TWO points prevented the strong finishing Bega Bombers seniors taking a finals place ahead of the Narooma AFL Lions on Friday night, having been narrowly beaten by third-placed Pambula in a heartbreaking encounter.
The loss brought fortune to the Narooma Lions who remain one win and considerable percentage ahead of Bega with just the final round to play.
The seniors’ Friday night fortune, alongside the success of the Development Grade (Reserves) and under 15s this season and also the gritty performances of the under 12s has ensured the club will feature in finals for all of its grades. This is a fantastic result for a club that was unable to field a senior side in 2012.
The club has been starved of premiership success since their 1996 under 14s side brought home a flag and excitement is building at Bill Smyth Oval.
Leading the Lion’s hopes is their under 15s side. One win separates them from Pambula. Their percentage is significantly better than Pambula’s though which indicates that their best football can easily trump that of the top side.
The Lion’s Reserves are perhaps their next best chance for a premiership, also sitting in second place on the ladder. Their list has been well managed by assumed coach and club president, Bruce Day and given that they will play the first of their encounters on a different weekend to that of the seniors, they will have the luxury of using players who have qualified for the finals in both grades. This should see at least a grand final berth with hopes for the major prize.
The seniors, at their best are formidable and in one of its matches against the top side, Tathra Sea Eagles were unlucky to get over the line. The team has recently suffered injuries to crucial midfielders including Joe Nugent and Julian Nimmo which will likely be a setback. The seniors performed well without those players last Saturday against second-placed Merimbula Diggers, however and were level on the scoreboard up until three quarter time. If the seniors can get past the first round of the finals they will have climbed a football mountain and will be adequately charged for an attempt at the second step.
The Lions under 12s enter their finals series as extreme underdogs after a tough season in which they fought hard. They go into the series with the benefit of youth, which lends to “anything can happen” scenarios. A number of the players have developed considerably during 2013 and there is a hope amongst the club that they can pull off some upsets.
Results for the Lions were:
Lions seniors 9-13-67 defeated by Diggers 14-10-94
Lions reserves 17-24-126 defeated Diggers 10-1-61
Lions under 15s 11-6-72 defeated Diggers 5-3-33
Lions under 12s 10-2-62 defeated by Diggers 10-2-62
Sapphire Coast AFL
Results round 16
Diggers 14 – 10 – 94 d Narooma 9 – 13 – 67
Tathra 23 – 19 – 157 d Eden 3 – 9 – 27
Pambula 16 – 14 – 110 d Bega 16 – 12 - 108
Narooma 17 – 24 – 126 d Diggers 10 – 1 – 61
Bega 13 – 9 – 81 d Pambula 9 – 8 - 62
Narooma 11 – 6 – 72 d Diggers 5 – 3 – 33