Lions break away from the pack

Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times

Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault go into the Landmark Championship bye a game clear on top of the ladder after a 19-point win over the Collie Eagles at Brunswick Oval on Saturday.

The Lions held the Eagles scoreless in a dominant first term and held that buffer for most of the match to win 9.8 (62) to 6.7 (43).

Both sides were expected to put on an exciting display of running football, but the Eagles failed to gain any momentum in the first quarter, while the Lions were running away with the game by using their quick passing and elite decision making.

Things got worse for the Eagles when Liam Kinsella was taken to hospital early in the first term with a suspected broken ankle.

This left the Eagles with just three on the bench and limited rotations.

Inaccuracy kept the Lions from holding a bigger lead for much of the first half, as the likes of Eli Smith, James Hawksley, Kristin Thornton and Bailey Taylor did what they liked.

The Eagles kicked into gear in the second term and began applying more pressure around the contests, but could not get past defenders Ryan McKinlay, Jordan Sell and Jake Bloomfield, who took a number of intercept marks.

At the other end of the ground, the Eagles were clearly missing their injured captain Matt Blackford, who did not play.

Adam Bignell did his best in defence, but Blackford’s leadership and ability was missing.

The contest heated up in the second half as the Eagles made their move on the four points, with Kyle Shanahan, Corey Griggs and Teke Vernon finding space and utilising their speed.

Combined with the dominance of Paul Rinder in the ruck, the Eagles began to move the ball more fluently.

This allowed Jayce Fontana (three goals) to get into the game and early in the last term the lead was cut down to just 12 points.

But Eagle Joel Houghton went goalless for the first time this season, as Brayden Prentice did a great defensive role on the powerful forward.

When Thornton snapped his first for the day late in the final term though the fightback was over and the Eagles were handed their second loss for the season.

Scoreboard

Harv-Bruns-Lesch 4.4 5.7 8.7 9.8 (62) def Collie Eagles 0.0 2.2 4.5 6.7 (43)

GOALS: Harv-Bruns-Lesch - L. Slater, Z. Piper 2, T. Armitage, K. Thornton, C. Hill, J. Bloomfield, B. Taylor. Collie Eagles - J. Fontana 3, R. Chappell, M. Michael, T. Vernon.

BEST: Harv-Bruns-Lesch - J. Hawksley, J. Sell, E. Smith, B. Taylor, K. Thornton, R. McKinlay. Collie Eagles - A. Bignell, M. Michael, P. Rinder, T. Vernon, K. Shanahan, Co. Griggs.

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