Seymour's A-grade netball side has had a tough year, but performed well at Mansfield on Saturday.By Chalpat Sonti
If, as coach Ash Chapman says, you’re remembered by your last performance then Seymour’s A-grade netball side should take some positives into 2014.
The Lions lost 55-30 at top-of-the-table Mansfield on Saturday in a game of distinctly two halves.
Seymour started poorly and was way behind the eight-ball. At half-time Chapman set his side to winning the last two quarters.
The Lions narrowly lost the third term but won the last to finish on a positive note.
Standouts included defender Sarah Szczykulski who continued to show how good she could be in her first full season in senior netball.
Chapman said she would eventually be ‘‘every goaler’s worst nightmare’’. Her rebounding was a highlight on Saturday. Best-and-fairest winner Sarah Douglas also shone and Millie Brock played in the unfamiliar goal attack role but shot 15 goals.
‘‘We really wanted to make that last quarter a quarter to remember and there were a lot of positives to take out of the game,’’ Chapman said.
‘‘To see the young players grow throughout the game was fantastic. We’ve laid the foundations for what’s going to be a great year next year.’’
The loss consigned Seymour to 10th place on the ladder, but the season was a better effort than it looked, given the loss of so much of the finals-contending side of the past two years.
And Chapman, who has been reappointed to the role, likes what he sees.
‘‘We were competitive in the second half of the year and we learned from our mistakes,’’ he said.
‘‘From my perspective I think the club’s heading in the right direction and I’m excited about next year.’’
That will start early too, with pre-season training from mid-November and selections in December.
‘‘We’d encourage any player to come along and put their hand in the ring to be selected. We’re going to have fit athletes and players able to execute the game plan. By the end of the year (2014) we’re going to be a powerhouse club.’’B-GRADE
Playing indoors was too much of an adjustment for the B-grade side, which lost 44-28.
The result — in shooter Sarah Brown’s 200th game for the club — mattered little as both Seymour and the Eagles were certain to finish fifth and sixth.
Coach Cathy McInerney, who hoped the bad came before the good as the Lions prepare to face Shepparton Swans in an elimination final, said her side had enough of the ball but ‘‘unfortunately we just couldn’t put the score on the board’’.
‘‘Sometimes you have games like that where you just struggle to convert,’’ she said.
Standout players included midcourters Andrea McKenzie and Kelly Smith and defender and best-and-fairest winner Jasmine Smith.
The Swans beat the Lions by 12 last time the sides met but McInerney said ‘‘in the end we gave the game to them’’.
‘‘At training we’ll talk about that and will work out who did what and where we’ve got to match up and work hard. Last time our defenders put pressure on their goalers and that was enough to turn the ball over.
‘‘It’s on neutral ground with neutral umpires and finals are a different ball game. It doesn’t matter what’s happened during the year, we want to go to that next step.’’B-RESERVE
The Lions wanted to end the year strong but found it tough going in a 37-17 defeat which saw the side finish ninth.
Coach Tegan Hansen said the side also had difficulty adjusting to the court as well as the Mansfield defensive pressure.
‘‘Once we adjusted we started to play better but we let them get too far ahead of us,’’ she said.
‘‘But I’m really proud of the girls. At some stage throughout the game each and every one of them did something I asked them to do and they tried really hard.’’
Standouts included Isabella Morgan, best-and-fairest winner Demi Cox and Emily Martin.UNDER-17
The Lions ensured themselves second spot with a comfortable 66-22 win, but once again the goals were more than just about winning.
‘‘When you’re playing a bottom side the girls just set their own tasks,’’ stand-in coach Pauline O’Sullivan said.
And for Seymour the main one was to keep the Eagles to under 20 goals.
While that wasn’t quite achieved the Lions set the tone of the game and controlled it. Standouts included Aimee Grant-Miller especially for her one percenters, defender Chene Clydesdale and shooter Rosie O’Sullivan.
The side is now playing for a grand final berth when it meets top-of-the-table Shepparton United on Sunday.
‘‘It’s going to be a great game,’’ Pauline O’Sullivan said.
‘‘We’ve never played them with a full side and the girls are really looking forward to it.’’
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