Lions come from behind

Jack Newitt (Jacob Pattison)334037_03

Tara Murray

The Sunbury Lions made a big statement in a come from behind win against Darley in the Ballarat Football League on Saturday.

In their biggest test so far, the undefeated Lions were made to work hard for the victory.

After being scoreless in the first quarter, the Lions trailed at all three breaks against the reigning premiers.

The margin was 21 points at the final change.

The Lions, kicking to the end where their reserves side was located in the last quarter, found another level.

The Lions doubled their score from the first three quarters, while keeping the Devils to just one goal to come away with a 10.10 (70)-9.8 (62) win.

Lions coach Matt White was thrilled with how the group were able to respond after being challenged all day.

“Darley threw everything at us,” he said. “It was a big challenge.

“We hadn’t been able to get our ball movement going with their defence really good. They kept us really stagnant.

“We just let the shackles off in the last quarter and started to play our footy. We got some momentum and were able to finish off well.”

White said they didn’t look to change too much around at three quarter time, rather sticking to what they had been doing.

He said the only big move they made was switching Jacob Bygate, who came into the side on Saturday, into the ruck and Fraser Ampulski went forward.

White said they backed in their leg speed to get them over the line in the final quarter. He said the fact that they were challenged and still found a way was the most positive thing out of the day.

“We were challenged for most of the day by a fantastic team,” he said. “It’s a rivalry I’m looking forward to over the next couple of years.”

Mitch McLean kicked three goals, while Jake Sutton and Lachlan Urbon kicked two goals each.

White said they had plenty of winners across the ground.

“Jack Newitt had the job on Billy Meyer when he went forward and did a fantastic job,” he said.

“Brock Landt through the midfield was fantastic as was Jake Egan.

“Jacob Bygate was also good. It’s the second week in a row we’ve picked a guy from the reserves and the guy has been named in the best.

“There’s some really good depth in the club and I’m really happy.”

The Lions now sit a game clear on top with Melton losing to East Point. The Lions are the only undefeated team

White said getting early wins on the board would make things easier through the middle and back part of the season.

The Lions are now on the road for the next two games against Lake Wendouree and then East Point.

In the A-grade netball, the Lions just fell short against top side Darley, 44-40.

The Lions were without Taylor Honey, Lani Fauonuku and Eliza Gollant while several other players were on minute restrictions due to the Victorian Netball League.

The Lions sit in third spot after three rounds with three wins, a draw and a loss.