Injuries strike Eagles as Lions claim victory
Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault ran out 28-point winners over a courageous and injury-stricken Collie Eagles at Brunswick Oval on Saturday night.
The Eagles lost injury-plagued midfielder Michael Florio and ruckman Paul Rinder in the opening quarter of the contest, before going on to be defeated by the Lions 10.14 (74) to 7.4 (46).
The Lions kicked two goals before Florio slotted one of the goals of the season.
The former WAFL midfielder received the ball in the middle, ran 20 metres and kicked to the deserted goal square, before the ball rolled through for six points.
Lion Mitch Andrews and Eagle Jared Debenham were called on to do a power of work in the ruck for their respective sides, with neither team able to retain possession for long.
The Lions had most of the possessions and two late goals to Ben Roberts gave them a handy 15-point lead at quarter time.
Eagles stalwart Adam Bignell kicked his first of the game, but Lions star Jesse Crichton responded with his second goal as the contest tightened up.
The busy Blair Malatesta kicked the Eagles’ fourth goal with a well-timed soccer but for the last 15 minutes the the scoring dried up.
Malatesta had his second a minute into the second half as the Eagles drew within two points of the Lions. Conditions had improved and a bit more strategy came into play with both sides adding three goals for the term.
The Lions were off target in front of the big sticks, but had managed to lead by 12 points at the final change. The Eagles ran out of legs in the last quarter, with several key players missing and a number of others lacking match fitness.
From there the Lions kicked the only two goals of the quarter to run away with the win.
Harv-Bruns-Lesch 4.2 5.4 8.9 10.14 (74) def Collie Eagles 2.0 4.2 7.3 7.4 (46)
GOALS: Harv-Bruns-Lesch - B. Roberts, J. Crichton, J. Watson 2, T. Kelly, L. Battens, Z. Williams, B. Busslinger. Collie Eagles - J. Leeson, B. Malatesta 2, M. Florio, A. Bignell, B. Maloney.
BEST: Harv-Bruns-Lesch - J. Quinn, M. Andrews, J. Sell, T. Kelly, J. Crichton, J. Watson. Collie Eagles - J. Leeson, B. Shanahan, C. Griggs, B. Malatesta, J. Debenham, T. Vernon.
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