KYABRAM thirds coach Tony McDonell summed it up perfectly when he said “we were outclassed. Simple as that”.
But while McDonell’s young Bombers were brushed aside by a more skilful and robust Shepparton United in the GVL thirds premiership showdown on Sunday he was still proud of his young charges.
“It was always going to be hard to beat them (United) but we did win 19 games for the season so we can’t be too unhappy about that. I think we have made a lot of progress this season despite this loss,” said McDonell.
“If you had asked me before the season started if we would play in the grand final I would have said you are kidding so in that respect I’m happy with our season regardless of the result today,” added the Kyabram premiership skipper and club legendary Hall Of Famer.
The Bombers really never got into the hunt in the season decider and were outplayed just about everywhere by the much slicker and skilful and robust United.
With Shepparton United kicking with a three to four goal wind in the first term the Bombers didn’t do a bad job to restrict them to three goals.
But the Bombers failed to take the initiative or capitalise on their chances in the second term when it had the wind at their backs, managing just 1.2 with Dom Watt kicking the only goal.
Although kicking two goals into the wind in third term United kicked six goals with it to take a stranglehold on the flag by the last change.
Few Bombers were able to win their own kicks against their talented and hard running rivals.
Strong onballer Coby McCarthy capped off a fine season by winning the award for the best player over the finals series for all competing teams and was very good again.
He continually got the Bombers moving from the stoppages along with fiercely determined rover Josh Dillon who also never took a backward step all day.
Dom Watt was another Kyabram player to be able to physically match his rivals when in the midfield or on the ball while Zaid Besim also gathered a lot of possessions.
Skipper Nic Darling and Cade Mueller also worked hard to try and stem the tide while ruckmen Matt Price and Ben Napier and flanker McKenzie Ryan held their own.
Curtis Ryan was the best of the forwards with some strong grabs but didn’t get much support.
United dictated terms from the outset and with at least eight players in their line-up who had played at senior level this season (or with the Murray Bushrangers) they were just too classy for the Kyabram boys.
My best for Kyabram were Josh Dillon, Coby McCarthy, Dom Watt, Curtis Ryan, Matt Price, Zaid Besim.
- Gus Underwood