Early dominance delivers for Lions

Headshot of Justin Fris
Justin FrisSouth Western Times
Bulldogs ball magnet Jesse Gribble is surrounded by the Lions defence as he tries to send his men forward.
Camera IconBulldogs ball magnet Jesse Gribble is surrounded by the Lions defence as he tries to send his men forward. Credit: Justin Fris

Several bursts of brilliance from Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault punctuated a stirring 16-point victory over Bunbury at Brunswick Oval on Sunday.

The Lions engineered three spells throughout the afternoon in which they managed three goals in quick succession – which ultimately was the difference in the contest.

Building on an impressive round one display against Busselton, John Baggetta’s men bolted out to a three goal lead by the fifth minute mark of the opening term.

During that period, the visitors were unable to move the ball past half forward, such was the relentless attack by the home side on the Bulldogs ball carrier.

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Trailing by 32 points at quarter time, Bulldogs coach Jamie Nani delivered a stern appraisal of his feelings in the huddle and his men heeded the message instantly.

Finally winning plenty of ball, the visitors were efficient through the corridor to great effect and got to within striking distance midway through the second quarter.

It was at this moment where the Lions again put their foot on the gas.

Three goals in three minutes had the home supporters beaming widely – as Kristin Thornton, Tim Yarran and Jonathon Sabourne classily went about their business.

Needing a spark, Bulldogs leaders Jesse Gribble and Dylan Heasman threw themselves everywhere in a bid to lift their teammates out of the mire.

However another surge from Lions ensured they scooted out to a seven goal lead early in thefinal term – and for all of theBulldogs’ endeavour they eventually were tamed by the clock.

Post-game, Nani was honest in his assessment of the Bulldogs’ afternoon.

“The first quarter and a bit was atrocious on our behalf I suppose,” he said. “It’s hard to come back against good sides when you are six goals down.

“I think we didn’t have one of our guys standing on Jesse Crichton for patches – he got three clearances and they got a couple of goals – which was the difference at that time when they got a run on.

“To our credit, in the second half there was some good football.”

Baggetta was pleased with how his side competed against a finals aspirant.

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