Swans could miss home final

LISMORE will host the Summerland AFL’s semi-finals double-header this month, but the city’s football team may be forced to watch it all from the sidelines should their form not improve.

The SAFL have allocated its finals venues this week with Lismore, the Tweed Coast and Ballina hosting the three-week series.

The first and second semi-finals will be played as a double-header at Lismore’s Oakes Oval on Saturday, August 28.

The preliminary final will be held at Roundhouse Mountain Oval a week later on September 4, and Ballina’s Fripp Oval will host the grand final on Saturday, September 11.

But the Swans may not feature in any of them due to a horror run that began in early July.

Lismore haven’t had a win in five weeks of football (discounting its meaningless win over perennial strugglers Nimbin in between) and only four premiership points is keeping them in the top four of the six-team SAFL.

And the Swans have just two home-and-away matches to turn things around – both away games – starting with Ballina on Saturday and Byron the following week.

The early season high-flyers have been decimated by injuries and unavailability to key players during the second half of the season.

Couple that with a demoralising five-match losing streak and its anxious times at Swanville.

Regardless of why, ‘poor’ was how frustrated player-coach George Massa described Lismore’s plight.

“We are in danger of missing the finals and it would be disappointing if we were watching on from the sidelines at Oakes Oval,” Massa said.

“It would just be a shame for all that hard work to go to waste.

“There are no excuses from us; we’re just not playing good enough football.

“I guess it’s been really frustrating because we started the year so well but have totally dropped off. The form slump’s extend for the last six to seven weeks while the other sides have picked up in form heading into the finals.”

Massa, who puts his lithe frame on the line time and again for his team, wants an across-the-board lift from the Swans.

“We want to turn things around; we need a bit of inspiration from key and experienced players and for the entire side to step up and do their bit,” he said.

“The boys have to work harder for four quarters of football; we have to run for four quarters and not just in 10-minute bursts then drop off. We need consistency and accountability.”

Bouncedown for the semi-final double-header at Oakes Oval is 12.30pm for the first game and 2.15pm for the second.

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