It was another case of so close, yet so far for Seymour’s A-grade on Saturday, which fell agonisingly short against league powerhouse Shepparton Swans.
The Lions were in touch with the Swans for the entire first half and trailed by a solitary goal at half-time, 22-21.
But the Lions slipped away in the second half — something coach Laura Carland admits is becoming a concerning trend for her side — to ultimately go down by 11 goals, 41-30.
‘‘Our fitness has a lot to do with it, we can’t seem to play at the same intensity for four quarters,’’ Carland said.
‘‘Once we start to struggle slightly we drop our heads and really get down within ourselves, which is a bit of a shame because we know we can match it with the other teams when we are playing at our best.’’
Ellie O’Sullivan has found her niche at goal-shooter this season, but returned to goal-attack on Saturday and didn’t miss a beat — shooting 17 of her side’s 30 goals.
The nimble goaler was perhaps buoyed by the return of her cousin and fellow Lions premiership player Rosie O’Sullivan, who returned to the side last week and has added an extra dimension to the Lions’ midcourt stocks.
‘‘(Rosie) just feeds so well, especially to Ellie. You can tell they’ve been playing together for many years,’’ Carland said.
‘‘Ellie was brilliant again this week. We put her out to goal-attack this week, but she still played her main role of holding while in there, and we had Bec Beaton playing a moving goal-shooter role, which you don’t see too often.’’
The scoreline could have been even worse following the second-half fade-out, if it weren’t for some brilliant defensive efforts from Meg Grbec.
Grbec has been a pillar in defence for the Lions this season, and Saturday was no exception.
Grbec took a wealth of intercepts in the back third, and was able to rebound a number of the Swans’ missed shots on goal.
Seymour remains in 11th place on the ladder with just one win for the season. The going doesn’t get any easier this weekend, with a match against second-placed Shepparton awaiting the Lions.
B-grade was no match for Shepp Swans, going down by 20 goals.
The Lions’ plight wasn’t helped by an injury to star goaler Lyndel O’Sullivan, who went off early in the first quarter and didn’t return.
It forced Carland to do a reshuffle of her charges on court, with Georgia Velt moving into goals alongside Mariah Baumann.
Velt had started the game in defence with Marlee Koopman, with the duo strong for the opening stages of the match.
Courtney Aldous has been integral to the Lions’ B-grade since switching to the side from A-grade — and Saturday was no exception.
The young star provided a lot of talk in the defensive third and through the midcourt, and created a number of opportunities for her side through turnovers.
Andrea McKenzie and Mia Feery were also impressive, but the Lions just couldn’t match it with the Swans.
Seymour had some positive passages of play at stages during Saturday’s match, but couldn’t keep up to the pace of the impressive Shepp Swans and went down by 56 goals.
Brodie Gunton and Natalia Morgan worked hard in the goal ring, but their opportunities were few and far between with the Swans controlling play across the court.
Virginia Morgan and Sophie Gregson were also impressive for the Lions in the hefty loss.
A final-quarter fade-out from Seymour put a halt to its chances of an upset win over Shepp Swans.
The sides were on level pegging at quarter-time and the Lions were right in the match until three-quarter-time, when they trailed by just three goals, but a 16-4 last quarter blew the scoreline right out.
Chloe Symons was outstanding under heavy fire in defence, while up the other end Sophie Locke was making every chance count in the goal ring — potting 25 of her side’s 36 goals.
New player Madison Albers slotted in to the team well, playing in goals with Sophie.
Olivia Barry was another to star for the Lions in the 15-goal loss.