The Narooma Lions’ under 12s kicked off Sapphire Coast AFL Grand Final day with a heart-stopping three-point win over the Bermagui Breakers.
Ryan Simper kicked three goals for the Lions, who were forced to withstand waves of pressure in the final quarter of their 4.2 (26) to 3.5 (23) win.
The Lions started the game well, kicking an early goal to jump out to a quick lead. They continued that dominance throughout the first five minutes, but couldn’t scrounge another goal despite peppering Bermagui’s defensive 50.
The Breakers eventually worked their way back into the match, and found a well-deserved goal to bring the deficit back to a single point.
Narooma would have the final say of the quarter with a goal inside the last 30 seconds to give the Lions a seven-point lead at quarter time.
Bermagui pushed hard early in the second quarter, as they dominated both possession and territory for the first five minutes.
That dominance was rewarded through a goal about six minutes in after the Breakers won a contested footy right on the goal line and snapped a major.
Narooma hit back almost immediately, as a clean centre clearance led to a strong mark on the lead from Ryan Simper. Simper kicked truly from a slight angle to give the Lions and eight-point lead at half time.
The match stayed tight in the third quarter, as neither side managed to string multiple possessions together.
The Lions got the first goal of the stanza through Ryan Simper, but Bermagui hit back through Clancy Ballard to make it a seven-point game at three-quarter time.
Bermagui got a pep talk from their coach Luke Moresi at three-quarter time, and they responded early in the last with a sustained period of dominance.
The Breakers had multiple opportunities to score in the last, but some inaccurate kicking kept the Lions in front.
The Lions eventually broke through the Breakers’ press, and wound down the clock with a series of contested marks down the left wing.
Lions’ fans stormed the field after the final siren, while Breakers fans were left to rue wasted opportunities in the final quarter.
Narooma’s ruckman Jarra Weston was awarded the player-of-the-match award, as he dominated the ruck contest and took a number of key marks in the last quarter.