ben Nankiv­ell, Jayson Har­ri­son, Jamie Scapin, Nic Ryan and Ai­dan Briggs.

Stan­hope’s Colin Har­vey punches the ball away from Paul Arandt.

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