Sunbury Lions shake off slow start

Sunbury Lions
Sunbury Lions' Greg Hay. Picture Shawn Smits.

By Tara Murray

The Sunbury Lions enjoyed a strong win against Melton on Saturday – and produced their best performance of the Ballarat Football League season.

Returning to their home ground, where they are yet to lose this season, the Lions showed that when they play their best football they can match it with anyone.

After trailing at half-time, the Lions started to have an impact on the scoreboard.

Once they started to kick straight, in the final quarter, the Lions ran away with a 13.16 (94)-7.10 (52) win.

Lions coach Travis Hodgson said his players had been wasteful early in the game.

“We had control of the game and could have quite easily been in front at half-time,” he said.

“We started to get reward in the second half. The last quarter we kicked 7.2 and the first five shots were goals. When you finish the work, you put the scoreboard pressure on.”

Hodgson said there were two areas in which the Lions had stepped up.

“We defended a lot better than we had in previous weeks,” he said. “We also had a lot more pressure on the ball, which makes it easier defensively.”

Skipper Andrew Duhau kicked three goals up forward.

Hodgson said Lachie Bramble, Mitch Conn and Alik Magin were again standouts.

He said the difference was that the other players stood up alongside them.

“Mick Edwards played a really important role and he had been quiet for most of the year,” he said.

“Greg Hay played his best game that I had seen and Dylan and Jack Landt were both good. It was hard to name our best.”

The win leaves the Sunbury Lions with a 3-3 record.

Hodgson said they would like to get ahead of the ledger for the first time this season.

The challenge this week is a tough one – playing Lake Wendouree.

The Lions haven’t won on the road in more than 12 months and it’s two years since they won in Ballarat.

“We look at it as an opportunity,” he said.

“If we get a win this week it will launch our season – and if we can win in Ballarat, we are capable of winning anywhere.”