Tempers got heated but Nagambie's senior football side held its nerve against Lancaster.CHALPAT SONTI April 10, 2014 3:38am
The incident that seemed to spark Nagambie. Trent Muir (left) is held back by runner Brent Sullivan as his teammates take issue with their Lancaster opponents while the Wombats' Tom Davies is attended to after being knocked out due to an awkward fall.
This season’s only two games old but already Nagambie has sent one clear message to the rest of the KDFL — to get through us, you’re going to have to take on a defence-and-a-half.
The Lakers’ press frustrated an opponent for the second week in a row and again that enabled Nagambie to take control of a game in the second half. The end result was a surprisingly easy 59-point victory at Lancaster.
While the Wombats kicked five goals in an even first quarter, they kicked just six for the rest of the game. The home side, like Undera the previous week, found no easy routes anywhere on the field.
The game threatened to boil over in the second term when Trent Muir went up for a spoil as Lancaster’s Tom Davies marked.
Davies fell awkwardly and was knocked out. Players rushed to the scene to confront each other, while Muir’s father Neil and Davies’ parents squared off verbally a few metres away on the sidelines.
Police later appeared at the ground and the upshot of the on-field incident was that Trent Muir was placed on report for striking and Lancaster’s Adrian Dullard similarly so for charging at Muir. Those matters will be heard on Friday.
The incident galvanised the Lakers who — despite being a man short as Muir spent 15 minutes on the sidelines when yellow-carded over the incident — came out after half-time and put the game to bed before the third term was up.
And despite kicking six goals from the midfield, Tommy Stevens was best on ground as much for his defensive work as anything. He was in everything as were others who excelled in aggressive defence like wingman Willie Tranter, Muir and brother Tyrone and Josh Comi.
Further back Jack Williams had another fine game in the heart of defence, as did Ben Hutton at centre half back. Underrated ruckman Mickey Bradbury took on a huge load well and Mick Shiels and Nathan Fothergill were others to shine as part of a team effort.
Coach Linc Sullivan was a late inclusion into the side due to Jason Shiels suffering gastro (see Between the Lines in this week’s Telegraph) and he got a good view of how his side performed.
‘‘We always seem to get an arm wrestle with these games (against the likes of Lancaster) and it was just our good depth and class all over the ground that got us home,’’ he said.
‘‘We just kept edging away. That press works great for us; obviously the forwards have to be on the job to keep it in so when it does come out we have the numbers to get to the contest.
‘‘It worked well last year and we’ve tweaked it a bit.’’
Sullivan wondered what effect the Davies incident might have had on his younger players at the time.
‘‘With something like that you’ve just got to mentally lock yourself in,’’ he said.
‘‘As it turned out, the boys stuck to their guns. All I said at half-time was it’s 90 per cent in the head and your body will follow. Concentrate hard, don’t have any little lapses and if they get momentum stop it. And they did all of that.’’
The Lakers now have their first home game of 2014, hosting Merrigum, which comes off a loss to premier Murchison.
‘‘They’ll be another tough task,’’ Sullivan said. ‘‘They’ve lost no one and gained a few.’’
While it awaits the outcome of the Trent Muir report, Nagambie should go in injury free. Joel Sofi was the only concern with a groin problem but Sullivan was confident he would be fit.
Nagambie5.3, 8.7, 15.13, 20.15 (135)
Lancaster5.3, 6.7, 9.9, 11.10 (76)
‘‘Can anyone wanting to play reserves turn up and train,’’ was the call from coach Andrew Biggs after Saturday’s game, as numbers continue to be a concern.
A Lakers side containing a few short of a gallop and some under-18s backing up battled away but it took its toll after half-time as Lancaster ran away with the game.
Scott Marshall, Rob Auld, Daniel Flynn, Tyson Bush, Bo Kelly and Mitch Winter-Irving were among the side’s best.
Lancaster4.3, 6.5, 11.8, 14.12 (96)
Nagambie2.3, 3.4, 3.4, 3.5 (23)
This was a rematch of the 2013 grand final though both sides bore little resemblance to that game as they struggle for numbers this year.
A bigger Wombats side containing some permit players from Kyabram to make up its numbers always had the upper hand.
Kelly, in his first game for the day, was Nagambie’s best along with Matt Martin, Connor Lyons, Max Lister, Jarryd Shepherd and Michael Watson. Blair Taylor-Lloyd kicked two goals.
Lancaster4.7, 7.7, 12.13, 16.17 (113)
Nagambie0.3, 3.4, 4.5, 5.6 (36)
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Will it be Merrigum or Lancaster?
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