A match of two halves

May 30, 2018

Paul Arandt taps the ball down to the waiting Don Stirling.

Lakers star Anthony Haysom gets boot to ball.

Avenel’s Max Lawrence spoils Michael Roberts' marking attempt.

Nagambie and Avenel fought out the definition of a game of two halves.

The Lakers were 35 points behind at half-time, but a seemingly different side took to the field in the third quarter.

Lakers coach Linc Sullivan made a few tweaks, which resulted in the deficit turning into a thrilling nine-point success.

While Mick Roberts still spent a chunk of time in the forward line, Sullivan used him in the midfield and his influence was plain to see.

‘‘He looked a dangerous forward in the first half and we only used him sparingly on the ball,’’ Sullivan said.

‘‘(In the second half), he created a real good contest in there (midfield), I thought we were breaking even, but he provided another big body.’’

Roberts was Nagambie’s top scorer with four goals, while Anthony Haysom continued to make inroads in the forward line with three of his own.

Mathew Waterson was also super with three goals, while Michael Shiels and Nathan Fothergill starred for the Lakers.

The Lakers kicked 10.6 in the second half to Avenel’s 3.4, with the opening two quarters a different story.

‘‘The first half we were a touch off the game and had some good individual players, but we weren’t functioning that well,’’ Sullivan said.

‘‘In fairness to Avenel, they were good and running the footy well and had good pressure all over the ground.

‘‘We’d been in spots like this before and we responded well and our group sort of managed to keep surging.’’

The Swans kicked 10.5 in the first half in a display of their control as recruit Braydon Avola proved his worth in his first game for Avenel.

Coming from Whittlesea in the Northern league, he took a liking to the Kyabram District league with another addition this year in Angus Durnan also causing trouble for Nagambie with three majors.

Scott Tyers sent through five goals to go with his four against Undera last week, but they were not enough to help the Swans hold on.

Assistant coach Kasey Duncan said the Swans were disappointed in the end result.

‘‘The guys were pretty disappointed in the rooms after the game, we know what went wrong and went right,’’ he said.

Avenel left the ground battered and bruised with several injuries coming from the game.

Mid-way through the third quarter captain Michael Morgan took a knock to the head which saw him off the ground for much of the third quarter, before returning for the last still dazed.

Connor McCloy was also left to receive x-rays on his collarbone after a knock.

Avenel will take on Stanhope this week and will celebrate Cael McCarthy’s 100th senior game for the club.

‘‘It’ll be another tough task but we’ve shown in the past that we can match and beat anyone,’’ Duncan said.

Nagambie will be looking to back up with another win when it takes on Longwood at home.

●Nagambie proved too strong for Avenel in the reserves, recording a 55-point victory despite some wayward kicking.

Final score: Avenel 3.5 (23) def by Nagambie 10.18 (78).

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