Lions’ season off to perfect start

OPENING ROUND: Lions' Nick Saunders gets ready to take control of the ball in Saturday's opening round clash at Port Oval.
OPENING ROUND: Lions' Nick Saunders gets ready to take control of the ball in Saturday's opening round clash at Port Oval.

Lions 13.8.86

Port 8.12.60

Proprietary/Risdon got their new season and their new coach off to the perfect start with a fiesty, hard-fought win against cross-town rivals in Port.

The game started with returning premiership players for Lions in Horsnell and Dyer joining newcomer Browne in the blue-and-gold. New for Port was Grove, Vivar, Jared and Symons along with returning Young plus debutante Akker and a few more from injury in a vastly different looking squad.

Early season jitters were on show in the first half with only three goals in the first quarter and a close two-point deficit at the main break.

The Indian summer weather had led to the umpires introducing a water break around the 14/15 minute mark which whilst commonsense did add to the stop start nature of the game.

It was the third quarter that set up the Lions victory with four goals to nil and although Port battled hard they couldn’t bridge the gap.

As mentioned with the numerous ins Port simply didn’t look as settled as Lions and poor delivery going forward cost them.

When new big man Grove took an early grab and goal it looked like Port would be coming in long and high for him all day.

In short they didn’t and coupled with Lions pressure they couldn’t find an easy route to goal despite only having one less scoring shot.

Sam Dyer was dominant on his return and and capped his game with three goals plus Eckert was allowed to zone off and do as he pleased across half back.

Horsnell was busy throughout the day, new boy Browne had good poise with ball in hand plus Fuller showed his class time and again.

For the defeated young Jacob Akker had a stellar debut and showed plenty in a first game to remember.

Coe had plenty of it and directed traffic whilst other youngsters Fraser Collins, Gray and Puddy gave a glimpse of more to come.

What the game lacked in polish was made up for in passion but sadly melees marred the later stages of the game, the results of which weren’t entirely clear at the time of writing.

PropRisdon by 26 points – Lions 13.8.86 def Port 8.12.60.