Lions find a way

Tye Hall. (Ljubica Vrankovic) 406469_11

Tara Murray

South Morang toughed it out on Saturday to continue its good form in the Northern Football League division 2 competition.

The Lions took on Lower Plenty for the second time this year and were pushed for the first three quarters.

A three goal to one final quarter the Lions were able to blow the lead out to come away with a 15.12 (102)-11.3 (69).

Lions coach Gary Hall said wins at this time of the year are important.

“We toughed it out,” he said. “It was a bit of a grind with the weather and injuries at this time of the year.

“The lower sides are having a crack and there’s not easy games. They’ve definitely improved, but our boys were able to fight the game out well.”

Hall said he thought they came out a bit flat after a week off and said that if you’re not at 100 percent of close to it you’re going to get rolled.

He said their more experienced players were able to settle and get the side working into gear.

“We had a few big forwards out, so we had a makeshift forward line,” he said.

“We had Koby Davies down there and our captain Tye [Hall] is always consistent. Our backline stepped up again.”

Ben Peterson kicked four goals for the Lions, while Bailey Brown, Jesse Christidis and Davies kicked two each.

Davies, Mitchell Kalpakis and Tye Hall were named their best.

Hall said each week it was different players stepping up and they were relying on the same players.

The win keeps the Lions in third spot, just percentage behind second placed Diamond Creek.

Hall said they would likely have some changes this week with a few guys pulling up sore after the game against Lower Plenty.

“We also have a couple headed to Bali for a holiday,” he said. “A couple of boys will be available which will be good.

“It’s survival of the fittest.”

Hall said having banked wins early in the season it was important to ensure they are in contention if they had a slip up.

He said he thought they were further ahead than when they were 12 months ago when they were in a similar position.

“We are more mature,” he said. “It showed the other week against Diamond Creek.

“It’s given us enormous belief out of the game. Things are looking good moving forward.”

The Lions place seventh placed Watsonia this week.

In other games, Whittlesea had to fight hard against Laurimar to come away with a 14.14 (98)-10.10 (70).

Thomastown had a shock loss to Northcote Park, losing 1612 (108)-5.11 (41).