Tallygaroopna oust Avenel in overtime in KDL ressies grand final

By Meg Saultry

In a grand final, sometimes losing by a lot can hurt a lot less than coming within an inch of glory.

For Avenel's reserves, a six-point loss to Tallygaroopna in overtime will sting for days.

But hopefully it will fuel the playing group to come together and seek redemption next season.

After finishing the season minor premiers - an impressive effort considering the club finished the 2018 season in 11th with only three wins - Avenel set about rectifying a semi final loss to Tallygaroopna when the two teams met again in a final battle.

Avenel back to its best in preliminary win over Nagambie

In a tight first quarter, Avenel's Cam Berry found the big sticks on two occasions before the Redlegs took the slimmest of margins into the quarter break.

As had been the case all year, Avenel coach Joey Pollock asked his team for '100 per cent relentless effort' in the huddle, and the Swans responded, with Berry slotting his third and Jake Sutherland getting in on the action to give Avenel a five-point buffer at half time.

Not out of the woods yet: Avenel's Nathan Woods tries to spin out of trouble from Tallygaroopna's Samuel Scott.

With Tallygaroopna kicking towards the scoring end in the third though, the Redlegs slammed home five goals to one to lead by 20 ahead of the final term.

But in a final game-saving effort, Avenel closed the gap with three final goals - including one in the 17th minute - to level the scores at full time.

Heading into overtime (two five-minute quarters) Avenel desperately tried to break open the game once again, but a final Redlegs goal sunk any glimpse of hope the Swans faithful had.

Despite grand final heartbreak, Pollock said he could not be prouder of his team.

“I can’t fault the effort, and that is all I ask for,” Pollock said.

“I said before the game, to make me a promise that when you come off the field, to make sure you are content with what you gave, and they did.

“It was a committed effort from 22 blokes. Unfortunately, we just came up short.”

Pollock said the Swans had their moments to crack open the game, but it just didn't eventuate.

“We had opportunities during the day, which perhaps we just didn’t capitalise on,” the coach said.

“Footy is pretty simple, it’s about converting when you have momentum.

“We had enough momentum but couldn’t convert.”

With the season now over, Pollock - in his first season in charge of the twos side - reflected on what had been a pretty successful season for the club.

“It’s been seriously enjoyable,” he said.

“We’ve just bonded, we’ve enjoyed our footy and enjoyed hanging around socially together.

“That is what footy clubs are about for me.”

Final score: Tallygaroopna 9.7-61 def Avenel 8.7-55

Avenel goals: C. Berry 4, J. Sutherland 2, N. Woods, T. Heaysman

Avenel's best: L. McKenzie, T. Heaysman, L. Drummond, C. Thomson, C. Williams, C. Berry