Swans dived but still snatched vic­tory

Seymour Telegraph - - SPORT - By Ali­son O’Con­nor Grant Hate­ley takes a high-fly­ing mark against Lan­caster. Michael Mor­gan has safe hands when in pos­ses­sion of the ball. Bill O’Con­nor

Avenel had close to dou­ble the scor­ing shots of its op­po­nent on Satur­day, but only just got home with a nine-point win.

The Swans were woe­ful in front of goal, boot­ing 10.19 to nar­rowly es­cape Lan­caster in the fourth ver­sus fifth en­counter.

Coach Don Stir­ling (1.5), clublead­ing goal­kicker Chris Bur­ton (0.5) and Nick Good­win (1.4) were the main cul­prits, but it was a day to for­get for a num­ber of the Swans’ for­wards.

De­spite the team’s in­ac­cu­racy, Stir­ling was just happy to take the four points, and ex­tend the Swans’ win­ning streak to six straight games.

‘‘We would have had twice as many in­side-50s and we had al­most dou­ble the scor­ing shots, so that as­pect was pretty dis­ap­point­ing, but we came away with the win and that’s what counts,’’ Stir­ling said.

The Swans were slow to start and trailed by 14 points at the first change, how­ever they came out all guns blaz­ing in the se­cond term to turn the game back in their favour.

Avenel’s mid­field­ers were well on top and the clear­ances be­longed to the Swans, while their backs were all over any for­ward for­ays the Wom­bats tried to make.

In fact, Avenel’s back­line kept Lan­caster score­less in the se­cond quar­ter to turn the quar­ter-time deficit in to a 13-point buf­fer by the main break.

Avenel took a nine-point lead in to the fi­nal term, and looked to be in con­trol early on — in ev­ery as­pect apart from the score­board.

The ball spent the the first 10 min­utes of the last quar­ter in Avenel’s for­ward-50, but the Swans couldn’t muster a goal.

Lan­caster made the home side pay, and when the Wom­bats fi­nally got the ball up their own end, they booted a ma­jor to close the mar­gin to just three points.

The Wom­bats kicked an­other two goals in quick suc­ces­sion to have the Swans reel­ing, but Avenel re­sponded with some late goals of its own to snatch vic­tory by nine points.

‘‘They got a bit of a run on in the mid­dle part of that last quar­ter but our back­line just tight­ened up a bit and we man­aged to get back in front and hold on,’’ Stir­ling said.

‘‘Our back six were re­ally good on Satur­day, they were un­der pres­sure with our for­wards not per­form­ing and I thought they did an ex­cel­lent job.’’

The Swans have an­other tough ask this week­end when they face Murchi­son-Toolamba.

‘‘They are in a sim­i­lar po­si­tion to us. They had a slow start to the year but after the in­ter­league bye they’ve re­ally kicked off, so they’re go­ing to be tough op­po­si­tion,’’ Stir­ling said.

Score: Avenel 10.19 (79) d Lan­caster 11.4 (70).

Goals: M. Thomas, C. McCarthy 2; M. Mor­gan, N. Good­win, B. Quick, A. Green, D. Stir­ling, N. Thomas.

Best: D. Stir­ling, M. Thomas, B. Quick, P. Arandt, S. Ty­ers, M. Hurley.

A scin­til­lat­ing fi­nal quar­ter saw Avenel snatch vic­tory from Lan­caster’s grasp.

The Swans trailed for most of the day, and were be­hind by two goals head­ing in to the last quar­ter, but with their fi­nals hopes on the line, the Swans re­fused to lie down.


Avenel kept Lan­caster to just two be­hinds in the fi­nal term, and kicked six goals of its own — dou­ble what it had kicked up un­til that stage — to steal the win.

Se­nior side reg­u­lar Ja­cob Row­lands re­turned from in­jury this week through the re­serves and was the side’s lead­ing goal kicker with three ma­jors, while Will Hol­man and Billy Lewis booted two goals apiece in the 24-point win.

Score: Avenel 12.6 (78) d Lan­caster 7.12 (54).

Goals: J. Row­lands 3; W. Hol­man, W. Lewis 2; C. Ho­gan, C. Cates, C. Leighton.

Best: W. Lewis, W. Hol­man, J. Row­lands, S. Richard­son, J. Pace, C. Leighton.

Avenel is look­ing dan­ger­ous after it trounced Lan­caster by 88 points.

The two sides were level peg­ging on the lad­der be­fore the match (third and fourth), but Avenel proved it was one of the teams to beat this year with the thump­ing win.

The Swans were 20 points ahead by quar­ter-time, and kept


ex­tend­ing that lead as the match wore on to run out big win­ners.

Bren­ton Tem­pest and An­drew Dowl­ing were the go-to men up for­ward, both with four ma­jors, while Stephen Cu­sack was the Swans’ best.

Avenel now oc­cu­pies third place on the lad­der, but will have a bet­ter idea of where it sits after play­ing se­cond-placed Murchi­son-Toolamba this week­end.

Score: Avenel 15.13 (103) d Lan­caster 2.3 (15).

Goals: B. Tem­pest, A. Dowl­ing 4; L. Stevens, J. Nip­per­ess, D. Men­doza, C. Thom­son, K. Robl, T. Howe, C. Thom­son.

Best: S. Cu­sack , C. Thom­son, J. Nip­per­ess, D. Men­doza, C. Thom­son, A. Dowl­ing.


In the bank:

Booted: Cody Thomp­son gets a kick away against Lan­caster un­der18s. Pic­tures:

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