Avenel’s confidence will be sky high after knocking off another premiership contender on Saturday.
The Swans overcame a slow start to defeat Tallygaroopna by two points, taking them to 10 wins from 12 games.
In doing so, Avenel has locked in fifth spot, and will play either Tallygaroopna or Stanhope — both sides that the Swans have beaten in the past month — in the elimination final in a fortnight’s time.
Tallygaroopna came out all guns blazing in Saturday’s match to register four goals within the first 10 minutes, before Avenel steadied and kicked the next three to trail by 10 points at the first break.
‘‘Tally came out on fire, they had a real intensity about them and we just didn’t match that early,’’ Swans coach Don Stirling said.
‘‘They are jostling for one of those top few positions and they came out playing like that, but our boys started matching that intensity and we kicked the last three of the (first) term to tighten the margin back up.’’
Three goals apiece in the second term kept the scoreline relatively steady at half time, but it was the Swans’ second half which turned the game on its head — despite having only one on the bench for the majority of the second half.
Key forward Andy Green sustained a calf injury and took no further part after half time, while nimble midfielder Mitch Thomas suffered concussion in a marking contest in the Swans’ forward 50m early in the third quarter.
Thomas lay motionless on the ground for 30 seconds before being helped off the field, and he too took no further part.
The limited rotations did little to hamper the Swans, who were able to chip away at Tallygaroopna’s lead with a four-goal-to-two third term to hold a two-point buffer at the final change.
Avenel continued to dominate around the ground in the last quarter, getting out to as much as a 19-point lead, but Tallygaroopna kept coming, pegging two late goals to bring the margin back to eight points before the siren sounded.
A Redlegs kick after the siren resulted in another goal for the home side, and a two-point win for the Swans.
‘‘I think we just had a bit more intensity around the contest (in the second half), in the first half there was a lot of missed tackles and a few dropped marks and things like that,’’ Stirling said.
‘‘Everyone kind of knuckled down after half time and our ball use was much better.’’
Chris Burton was once again the go-to man up forward.
He was marking everything that came his way and ended the day with five goals, taking his season tally to 55 goals.
Up the other end, it was the ever-reliable Scott Tyers who was dominant once again.
The high-flying backman took a number of crucial marks in the Redlegs’ forward 50m and provided a lot of run out of defence for the Swans.
After a slow start to the season, hard-nosed midfielder Michael McKenzie put in another impressive performance to also be among the Swans’ best.
This week the seniors will enjoy a week’s break before finals kick off, with the club’s reserves and thirds sides facing Ardmona.
‘‘The week off definitely gives us a freshen up before finals,’’ Stirling said.
‘‘If we do keep going through September we have to win every game we play, and after the weekend I think there’s a few sore bodies getting around so the week off is probably a good thing.’’
Swans forward-cum-defender Ollie Gabelich missed Saturday’s match through illness, while Grant Hateley (overseas) and Michael Berry (hamstring) returned in the reserves match after missing more than a month of footy.
Stirling expects all three to be knocking on the door of senior selection if they get through this weekend’s match against Ardmona.
Score: Tallygaroopna 13.12 (90) lt Avenel 14.8 (92).
Goals: C. Burton 5; N. Thomas 3; C. McCarthy 2; M. Thomas, D. Stirling, M. Lawrence, J. Rowlands.
Best: S. Tyers, M. McKenzie, D. Stirling, L. Drummond, M. Lawrence, P. Arandt
Avenel couldn’t match it with undefeated ladder-leader Tallygaroopna, going down by 89 points.
The Swans kept in touch early, trailing by just nine points at the first break, but could only muster one goal thereafter while the Redlegs slammed on a further 14 majors after quarter time to record the convincing win.
Ben Williams booted two of the Swans’ three goals to be among his side’s best.
The loss put an end to the Swans’ slim chance of a finals berth, and will play their last game this week against Ardmona.
Score: Tallygaroopna 17.9 (111) d Avenel 3.4 (22).
Goals: B. Williams 2; S. Richardson.
Best: B. Williams, C. Hogan, C. Cates, T. Richardson, T. Peacock, M. Baker.
Avenel suffered an agonising one-point loss to Tallygaroopna.
The Swans led at every change — by seven points at quarter time, two at half time and eight points at three-quarter time — but just couldn’t quite get the job done in the last term against the powerful Redlegs outfit.
Tallygaroopna finished with all the running to cement a top-two spot on the ladder, while Avenel will have to settle for third spot.
Liam Stevens was the star for the Swans up forward with four majors, while Cooper Eeles was also impressive.
Score: Tallygaroopna 8.8 (56) d Avenel 8.7 (55).
Goals: L. Stevens 4; T. Howe 2; B. Tempest, A. Dowling.
Best: C. Eeles, W. Dundon, C. Thomson, L. Stevens, T. Long, J. Grierson.