By Tara Murray
The Sunbury Lions hit back with a big win as they prepare for Ballarat Football League finals.
Having lost their last match and having had the bye last week, the Lions were keen to put out a good showing against Bacchus Marsh on Saturday.
It was a slow start for the Lions, but they ended up doing the job with ease, winning 20.16 (136)-10.11 (71).
Lions coach Travis Hodgson was pretty happy with the performance.
He said they were keen to make sure they were getting things right ahead of finals action.
“It was good after quarter time,” he said.
“There was a pretty strong wind to one end. We didn’t defend well in the first quarter and gave up six goals. We were easier to score against than we would have liked.
“After quarter time we kicked 18 goals to four.”
Jarrah Maksymow had his best return for the Lions kicking six goals.
Hodgson said they used Maksymow in a different role than they had been.
“Jarrah has played predominately in the midfield to build up his fitness after a late start to the season.
“We left him in the 50 for the whole game and we expect he to spend most of hit time up forward now.
“It’s about winning games. If you lose now, you will be done.”
While Maksymow starred up forward, it was a couple of midfield stars who were the best.
Alik Magin, was again good in the middle, while Lachie Bramble was best on ground.
“It was by a far margin, the best game that I’ve seen him play,” Hodgson said.
“His metres gained would have been huge.”
The Lions finish the regular season in fourth spot. They could consider themselves unlucky, finishing on equal points at the three teams above them on the ladder.
Hodgson said the ladder situation shows how close the competition is.
He said their recent loss to Melton had come back to haunt them.
“I had a feeling the Melton game would have an impact on results,” he said.
“We win that, we finish one win clear and finishing on top.
“Some other clubs would be looking at games thinking they should have won as well.”
The Sunbury Lions face Melton in elimination final on Sunday at Darley Park.
Hodgson said they would take plenty of confidence into the game.
“We know that if we play our best football, I think we’re a chance.”