After a nervous start, Seymour kicked away to a 42-point win over Benalla on Saturday, securing a double chance in the process.
Despite going in to the game favourites, the Lions looked in trouble early at Tatura Park.
Brent Colbert’s men barely touched the ball in the first 15 minutes of play as Benalla kicked the first three goals of the quarter to open up a 20-point lead.
Dylan Scopel seemed out of sorts after perforating his eardrum against Euroa the previous week. He struggled to keep his balance on Saturday and the Saints’ Jarrod Bannister took full advantage.
Bannister booted two goals in the first quarter and six for the match as the Lions struggled to stem the steady supply of service to the tall forward.
A beautiful delivery from Andrew Sturgess to ruckman Brandyn Grenfell broke the Lions’ silence as he went back and kicked Seymour’s first goal of the match.
Ben Clifton snagged a goal moments later and the Lions were suddenly back within a goal.
Two late goals — James Falcone’s perfect snap from a tight angle in the forward pocket and a long bomb from Rory Scopel — gave Seymour a one-point lead at the first break.
Although it looked as if Seymour had begun to control the tempo, with Jake Anderson snagging the first two goals of the second quarter, it soon all fell apart for the Lions.
With the free-kick count heavily weighed in Benalla’s favour, Seymour looked frustrated and the Saints’ combination of Bannister and Lachlan Thompson kicked the next four majors of the match.
Seymour was fortunate to trail by just 10 points at half-time, with Bannister missing two late set shots.
The mood was grim in Seymour’s camp at half-time.
Nothing seemed to be going right for the Lions and many would have been questioning whether the elimination final was the beginning and the end of their finals campaign.
Colbert was critical of the team but spurred on his players with words of encouragement at half-time.
The third quarter began in even worse fashion, with the Lions looking sloppy and giving away two cheap goals which Benalla were able to walk-in.
But the turning point came at the 11-minute mark.
With his side’s back up against the wall, Colbert moved Jason Cole out of the forward pocket and into the middle.
In what was only his second game back after a hamstring injury ruled him out for the season, Cole had an immediate impact on the game.
After taking a mark on the 50m arc, he went back and kicked truly to put the Lions back to within two points.
The crowd roared, as did Cole’s teammates as they got around him, and the Lions sniffed a chance.
A minute later Cole picked out Jack Murphy, who got the ball to Rhys Clarke.
Clarke fumbled initially but recovered to kick his first goal and put Seymour back in the lead for the first time since the second quarter.
The Lions were on and, with the momentum on their side, kicked six unanswered goals to end the third quarter.
It was an inspired seven-goal-to-two term, giving Seymour a 26-point lead at three-quarter time.
The Lions’ domination continued on the other side of the break.
Hugh Robertson sailed one in from deep in the forward-flank, and moments later took a miraculous one-handed grab as he ran in toward the boundary line.
He kicked to Jake Anderson, setting him up for his fifth of six goals for the match.
Dylan Scopel was back to his former self, marking and kicking the ball with enthusiasm.
The Saints weren’t completely written off, kicking four goals of their own for the quarter, but were still outdone by the Lions’ six majors.