Seymour kept in touch with league powerhouse Shepparton for the bulk of Saturday’s A-grade encounter, but was ultimately over-run by 17 goals.
The Bears produced a scintillating final term — outscoring the wearying Lions 18-8 for the quarter — to run out convincing winners.
Up until that stage, Seymour had kept up to the pace of the slick Bears outfit.
The Lions trailed by just four goals at half-time and it was still the same margin midway through the third term, but the Bears put the foot to the floor to produce a brilliant final 15 minutes of netball.
Seymour was decimated with players out through unavailability and coach Laura Carland was forced to run with the same seven players for the entire match.
Courtney Aldous and Marlee Koopman stepped up effortlessly from the B-grade side to fill the void in the top-tier team.
Aldous, who started the year in A-grade but has since been playing B-grade, proved she can match it with the best and was particularly brilliant in defence and though the midcourt, earning best-on-court honours for her side.
Georgia Engel was another to impress for the Lions.
Engel possibly had the hardest job on the court, pitted against former Melbourne Vixens goaler Kim Commane, but the young star more than held her own against her more experienced opponent.
Ellie O’Sullivan and Carland shared the load in the goal ring, shooting 26 and 24 goals respectively.
O’Sullivan proved a major headache for the Bears’ defence, with three different defenders going to her during the match.
Score: Shepparton 67 d Seymour 50.
Best: Courtney Aldous, Ellie O’Sullivan, Georgia Engel.
Seymour was no match for ladder-leader Shepparton, going down 77-44.
Chloe Locke, who stepped up from the under-17 side, and Georgia Velt were under heavy fire in defence, with the ball continually finding its way in to the Bears’ attack.
Velt had a severe height disadvantage against her towering opponent, but used space well and managed to take a number of crucial intercepts.
Shepparton was on the front foot from the outset, taking a 16-goal lead in to quarter-time and extending the margin to 28 goals by the main break.
The Lions’ best quarter was their last, outscoring the tiring Bears by five goals to close the ever-extending margin slightly.
Mariah Baumann was the mainstay in goals, finishing the match with 35, while Lyndel O’Sullivan provided tremendous support at goal-attack and was her side’s best player for the day.
Score: Shepparton 77 d Seymour 44.
Best: Lyndel O’Sullivan, Mariah Baumann, Georgia Velt.
Seymour managed a few good passages of play during the match but ultimately it was outclassed by a superior Bears outfit.
Shepparton is undefeated atop the ladder, and it was easy to see why on Saturday, with the Bears too strong across the court.
The home side scored at a frantic rate of knots all game, shooting an average 20 goals per quarter.
Virginia Morgan provided a lot of drive through the midcourt for the Lions, and Mia Ross — stepping up from the under-17 side — was brilliant under constant pressure in defence.
Score: Shepparton 80 d Seymour 16.
Best: Virginia Morgan, Mia Ross, Zoe Murray.
Seymour couldn’t match it with league powerhouse Shepparton, eventually going down by 46 goals.
The Lions’ defence worked tirelessly throughout what was a tough game, with Chloe Symons leading the way at goal-keeper.
Despite the expanding margin, the young Lions kept their heads up and ran out the game well, with the final quarter their best.
Seymour managed to keep Shepparton to just 12 goals in the final term — by far their lowest for the game — and the Lions scored seven goals of their own to keep the scoreline in check.
Score: Shepparton 68 d Seymour 22.
Best: Chloe Symons, Sophie Locke, Chloe Locke.