DESPITE Bendigo Senior Secondary College’s last quarter efforts, it wasn’t enough to beat Box Hill in Sunday’s School Sport Victoria premier league boys’ football grand final at the MCG.
In wet and cold conditions, the BSSC Lions battled to halt the Hawks dominance throughout the first half.
Box Hill led by 50 points early in the final quarter.
Bendigo SSC showed a lot of pride and scored four goals in the last 15 minutes of the contest.
Final scores: Box Hill Secondary College 11.12 (78) d Bendigo Senior Secondary College 6.9 (45).
Bendigo SSC Lions’ coach David Newett said his players could walk off the ground with their heads held high.
“For many it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to play on the MCG,” he said.
“It has taken a couple of years to get here, so I’m really proud of all their efforts.”
Newett said the difference between the two sides was Box Hill’s pressure and intent from the first bounce.
“They were well on top of the clearances and it was only through our good defence that they didn’t score as much as they did, especially early on,” he said.
“I think they beat us in the inside 50 count.
“We were well down in that area.
“Full credit to them. They used the ball better and had the better pressure.”
Newett said the Lions lifted in the final quarter.
“We could have gone one of two ways in that last quarter,” he said.
“We could have given up and been beaten by 10 goals and come away with a really dissapointing performance on the MCG.
“They decided to fight the game out.
“They listened to instructions, got the ball moving forward, put them under pressure and made some good opportunities.”
One of the goals of the game came from Bendigo’s Lachlan Ryan in the last quarter.
The youngster from South Mildura kicked a goal from the boundary line, 20 metres out.
Fergus Payne booted two goals in the final quarter.
A key player for the Pioneers and Strathfieldsaye, Payne finished the game well.
Daniel Davie from Kyneton also added to BSSC’s tally.
Justin Laird scored Bendigo’s only goal in the first half while Daniel Paterson kicked the Lions second in the third quarter.
Newett said if the Lions had played with the same intensity after half-time the game may have been closer heading into the final quarter.
“We took the momentum off them, but it was all little too late,” he said.
“There were certain patches we played really well.
“We got it inside, 50 but we could not put that scoreboard pressure on.
“We couldn’t capitalise on our defensive work.
Matthew Pickering from Lake Boga was named the best player for Bendigo.
Newett also praised the efforts of Davie, Mildura Imperials' Jayden Fox and Eaglehawk's Justin Bateson.
“Across the board there were a couple of players who contributed really well, but there weren’t too many four quarter performances.”
The Bendigo Senior Secondary College Lions were unbeaten in the pool division of the SSV competition.
Bendigo SSC beat Lake View, Essendon-Keilor, and won a great battle with Catholic College Bendigo at Epsom-Huntly by four points.
The Lions then kicked on to defeat Hallam in the semi-final at Collingwood’s Victoria Park and earn the right to fight for the premiership trophy,.