A 29-point win against Seymour at Kings Park on Saturday had Shepparton return to the top of the food chain in the battle of the beastly creatures.
“Seymour beat us last time,” Shepparton coach Troy King said of its 31-point loss to the Lions in round five.
“We were keen to put on a good show at Kings Park and we’re rapt with the win. It evens it one-all.”
Shepparton was on the attack early, but inaccuracy marred its dominance, with the Bears posting 2.6 at quarter-time.
But the visitors quickly rectified the issue to record 7.6 in the remaining three quarters to seal a 9.12 (66) to 5.7 (37) victory.
The win moved the Bears move into outright third with two home-and-away matches remaining, while Seymour remains fifth in imminent danger of sixth and seventh-placed Tatura and Rochester.
In what was Rowan Hiscock’s 250th game, King said it was particularly pleasing to get the win in the veteran’s milestone match.
“The conditions were a bit wet and greasy,” King said. “We spoke about not overusing the footy, just having the one or two handballs. “Speaking to Seymour after the game, I think they overused it a bit. I guess we adapted a bit quicker.” His charges' relentless pressure also impressed the coach.
“Our tackle count was consistent over four quarters, which is a good indicator of our pressure,” King said.
With Seymour boasting an all-star midfield in Jason Cole and Zac Keogh, ruckman Ash Holland proved the cure for the Bears, with the big man named best-on-ground.
“Ash spent about 70, 80 per cent of the game in the ruck, before switching with Harry Boyd down forward,” King said.
“In the ruck, he gave our onballers first use. And around the ground, he takes big grabs at crucial moments and if he doesn’t hold the grab, he makes the contest."Another to impress with his performance was Xavier Stevenson, who was tasked with a massive job of keeping an eye on Cole.
With third to seventh particularly tight in the race to finals, Seymour co-coach Ben Clifton said he was disappointed to come away with a loss, particularly with third place up for grabs for the victors.
“We struggled to connect with one another,” Clifton said.
“It felt like it was going to happen, but it didn’t.
“And our skill level meant we didn’t quite play the way we wanted to.”
But Clifton was full of praise for backline trio Lachie Waite, Dylan Scopel and Aiden Adams.
“Shepparton had about 60 inside 50s. (Our backline) rebounded quite a lot of them, but it didn’t result in scores for us,” he said.
Shepparton will return to Deakin Reserve this Saturday to play fellow top four side Benalla, while Seymour will look to better its one-point win against Mooroopna from round six when the two teams meet again.
Shepparton 2.6, 5.7, 7.10, 9.12 (66)
Seymour 1.1, 3.3, 4.5, 5.7 (37)
Shepparton: David Stretton, Xavier Stevenson 2, Jonty Wardle, Liam Duguid, Nick Allan, Jordan Cox, Joel Brett.
Seymour: Tom Hedley, Kyle Winter-Irving, Zac Keogh, Huw Jones, Tom McConville.
Shepparton: Ash Holland, Xavier Stevenson, Liam Duguid, Ted Lindon, Spencer Small, Matt Brett.
Seymour: Lachie Waite, Aiden Adams, Dylan Scopel, Tom Freeman, Jason Cole, Harrison Wade.