PRE­MIERS!

Nagam­bie claims back-to-back flags

Seymour Telegraph - - FRONT PAGE - By Ali­son O’Connor

It was party time at Lak­er­land on Satur­day, with Nagam­bie’s se­nior foot­ball and A-grade net­ball teams sa­lut­ing in their re­spec­tive grand fi­nals.

The foot­ballers ram­paged their way to a 53-point win over Vi­o­let Town to claim back-to-back pre­mier­ships, while the A-grade side toughed it out in a thrilling match that went in to ex­tra time to pinch vic­tory from Tal­ly­ga­roopna.

Avenel’s B-grade side made it 60 wins on the trot to take out the pre­mier­ship for the third con­sec­u­tive sea­son, while Nagam­bie’s C-grade and un­der-17 teams couldn’t quite get over the line in their grand fi­nals.

Back-to-back pre­mier­ships. Three pre­mier­ships in four years.

The first team to win con­sec­u­tive KDFNL pre­mier­ships in al­most a decade.

Which­ever way you look at it, Nagam­bie’s 53-point de­mo­li­tion of Vi­o­let Town in Satur­day’s grand fi­nal was one for the ages.

The Lak­ers were un­stop­pable in the sea­son de­cider, and while the score­line re­mained rel­a­tively close un­til the open­ing stages of the fi­nal quar­ter, af­ter half-time the re­sult was never re­ally in doubt.

Vi­o­let Town came out of the blocks fir­ing, open­ing up a 17-point lead mid­way through the first term.

How­ever, it was short-lived, with sea­soned Nagam­bie mid­fielder Michael Roberts bob­bing up with two late goals to bring the game back on level terms by quar­ter-time.

Michael Shiels, An­thony Haysom and Roberts were work­horses through the cen­tre for Nagam­bie as the com­pe­ti­tion’s two premier mid­fields went head-to-head and re­mained ut­terly re­lent­less through­out the match.

The Town­ers drew first blood in the sec­ond term to snatch back the lead, be­fore Danny Haysom and Kyle Win­ter-Irv­ing — a de­served AFL Vic­to­ria best-on­ground medal win­ner — replied to give Nagam­bie the as­cen­dancy once more.

The Lak­ers’ three junk-time goals in the sec­ond term, as well as Roberts’ two in the dy­ing stages of the open­ing quar­ter, were para­mount to their grasp on the game.

Vi­o­let Town led by a goal late in the sec­ond term, in what could have given it a promis­ing half­time lead, but in­stead Nagam­bie’s three late goals had the Town­ers trail­ing by 15 points at the main break.

Ex­pe­ri­ence counts for plenty when it comes to grand fi­nals, and Nagam­bie has that in spades.

Twenty of the Lak­ers’ 21 play­ers on Satur­day had played in at least one pre­mier­ship. On the other hand, just four Vi­o­let Town com­bat­ants had been on the big stage.

The Lak­ers’ ex­pe­ri­ence was preva­lent through­out the game and was in­stru­men­tal in their con­tin­ued push to­ward glory right un­til the fi­nal siren sounded.

Four goals sep­a­rated the sides at the fi­nal change, but the re­sult was look­ing omi­nous.

The Lak­ers looked a class above and were show­ing no signs of slow­ing up as the game reached its cli­max.

Har­ley Tay­lor-Lloyd, who ro­tated be­tween the ruck and the for­ward line through­out the match, kicked the open­ing goal of the fi­nal term with a ter­rific snap out of the pack to ex­tend the Lak­ers’ lead to 32 points.

That goal would open the flood­gates for Nagam­bie, which booted six ma­jors on the trot be­fore the Town­ers could even get a score on the board in the fi­nal term.

The Lak­ers’ lead was pushed out to as much as 67 points in the fi­nal quar­ter, be­fore Vi­o­let Town’s Leigh Lugg kicked two late goals to re­duce the dam­age.

But it was all in vain, as Nagam­bie wrote it­self in to the record books to give the club its 12th se­nior flag.

Pictures: Julie Mercer

Cel­e­bra­tions: Kyle Win­ter-Irv­ing and Nathan Fothergill em­brace af­ter se­cur­ing back-to-back pre­mier­ships.

Pictures: Ali­son O’Connor, Julie Mercer

Sil­ver­ware: Lak­ers cap­tain An­thony Haysom shows off the sil­ver­ware.

Pre­miers again: Nagam­bie cap­tain An­thony Haysom and in­jured co-cap­tain Jack­son Hut­ton hold the pre­mier­ship cup aloft.

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