Sport

Seymour girls rain supreme

By Meg Saultry

With a Goulburn Valley League finals berth already in the bag, Seymour continued to fine tune its preparations ahead of September, pipping Shepparton by two goals at Kings Park on Saturday.

Wild weather meant it was a low scoring and particularly tight contest between the two finals contenders.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game,” Seymour coach Elle McDonald said.

“Both teams are preparing for finals, so we were happy to get the two-goal win, especially in those conditions.”

After a six-goal win against Shepparton in round five, the Lions had first-hand knowledge of what it would take to beat last year's grand finalist for a second time.

But a fired up Bears outfit drew first blood, taking the opening quarter 11-8.

The Lions soon settled to win the second term and build a slim two-goal lead at the main break, before the Bears again struck to level scores at three-quarter-time.

But in true Lions spirit, the home team stuck it out to pinch a thriller.

While it was wet for most of the day, McDonald said there was some respite in the second quarter, before it turned for the worse in the second half.

It meant the Lions had to quickly adapt to the conditions.

“It slowed us down in attack and defence,” McDonald said.

“Our aim was to keep possessions when it was raining, treasure the ball and get it to our goalers.”

Nakita Singe was one of the Lions’ most valuable players, having been given the major task of slowing down Shepparton midcourter Jacinta Todd, while Meg Grbac was her usual best.

McDonald also credited Lions shooter Jess Lallo for producing confident shots and maintaining composure under heavy wind and rain, while Sarah Douglas, who usually plays centre and wing defence, showed her versatility by stepping into wing attack.

With the top six finalised with two home-and-away rounds remaining, Seymour will look to continue its final preparations with big clashes against Mooroopna and Kyabram.

“Mooroopna have done really well recently, so that’s another challenging game this weekend,” McDonald said.

“And considering we drew with Kyabram last time, we’re looking to improve on that and get the four points this time around.”

Pillar in defence: Meg Grbac gets a pass away.

Other results were:

B-GRADE

Seymour 48 def Shepp Bears 40

The opening quarter was tight until the Lions took a small lead just before the first break.

The Bears came out firing in the second quarter and took a six-goal lead before the Lions worked themselves back into the game.

Mariah Baumann shot beautifully with support from Lyndel O’Sullivan.

The defensive pressure through the midcourt created turnovers early in the third quarter and the Lions were able to convert them to goals with good transition and patience in wet conditions.

Grace O’Sullivan took control in the attacking half and fed the ball into the ring with precision.

Georgia Engel and Courtney Aldous applied the pressure in the defence end and forced the Bears to make errors.

It was a gutsy win after a one-goal loss in round five.

The Seymour Jewellers award went to Lucy Zotti and the Café 96 award went to Mariah Baumann.

Walking the tightrope: Mariah Baumann keeps the ball in play. Picture: Wayne Herring.

B-RESERVE

Seymour 35 def by Shepp Bears 63.

The Lions took time to settle into defence against the Bears' tall timber.

Chloe Symons worked hard to contain the Bears' goal shooter.

The pace of the game was slowed in the wet and slippery conditions.

Annika Sutherland shot well and was accurate when the opportunities arose.

The Lions had great start to the third quarter with lovely passages of play.

Sutherland and Bianca Schache shared the workload in the ring and the team finished strong in the cold wet conditions.

Best players were Annika Sutherland, Alicia McLeod and Casey Drummond.

UNDER-17

Seymour 41 def Shepp Bears 36

A wet first half of the game made for a close contest.

Chloe Locke and Bridie Cantwell worked tirelessly in defence and created several opportunities for the Lions to convert and get a jump on the game.

The Lions turned it on in the "premiership" third quarter and outscored the bears 13-8.

The weather had cleared by three-quarter-time and the Bears found some momentum at the beginning of the last quarter.

The Lions held on to win 41-36, proving they are up to scratch and ready for that finals pressure. The girls are sitting fourth on the ladder with two games to go.

Best players were Bridie Cantwell, Chloe Locke and Rani Curry.

UNDER-15

Seymour 42 def by Shepp Bears 48.

After a 17-goal defeat in round five, the Lions were determined to show the Bears what they were made of.

Great vision from Sophie Conroy and Madi Hager when linking with the attackers down court meant the Lions converted eight goals in the first quarter.

The Lions worked hard all game and chased down every ball to stay with the Bears across the second and third quarters.

At the final break, the Lions were only three goals down.

Unfortunately, the rain came down and the Lions did their best to adjust to a wet weather game.

The Lions gave it their all, but the Bears came out on top with a six-goal win.

The Lions have improved immensely and should be proud of their efforts.

Best players were Jordyn Beattie, Ashlyn Webster and Madi Hager.