A 22-point loss to Euroa at Tatura on Sunday has put an end to Seymour’s Goulburn Valley Football League finals campaign.
A tight start had the Lions trailing by one point at the end of the first quarter – a physical contest with some big clashes around the ground, including a big clash that left key Lion Nathan Beattie sore for the remainder of the game.
Seymour slotted another two goals in the second term but the Magpies extended their lead by a goal heading into the halftime break, leading 5.7 (37) to 4.7 (31).
Coming out of the break both sides kicked another two goals, but the Magpies’ behinds inched them ahead before a tough final quarter.
Euroa had a strong fourth term in front of goals and although the Lions kicked four of their own, they couldn’t hit the front on the scoreboard and went down 10.14 (74) to 13.18 (96).
Jack O’Sullivan was excellent in the midfield for Seymour alongside Ben Rigoni and Tom O’Sullivan.
Michael Hartley worked hard in the forward line all day, often fending off two or three players at a time, while in the backline James Wooster and Ben Cooney were strong performers.
Jack Murphy was also terrific with his on-field leadership for the young Seymour side, who have about 12 players who have played less than 50 senior games and only seven players who have played in a senior final.
Seymour head coach Ben Davey said the day was ‘a bit of a rollercoaster’.
“You get right into the game and the pre-game – it’s all exciting times because we’ve got such an exciting group of players,” he said.
“Then during the game they play so well in stages but there’s also times where things don’t go to plan, so it’s a real rollercoaster of emotions. Then when you finally lose it’s a big disappointment.
“I feel deeply for the players because they worked so hard. There was no one out there you couldn’t say wasn’t trying. Everyone was absolutely giving it their best shot.
“They worked so hard from November to get into finals. Every season there’s 12 teams and only one can be the winner and it’s a bitter pill to take.
“Even though you know those odds are there, to put yourself in a position to win in the finals and it doesn’t go the way you planned, it rips your heart out.”
Davey said the game was a great contest played in great spirit.
“It just gets to the stage where it’s so even and you’re into the last quarter. You’re playing to win so you’ve got to roll the dice at some stage, and unfortunately a few times it went the wrong way for us and then you’re playing catch up from that point on,” he said.
The senior teams had finished in second place at the end of the home and away season, winning 16 out of 18 games.
Davey said he could see a lot of ‘team success on the horizon starting to build’.
“I think that’s an outstanding year in the home and away season and we’re very proud of the way we played. It’s just unfortunate that finals is a different beast and we were inexperienced,” he said.
“They’re going to learn a lot from that and be stronger for it.”
Euroa will go on to play Kyabram in the preliminary final on Sunday with the winner to face Echuca in the grand final the following week.
Seymour’s Reserves, who finished undefeated and on top of the ladder, secured a grand final appearance after a three-point win over Shepparton United.
At quarter time, Seymour had a two-goal lead before extending it out to 15 points at halftime.
The Lions displayed moments of control and dominance, asserting their authority on the field in sporadic bursts.
However despite Seymour’s efforts, Shepparton United did not give up, and were resolute in defence.
Halfway through the final term, the Lions dropped their lead but were able to claw back in front to take the win 6.10 (46) to 6.7 (43) and secure a ticket to the grand final on Sunday, September 24.
Tayte Lewis, Alexander Elliott, captain Max McLean, Nicholas Davey and Lucas Cannizzo were named best for the Lions.
The Lions will face the winner of the preliminary final between Shepparton United and Kyabram.
Seymour B Grade netballers will play in a preliminary final this Sunday following a two-goal loss to Echuca, going down 45-47 goals in the semi-final at Euroa on Saturday.
Ashlyn Webster was the lead goal-scorer for Seymour with 21, supported by Shona Gesler with 16 and Kathryn Dundon with eight.
Seymour will now face Shepparton Bears on Sunday in a preliminary final for a chance to secure a grand final place in what would be a rematch with Echuca.