Side still in finals contention
Seymour ensured its Goulburn Valley League finals chances will live on into the last round of the home-and-away season, accounting for Tatura by 53 points at Kings Park on Saturday.
Honouring the memory of netball legend Sarah Locke, the Seymour and Tatura communities came together pre-match for a minute’s silence, with both clubs wearing black arm bands to recognise her contribution to sport in the region.
“It certainly was an emotional day,” Seymour coach Ben Davey said.
“Sarah, her husband Stuart and daughters Sophie and Chloe have been a big part of the Seymour Football Netball Club for over 30 years, so to honour her at the game was very important.
“Country football clubs have got to be about inclusion and being a place where people want to come and the Locke family have been massive in making Seymour a place where people want to come.”
On the field, the Lions were comprehensive in their efforts, leading from start to finish to record a vital 15.10 (100) to 7.1 (43) victory.
Top Morrison Medal contender Jack Murphy was at his brutal best for the home team, serving as the catalyst for the win with four goals from the midfield to be recognised as best afield.
The result leaves Seymour in seventh spot after round 17, but it draws level on wins with sixthplaced Kyabram and claws within four points of a vulnerable Mooroopna in fifth spot.
“It was good to win and coming off a bye it is always a bit hard, we don’t seem to play as well off the rest sometimes,” Davey said.
“The game was quite tight right up until the third term and we weren’t playing as well as we would have liked, but to the boys’ credit they dug in and finished off strong.
“It is nice to know that we are still alive and give ourselves a chance of playing finals heading into the final round.”
Emotions were running high at Kings Park as the match got under way in overcast conditions.
But while local supporters may have been expecting a bloodbath from the outset, the visiting Bulldogs showed they were up for the fight, booting three first-quarter goals to Seymour’s four to go into quarter-time eight points adrift.
“We probably underestimated Tatura, especially in the early stages,” Davey said.
“They came with a lot of energy and, being quite a young team, they ran and spread very well.
“We didn’t give them the respect they deserve early and they took advantage.”
The Lions showed their finals credentials in the second term, however, booting another four goals to Tatura’s one to extend their lead to 29 as they searched for other avenues to goal in the absence of spearhead Michael Hartley.
Knowing percentage would play a major factor in its finals hopes, Seymour set its sights for a big second half as play resumed in the third term, but was once again stifled by a determined Bulldogs outfit.
Only able to add three majors to Tatura’s two, the Lions’ lead was 36 by the final change, before a flurry of goals to finish the last quarter blew the final margin out to 57 points.
In terms of standouts, Murphy was clearly best-on-ground in a performance Davey described as “dominant”.
“Murph’s game was dominant. He had plenty of the ball, terrific ball use and finished with goals as well,” he said.
“He was easily best-on-ground. It was his best game for the year and he is in a very good patch of form right now.
“But Ben Rigoni was also awesome inside, Riley Mason had a great game on the wing and Rory and Dylan Scopel were super.”
Seymour will finish its homeand-away season against Shepparton United at Deakin Reserve this weekend, while Tatura hosts Mansfield in Paul Kirby’s final match as coach.