Lions find how tough life is at the top

Jack Sullivan kicked three goals for the Lions on Saturday. Picture Damian Visentini

Sunbury Lions were given a footballing lesson by Lake Wendouree in the Ballarat Football League on Saturday.

The top-of-the-table clash proved to be a fizzer as the Lakers ended the Lions’ run of five straight wins.

Only a point separated the two sides 10 minutes into the second quarter, before the Lakers kicked six goals straight.

It was much the same in the second half as the Lakers continued their unbeaten start with an 18.14 (122)-8.10 (58) win.

“It was a reality check,” Lions coach Rick Horwood said.

“They capitalised on our mistakes and we went away from what we wanted to do. They gave us a footballing lesson.

“It’s a good time to happen and we can learn from it and fix it.”

Horwood said only about eight of his players did well.

“You won’t win too many games with that many contributing,” he said.

“Some blokes got found out. Some who had been playing well against lesser sides, didn’t play well this week.”

David Kovacevic, Trent Stead, Jack Sullivan (three goals), Dwain Sanderson and Mathew Medcraft were the best for the Lions.

Horwood said the loss wasn’t the end of the world.

“It was about playing for top spot and in the last two years we’ve been playing for survival mode and just trying to make finals,” he said.

“This was the first time playing for something above that.”

Reece Wood, who suffered an asthma attack, was the only medical concern from the game. But James Rizk fractured his foot and Tim Hill rolled his ankle in the reserves.

The Lions, who have the bye this week, are third on the ladder with six wins and losses to the top two sides, the Lakers and Bacchus Marsh.

They face East Point and North Ballarat City in a crucial two weeks after the bye.

“The bye has come at a good time,” Horwood said. “We can analyse where we are at. At 6-2 it’s a fair assessment of where we are.

“We wanted to climb the ladder and at this stage we’ve done that.

“We tried something different on Saturday and did a lot of our pre-game things on Thursday night. We’ll assess whether that worked.”