Kyabram Free Press
Lions rise up to beat premier
Stanhope has always been good when its back is against the wall and it rose to the occasion again on Saturday to upset reigning premier Nagambie on the Lakers home ground in the Kyabram District League’s match-of-theday .
The Lions got home by less than a kick to move into third spot on the ladder and provide extra confidence to tackle two more testing assignments over the last two weeks of the home-and-away season — Avenel at Avenel and Merrigum at home.
Second place is at stake in this week’s Avenel clash.
Former Kyabram coach Mark Adamson made a senior comeback at 46 years of age to snare three goals and help Stanhope to a thrilling three points win — 12.8 to 10.13.
Skipper Craig Emmett rallied his troops with a fine game in defence while Jason Leocata , Chris Sanders, Jye Patten and Alec Young on-ball and through the midfield were other key contributors in the Stanhope win.
Andrew Cooper made his senior debut for Stanhope in the game and more than held his own.
Jamason Daniels was the standout again for Nagambie with most support from Mark Nolan, Callum Tardrew, Mitch Lusted and Trent Gladwin.
Stanhope coach Mark Patten praised his players for their belief and never give-in attitude.
‘‘We have been working to get the right mix of players to produce our best form so that was the most pleasing aspect of the win,’’ Patten said.
But Stanhope, which has two blockbusters to finish the season (against Avenel at Avenel and Merrigum at home), look safe to play finals after Lancaster’s win over Violet Town on Sunday.
■ Lancaster put a massive dent in the Town’s finals chances with a runaway win on Sunday on the Towners’ home ground.
Violet Town had several key players unavailable due to COVID-19 restrictions but the Wombats were able to field close to to a full side with only Charlie Mclay and Nathan Torney to come back in.
The Wombats were in control from the start, bagging seven goals to the home team’s one in the first quarter before going on to win by 70 points in another clear message to all sides on the eve of the finals.
For Lancaster, star late recruit Jake Mills again stepped up at the goalmouth with six goals and Jack Elliott with three goals and Jack Donnell with two also had the Towners’ defence under siege.
Lancaster’s defence also stood up on the day with Luke Davies, Longan Demisi and Besim Besim keeping century goalkicker Josh Mellington to three goals.
Tom Davies and Mills interchanged up forward and both had a huge impact on the result.
James Ross was also lively again on ball.
Lancaster hosts Ardmona this Saturday and is home again in the final home-and-away round in a blockbuster against Avenel.
■ Merrigum came up five points short against Murchisontoolamba in another thriller but are still holding down sixth place courtesy of Lancaster’s defeat of Violet Town.
The Bulldogs stormed home to kick five last quarter goals to the combine’s three after trailing by 20 points at the last change.
Rhys Shannon, the consistent Jacob Chessels and Daniel Dryden set a fine example for their Merrigum teammates and got a lot support from Zac Parkinson and Dylan Fitzgerald.
Murchison-toolamba had fine players in Michael Watson, James Flynn and Shane Kay who got most support from Josh Wild, Ashton Cashion and Steve Burns.
Jye Borg’s four goals for the combine were also vital in the close contest.
Merrigum, sitting sixth on the ladder, travels to Shepparton East this Saturday and can cement its spot in the finals with a win.
Fifth-placed Murchisontoolamba meets Dookie United this Saturday in a danger game but has Ardmona to tackle in the final round which will guarantee it of a finals spot.
■ In a battle of the also-rans, Girgarre matched it for the first half with Shepparton East but the home side got the better of the visitors in the second half to post a 48-point win.
Matt Deledio was a standout for the ’Roos and reliable Tom Walsh, Gerard Hanratty and Brayden May made their presence felt along with Ryan Butler and Jack Oogjes.
Butler celebrated the birth of twins during the week to kick three goals.
Ethan Moor, Josh Brown and Shannon Campbell were standouts for Shepparton East.
■ COVID-19 restrictions forced the Rushworth versus Avenel clash to be called off while Dookie United and Tallygaroopna had big wins over Undera and Ardmona respectively in the other two games.
Kyle Tapscott booted six goals and Brad Ridings five to reap the benefits of the supply from Jack Threlfall, Liam Herma and Kane Thompson who were dominant for Dookie United.
Hank Fennell, Rhys Mckenzie, Cody Tancred and Matt Turner tried hard to turn the tide for Undera but couldn’t get the support to challenge the visitors.
With Ardmona without its Melbourne players, Tallygaroopna pounced to capture its second win for the season.
Travis Cooper booted eight goals and Adam Brophy and Trent Sidebottom five each as Tally romped home by 172 points.
Joel Bunce, Fred Maclean and Chris Boland battled it out to the bitter end for the Bush Cats.