Lions win a thriller
Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault finally broke the streak of draws with a tight two-point win over Donnybrook at Brunswick Oval on Saturday night.
After a slow start, the Lions capitalised on their aerial dominance and the Dons’ inaccuracy to claim their first four points in three weeks with a 10.4 (64) to 9.8 (62) win.
The Lions began the game slowly, failing to score in the first term as the Dons showed more hunger and composure around the contests.
Midfielder James Hawksley got the home side going early in the second term with a goal and began winning the centre clearances, while the likes of Dylan Heasman, Luke Slater and Jordan Sell began taking a number of contested marks around the ground to put the Lions firmly back in the game.
The midfield battle was intriguing all game with neither side able to get on top for long periods of time.
Donnybrook captain Shane Cristaldi was thrown into the centre in the second half and joined Sean Lynch and Kieran Hug in creating an even contest against the Lions’ midfielders of Hawksley, Eli Smith and Jarrad Watson.
The two teams traded momentum after half-time, but the Dons went into an exciting last term on the backfoot, with no fit players on the bench and ruckmen Brendon Page (split webbing) and Ray Guidici (shoulder) both playing out the game with injuries.
When Lions co-captain David Newman kicked an important goal late in the last term to extend the home side’s lead to 15 points, it looked as if Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault had done enough.
But up stepped Lynch, who won two important centre clearances to send the Dons forward and on both occasions the forward press of Donnybrook held the ball inside their attacking 50 and allowed Jacob Green to kick goals and reduce the margin to two points.
Donnybrook coach Julian Burgess rolled the dice late in the game and screamed at his team to push up and attack, a move which almost worked, as the clock beat the Dons and gave the Lions their fifth win of the season.
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