Gutsy Lions tame Tigers

Justin FrisSouth Western Times
The Lions head to the rooms at half time during last night’s victory over South Bunbury.
Camera IconThe Lions head to the rooms at half time during last night’s victory over South Bunbury. Credit: Jack Gibellini

Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault recorded a gutsy 33-point victory over a spirited South Bunbury on Saturday night at a soaked Hands Oval.

John Baggetta’s men sealed the victory with four goals in the opening term, with the Tigers defence unable to quell a majestic purple patch from Lions livewire Zachariah Piper.

The Tigers, who were a player short for the entire match following an injury to Guy Piggott during the warm-up, showed plenty of endeavour early, but lacked a touch of polish heading into attack.

After absorbing early pressure, Piper, Sean Bradley and Kristin Thornton displayed the full range of their football experiences to tilt the scales in their side’s favour.

Leading by 26 points at quarter-time, the visitors would boot a further four goals across the remaining three quarters – with two of those coming in “red time”.

The home side managed to trim the margin to 14 points midway through the second term, with excellent forward pressure.

However, despite recording 11 of the first 14 inside 50 entries for the quarter, the Tigers had only 1.1 to show for their efforts.

As the clock ticked over the 20-minute mark, Thornton powerfully rose from four deep to take a strong mark on an acute angle 35m out at the southern end.

The former Peel Thunder and Sydney Swans talent cleverly kept his shot low and it curled majestically through the big sticks to give the Lions a handy dose of momentum in the shadows of half-time.

A torrential downpour during half-time ensured the ball spent plenty of time on the deck, with the visitors sealing victory with Thornton’s second goal in red time at the 21-minute of the third term.

Post-game, Baggetta was delighted with how three of his side’s eight goals for the match occurred during red time.

“That is one thing we do at training,” he said.

“Our exercises contain two minutes of red time where they have to kick two goals in two minutes.”

Tigers coach Stephen Bilcich was pleased with how his side maintained its commitment to the contest.

“I still thought up until three-quarter-time we were a chance to win the game,” he said.

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