Sunbury Lions coach Adam Boldiston didn’t mince his words after the Lions’ Ballarat Netball League qualifying final loss to North Ballarat City.

Boldiston was less than impressed by his side’s performance – its lowest score in his time at the club.

The Lions were well and truly in the match until late, losing 36-31.

Boldiston said the match between the two best teams in the competition didn’t reflect their standings.

“It was trying conditions, but both teams were scrappy and it was terrible,” he said.

“Both teams had patches of inconsistency and then went on runs.

“I haven’t seen an A-grade game where we’ve scored under 40 goals and we scored 31.”

Boldiston was most frustrated with the side giving up a three goal three-quarter time lead.

He said the players felt like everything was rushed on court, but from courtside it felt different.

Boldiston said he thought nerves may have played a part, with a couple of players playing their first A-grade final.

The Lions were also without goal shooter Amanda Cusack.

“It really hurt not having her,” Boldiston said of Cusack.

“She has strength and different movement. She would have given us a different option in attack.”

In Cusack’s absence, Ruth Smith top scored with 16 goals from 19 attempts.

The Lions live to fight another day, but will have to do it the hard way to make the grand final.

They face Lake Wendouree in a knockout semi final this weekend.

Boldiston said there was a silver lining to having to play every week throughout finals if they’re to make the grand final.

“We would have liked to get straight through, but it doesn’t faze us having to play every weekend.

“We can be a bit scrappy off a bye.

“It will also give Suzi Johnson the opportunity to get some more court time coming back from a broken ankle.”

The Sunbury Lions C-grade team lost their qualifying final, while their B-grade and under-19s won their elimination finals.