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