Lacklustre win

May 24, 2017

Jason Cole drives the ball forward.

Seymour players put in a group effort to stop United’s Matt Sprangher.

Matthew O’Keefe leads the team out in his 200th game.

Seymour came away with a twilight win against Shepparton United on Saturday, but inconsistent performances continue to plague the side.

Having played just one night game in the past 10 years — an Anzac Day match against Euroa — the twilight format was a new experience for most of the Lions.

‘‘It was strange starting in the daylight and finishing when it’s dark, but it was a really good experience,’’ Seymour coach Brent Colbert said.

The twilight experience was one of the few positive to take away from the game for the Lions.

A superb first quarter from the young and spirited Demons had Seymour on the back foot.

United’s pressure kept Seymour in a struggle to maintain possession and the Dees were rewarded on the scoreboard.

Trailing by six points at quarter-time, the Lions came out needing to respond — and they did.

Seymour lifted dramatically in the second and third quarters, restricting Shepparton United to just two points in the second.

With momentum on its side, Seymour kicked a much-needed four goals in the second and six goals in the third quarter to push the lead out to 38 points by the final change.

‘‘We set ourselves up in that second and third quarter, and we probably had to,’’ Colbert said.

‘‘We hadn’t been playing good footy up until that point and we probably didn’t finish the way we would have liked, either.’’

Colbert was pleased with the way his side responded but wasn’t content with just getting the job done.

The Lions trailed off in the final quarter, allowing United to kick four goals while they were unable to register a single major.

Shepparton United had the lion’s share of the ball and trimmed the lead back to 19 points.

It was a disappointing finish to what could have been a good percentage-boosting win.

Seymour spearhead Saad Saad kicked seven goals for the game. Often opportunistic in his scoring, Saad kicked most of his goals from set shots.

Delivery into the forward line from Seymour’s mids provided Saad with a steady supply of the ball despite an extra defender tagging him through most of the first and second quarters.

When asked whether defenders tagging Saad could prove a liability for the Lions, Colbert said the side did not deliberately go out and kick to him every single time, he just seemed to find the right spots.

When the United defence pushed deep in the first and second quarters, Hugh Robertson was there to provide another option.

‘‘He’s a different kind of player to Saad, he drags a lot of players with him,’’ Colbert said.

Rory Scopel has been another reliable option up forward and the likes of Jimmy Falcone, Jordan Hockley and Harry McLean have also proved their place in the side.

‘‘We don’t have a heavy reliance on him (Saad) and if he were to have a quiet game we’ve got a lot of guys to cover that,’’ Colbert said.

Ben Clifton put in another good performance in what’s been an incredible season so far, while the Lions’ captain Matty O’Keefe played his 200th game for the club.

Seymour remains undefeated and in second place on the ladder, behind premiership favourite Kyabram.

This sets up a highly anticipated top-of-the-table clash at Kings Park this week where the Bombers will look to end the Lions’ undefeated streak and reinstate their premiership credentials.

‘‘It’s definitely going to be a tough task,’’ Colbert said.

‘‘We’re definitely not setting the world on fire with our performances. You have a five or 10-minute bad patch against Kyabram and it could cost you the game.’’

Colbert will be hoping his Lions can overcome the inconsistency that’s hampered their performances in recent weeks.

‘‘It’s a matter of narrowing the gap between our best and average football,’’ Colbert said.

‘‘And that’s going to be our message this week because against a side like Kyabram anything less than four quarters isn’t good enough.’’

The Lions escaped with no injuries, and expect to see Brett Meredith and Andrew Sturgess back in the side this week.

Score: Shepparton United 11.6 (72) lt Seymour 13.13 (91)

Goals: S. Saad 7; R. Scopel 3; H. Robertson 2; B. Clifton

Best: B. Clifton, S. Saad, B. Colbert, H. Robertson, R. Scopel, J. Cole.

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