Sport

Close but not close enough

by
June 22, 2017

Ellie O'Sullivan was on fire in the ring on Saturday, shooting 30 of the Lions' 42 goals for the match.

Bec Beaton races to the pass from Laura Carland.

Meg Grbac has been pivotal to the Lions'­ defence this season.

After a gruelling few weeks of netball, Seymour was hoping for an upset win at Victoria Park but it wasn’t to be, with the Lions going down by nine goals.

Having lost their past two games by less than 10 goals, the Lions have been striving for those elusive four points to end their losing streak.

On the back of its win against Tatura, Echuca was quick to state its credentials on the game.

Within five minutes of play, the Bombers were up 6-0 and the Lions were left to do the chasing.

Seymour took the game to Echuca regardless, sporting a renewed sense of confidence with Ellie O’Sullivan in goal.

The Lions shot 11 goals to catch up to the Bombers’ 17 and hung with Echuca for the remainder of the match.

The sides shot 12 apiece in the second quarter as the game came into a deadlock.

Seymour managed to hold its own as O’Sullivan’s sharp shooting gave the Lions a chance to turn the game around.

The Lions came within three goals in the third quarter before the scoreline blew back out in Echuca’s favour.

‘‘It is a bit disappointing not to get the win, for a few weeks now we’ve been so close,’’ Seymour coach Laura Carland said.

‘‘All credit to the girls, everyone has been so supportive on-and-off the court and we’re getting closer and closer to getting those four points.’’

Carland, who took over coaching the side this season, has been experimenting with her players in different positions and O’Sullivan’s move into goal-shooter has paid dividends.

‘‘I gave her best on this week,’’ she said.

‘‘I’ve been training her in that position and she’s now our main shooter. I’m not sure she would have been in previous years because she’s quite a nice feeder in.

‘‘It’s been great for her to step up and take on that main shooting role, shooting 30 goals, it’s great to see.’’

In defence, Meg Grbac has been the backbone of the Lions’ line-up in 2017.

‘‘We were lacking drive out of defence and Grbac brought that when I put her into that goal-defence position,’’ Carland said.

Unfortunately for Seymour it was unable to turn the early deficit around.

Echuca increased its lead by a single goal in the third quarter and then again by two goals in the last.

Score: Echuca 51 d Seymour 42.

Best: Ellie O’Sullivan, Meg Grbac, Rosie O’Sullivan.

B-grade

Seymour couldn’t match Echuca at Victoria Park.

The Lions struggled to create chances for their goalers throughout the game and shot far less than their opposition.

The Murray Bombers struck early, shooting 13 goals to seven in the first quarter, to take the advantage with an early six-goal lead.

Without Marlee Koopman in defence, the Lions had to rely on key shooter Georgia Velt to fill the void.

Echuca outplayed the Lions, tripling the Lions’ score with 15 goals to three in the second quarter.

Down but not out, Seymour fought back through Andrea McKenzie and Courtney Aldous in midcourt.

The Lions created more opportunities in the second half, shooting seven goals in the third and fourth quarters, but were unable to take control of the runaway Echuca.

Score: Echuca 59 d Seymour 24.

Best: Andrea McKenzie, Lyndel O’Sullivan, Courtney Aldous.

B-reserve

Despite some great defensive pressure in the ring, Seymour couldn’t put a halt to Echuca’s dominance.

Seymour struggled to transition the ball into attack and could only convert five times in the first quarter.

The Bombers shot 13 goals to take a comfortable lead into the first break.

The Lions remained positive out on the court, despite the mounting deficit, with some great talk and encouragement among players.

Seymour was ultimately outplayed as they scored just twice in the final term to go down by 35 goals.

Score: Echuca 53 d Seymour 18.

Best: Georgia Gregson, Sophie Gregson, Virginia Morgan.

Under-17

Due to player unavailability, Seymour had to forfeit its match against Echuca.

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