September specialist Nagambie has given unbeaten Tallygaroopna plenty to ponder this week after dumping Stanhope from the premiership race in ruthless fashion in Saturday’s Kyabram District League preliminary final at Lancaster.
The Lakers now take on Tallygaroopna this Saturday in the season decider at Mooroopna, when they will be trying to make it a hat-trick of premierships in their fourth grand final appearance in the past five years.
Stanhope was outplayed just about everywhere by the slick moving Lakers who took control of the game from the 15-minute mark of the first quarter, after the Lions had squandered several chances at the goal mouth which cost them an early scoreboard break.
Fly-in Stanhope forward Rohan Baldock missed three goals early which could have sparked the Lions but once Nagambie took control there was no looking back — and no coming back for Stanhope.
Apart from missed chances on goal Stanhope also helped Nagambie gain the initiative by giving away three 50m penalties in the first half, all which resulted in goals.
Players had to contend with a gale-force wind which swept across the ground in the first half but Nagambie adapted far better to the testing conditions than Stanhope and their skill levels in the conditions were far superior.
Stanhope was brushed aside once Nagambie got on top, and by half-time the game was safely in the Lakers keeping when they held a 56-point buffer.
They were far cleaner with their disposals by both foot and hand and their key playmakers in Ben Hutton, Cam Rooney, the Haysom brothers (Anthony and Danny), Zac Winter-Irving, Dan Fitzpatrick, Mick Shiels and Tom Madden ensured the team’s forwards got the chances to kick a winning score.
And up forward veteran Mick Roberts presented at every opportunity and his four goals were the best contribution in a team which had 10 individual goalkickers on the day.
Nagambie’s defence — led by Mark Nolan, Jackson Hutton, Jarryd Shepherd, Keenan Shepherd and Darryl Harrison — also shut down the Stanhope forward line for most of the game.
Baldock was really the only Stanhope forward to look dangerous on the day and he finished with four second-half goals.
The Stanhope defence was also under siege for most of the game. Stuart Trevana, Mick Coad and Nathan and Alex O’Reilly battled hard to try and stem the flow but it was an impossible mission against the smooth flowing Lakers.
The Lions had their best player in mobile ruckman Steve Woodward, a century goalkicker a few years back for Ardmona thirds.
He got support from fellow ruckman Daniel Flynn and these two players were probably the only Stanhope players to get the better of their opponents on the day.
James Fraser, Lucas White and Jack Young picked up possessions for Stanhope but a lot of Stanhope’s players just didn’t perform to expectations on the day.
With what they showed on Saturday, Nagambie is going to be right in the premiership showdown this Saturday.
Score: Stanhope 6.9 (45) lt Nagambie 17.11 (113).
Goals: Mick Roberts 4, Dan Fitzpatrick 2, Anthony Haysom 2, Ben Hutton 2, Tyrone Muir 1, Danny Haysom 1, Mat Waterson 1, Tom Madden 1, Jarryd Shepherd 1, Cam Rooney 1, Nathan Fothergill 1.
Best: Cam Rooney, Ben Hutton, Dan Fitzpatrick, Zac Winter-Irving, Mick Shiels, Tom Madden.