Lions storm home

Published on Sunday, April 23, 2017

Author : Nicholas Sacco

South Morang backed up its dominant opening-round display by producing a commanding 33-point victory over Epping in Round 3.

Despite a slow start, the Lions dominated the last three quarters at Epping Recreation Reserve – kicking 13 goals to four to run out 14.13 (97) to 8.16 (64) victors in Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3.

Ruckman Paul Harrison and centre half back Darren Gresham were influential in their side’s win, while Wayne Pavitt, Jordan Steele, Anthony Calafiore and Anthony Capeci combined for nine goals.

Defender Paul Dempsey continued his strong form for Epping, while Aaron Willitts and Bill Hughes were also shining lights on a tough day for the Blues, who kicked a wasteful 4.12 after quarter time.

Despite Dempsey’s solid game, Shane Wood’s late exclusion from the Blues’ side due to injury ultimately cost them a structured backline.

The win places South Morang in second position on the Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 ladder, sitting behind Banyule with a game in hand. Meanwhile the Blues slid down to sixth place on the back of two consecutive losses.

Last year’s grand finalists were able to strut their stuff in the first term, using the wind to their advantage.

Despite Lachlan Buckley kicking the opening goal of the match within a matter of seconds, the Blues were able to kick the next four, led by two majors from Willitts, to give themselves a handy lead at quarter time.

In the second quarter South Morang was looking to make amends for its dismal start to the game, trailing both the scoreboard and the inside 50 count by double digits.

The Blues again looked dominant early in the second quarter despite being against the wind, entering the forward 50 on numerous occasions.

However Epping’s wayward kicking at goal kept South Morang in the contest. The Blues booted three successive behinds and were made to pay as the Lions soon got on top of the contest.

Two goals from Jordan Steele and a major from Paul Harrison reduced the margin to just nine points heading into the long break.

The visitors had the momentum heading into the second half. Wayne Pavitt lit up after a quite first half to kick the first two goals of the third quarter, including a wonderful mid-air kick from the goal square to put his side into the lead.

The Lions didn’t look like slowing down throughout the course of the second half, with Luke Shelton and Mitch Buckley’s providing run and carry through the middle of the ground.

The visitors kicked six of seven goals in the third quarter to lead by 22 points at three quarter time.

It wasn’t to be for the home side again in the fourth quarter, as poor goal kicking again cost them a chance to close the gap. South Morang booted four goals to two in the last stanza to run away 33-point winners.

The Blues now have a strong chance to get back on the winners list when they take on the winless Laurimar, while the Lions will look to make in three wins in a row when they face Kilmore at Mill Park Lakes Reserve.

Final score: Epping 8.16 (64) def by South Morang 14.13 (97)

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