Lavington Panthers not up to it, says Yarrawonga's Barnes | Photos

YARRAWONGA co-coach Drew Barnes has all but ruled Lavington out as a premiership threat after the Pigeons sank the Panthers by 29 points in Saturday’s qualifying final.

Barnes, who won’t play again this year because of an Achilles injury, said Yarrawonga had gone into its weekend clash confident that Lavington would crack under pressure in the dying stages.

The Pigeons kicked six of the game’s final seven goals to storm to victory at W.J. Findlay Oval.

“We just knew that if we could stay with them, there’s probably a high percentage that they’re going to crack late,” Barnes said in a candid assessment of the opposition after the game.

“We’ve seen that over the last few years.

“In these big games, they seem to fade out.

“I don’t know what it is.”

Barnes said winning Saturday’s contest was always going to prove vital to the Pigeons’ premiership chances.

The past eight premiers have come through the second semi-final.

“It’s very important,” he said.

“If you drop this game, I think can you almost shut the door on that premiership.

“It’s probably a long way back for Lavington now.

“They’ve dropped a couple of close games, so there will be some boys questioning what’s going on there, I think.

“It showed today that they break down in a few areas.”

Barnes said the two-time defending premier couldn’t wait to face off against nemesis Albury in the grand final qualifier at Corowa on Saturday.

Last year’s Did Simpson medallist said the Pigeons were out to prove a point.

“Last time we played them, they towelled us, really,” Barnes said.

“But we did have a good second half in that game and that was probably where we turned our season around and tried to build some momentum.

“It’s going to be good to have a crack at them because the last four or five weeks, we have played really good football.”