Burra record astonishing comeback over Lions

Published on Sunday, May 12, 2024

Author : Jack Traianou

St Mary’s produced an extraordinary final term comeback in their MC Labour Division 2 clash with South Morang, prevailing by just one-point in an entertaining contest at Mill Park Lakes Recreation Reserve.

The Lions led for the majority of the afternoon and after kicking the first major of the final term, they led by 21 points at the six-minute mark of the quarter.

However, the Burra produced the next three majors in what was an outstanding 20-minute patch for the visitors, with some late behinds enough to finish 9.10 (64) to 9.9 (63) winners.

The triumph was a great response to a disappointing performance last week for Fabian Carelli’s men, while the Lions unbeaten start to 2024 came to an end following the defeat.

Tane Cotter excelled in midfield and continued to drive his side forward at every opportunity. He was also influential in the front half, kicking an impressive set shot in the second term before an excellent effort saw him kick the golden point that put St Mary’s in front late in the match.

The last quarter surge was also helped by an amazing display from John Desmond, who kicked two terrific goals in the final quarter to put the Burra within touching distance.

Meanwhile the likes of Huon MacGibbon, Joseph Maggio and Jack Bianchin were also strong throughout the afternoon, with the Burra defence keeping Ben Peterson and Kyle Wheatley (who kicked eight goals between them last week) to just one major combined.

South Morang had a host of contributors that put them in a winning position for most of the match.

Tye Hall spent the majority of the afternoon in the front half, and he was the catalyst to his side’s good start, with the captain kicking three majors in the first half, and an excellent goal in the last quarter that gave the Lions that 21-point buffer.

James Traianou was electric along the wing, providing immense run and carry all day for the Lions and producing multiple inside fifty opportunities.

Ben Muscat and Mitchel Kalpakis were huge for the hosts in defence, with some great intercept marking and composed exits from defensive 50.

Gary Hall’s men were switched on early, kicking two quick first quarter goals inside in the first five minutes of the match courtesy of Tye Hall and Mathew Robinson, who took a strong contested grab and looked dangerous in the initial stages of the game.

The Burra were able to reply with two rapid goals of their own, but also by being more stable inside defensive 50, which didn’t allow South Morang any easy looks at goal.

The visitors led for the first time at 17-minute mark through Nicholas Brennan, but an outstanding check side banana goal from Traianou put the Lions one-point to the good at quarter time.

St Mary’s made their intent known in the first half of the second quarter, highlighted by Cotter’s tough set shot conversion from right near the boundary.

They owned the first fifteen minutes of the term, as they managed to pile on the pressure to their South Morang opponents.

But all their dominance would only see them lead by as much as 10 points before the Lions worked their way back into the match.

The hosts kicked the next three goals of the quarter, with Tye Hall proving to be a problem in the attacking half for the Burra, as he slotted home a further two majors.

South Morang were also starting to win the ball in the middle, allowing for repeat entries inside forward 50, and they ended the opening half with an eight-point lead.

It was a tense start to the second half as neither team could really establish any scoreboard pressure, however it was the Lions who owned most of the territory in the third quarter as they controlled the tempo of the match.

They would kick the only two goals of the third quarter before time-on but had recorded five scoring shots in the same period.

Although under siege, the Burra just managed to hang in the contest as Zane Costello secured an crucial late major to close the gap to 15 points at three quarter time.

The all-important first goal of the last quarter went to Tye Hall and South Morang, as the skipper showed his class to snap his fourth of the afternoon and extend the margin out to 21 points.

But St Mary’s’ intensity on the contest went up another notch, and two majors in seven minutes from the visitors suddenly set up a grandstand finish.

With the game in the balance, both teams needed a hero, and that hero was John Desmond. After a scrappy entry inside 50, Desmond was able to keep his feet and kick a snap in superb fashion, reducing the margin to two points for the away side.

The Burra would maintain the rage and produce the final three scoring shots of the game, but they were all behinds, with Cotter’s attempt at goal being the score that helped St Mary’s hold on for a memorable one-point victory away from home.

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