South Morang took the fight up to ladder leader St Mary’s on Saturday, but was outclassed in the second half of the Northern Football league division 3 clash.

While Sam Indian was a strong focal point up forward with five goals, and the margin was less than a kick at half-time, South Morang struggled as the game went on, with St Mary’s taking the win 15.20 (110) to 11.4 (70).

South Morang coach Gary Hall said his young side learnt plenty from the game.

“It was pretty even early, but we had some lapses that let them into the game,” he said. “And as good sides do, they make you pay for it.

“The second quarter things started to swing our way, but with a young side a bit of lack of concentration at vital times cost us.

“It was disappointing to drop away after half-time, but those boys will learn a lot out of that and hopefully improve for next time.”

In difficult conditions, scoring was a challenge in the early stages, but became less so in the second quarter as South Morang enjoyed its best passages of the day.

It kicked 6.1 for the quarter, keeping in touch with the ladder leaders to trail by just four points at half-time.

From there South Morang struggled, with St Mary’s pulling away to a 20-point lead by the final change before stretching away to a comfortable victory.

South Morang held on to fourth place by percentage over Laurimar, but with some players returning from injury, Hall said he was confident of a return to the winners’ list.

“It’s been a bit stop-start, and players going out injured, but we should start getting some players back, which will help us in the run home,” Hall said.

“We’ll get some more leadership on the park and we can add some strength to the team to get the results we’re after.”

Lalor scored a single goal after half-time as it fell slipped to a disappointing loss to Heidelberg West.

The Bloods trailed by just four points at quarter-time and were within touching distance at the half, but a scoreless third quarter rendered them no chance of taking the win as the Hawks claimed the points 13.13 (91)-6.11 (47).