Sport

Mansfield too strong in high country against Shepp Swans

By Aydin Payne

A final quarter goal-fest from Mansfield on Saturday has lifted the Eagles into the top six on the Goulburn Valley League ladder.

Mansfield booted nine goals in its fourth quarter barrage against the Shepparton Swans, to run out 99-point winners at Mansfield Recreation Reserve.

It was an emphatic victory for the Eagles, with key forward James Lawton kicking seven goals, along with four each to Will Foster and Tom German.

Mansfield’s Tas Clingan (one goal) was at his best, but it was German and Foster who starred for the home side, with the duo combining for five goals in the opening quarter.

A breeze favoured Mansfield in the first term and it piled on six goals to one, before the Swans wrestled the margin back to 18 points at the long break.

But that would be the closest the visitors were able to come for the rest of the game, as the home side slotted 15 goals in the second half to return to the winner’s list in style.

‘‘I thought Tommy (German) was terrific around the stoppages with his clearance work and his finishing was top class,’’ Mansfield coach Andrew Browne said.

‘‘I thought it was a great performance from the boys, the way they handled a hot game of football at the start to then kick away was pleasing.

‘‘Our ability to control the game for four quarters is something we have worked hard on and to see that happen was great.

‘‘I feel we are starting to jell as a side now and I feel I’ve probably settled into the role of playing coach as well.’’

For the Swans, midfielder Quade Johnstone fought bravely — kicking two goals — while Andrew Riordan, Tom Preece and Zac Alderton provided a helping hand.

Swans coach Paul Hawke said the disappointing final term took the gloss off in a game that had only a few positives for his side.

‘‘I felt we had a reasonably good second term and even the three-quarter-time margin was still within reach,’’ he said.

‘‘But the margin blew out in the final term, we lifted in intensity and we just fell away with our resilience.

‘‘We have a couple of areas we need to tidy up, our clearance work and ball movement needs to get to the level that Mansfield played at, I thought they were quite good in those areas.

‘‘But we had plenty of young blokes running around, playing against bigger bodies and it’s all learning for them.’’

The Swans’ low percentage has them bottom of the ladder after seven rounds, while the Eagles are wedged in fifth with four wins.

Mansfield 6.7, 8.10, 14.15, 23.18 (156)

Shepparton Swans 1.0, 5.5, 7.6, 8.9 (57)

Goals

Mansfield: James Lawton 7, Tom German 4, Will Foster, Andrew Browne 2, James Herridge, Tas Clingan 1, Jamie Sheahan, Josh Marton, Thomas Gardiner.

Shepparton Swans: Rob Staff 2, Quade Johnstone, Rylen Damianopoulos 1, Nathan Rachele, Ian Fry, Andrew Riordan.

Best

Mansfield: Tom German, Tas Clingan, Will Foster, James Herridge, James Lawton, Brant Anselmi.

Shepparton Swans: Quade Johnstone, Andrew Riordan, Tom Preece, Zac Alderton, Rylen Damianopoulos, Jack Threlfall.