A wasteful Sunbury Lions were made to pay in the opening round of the Ballarat Football League against Darley.
While the Devils finished the stronger of the two teams, with six goals to two in the final term, the Lions missed early opportunities to take control on the scoreboard.
It proved costly, with the Devils winning 13.13 (91)-7.13 (55).
Lions’ coach Travis Hodgson said they didn’t make the most of the opportunities early in the game when they had them.
“We had control for the first quarter,” he said.
“We started really well, but failed to capitalise and put on the scoreboard pressure.
“We were wasteful in front of goal, we kicked seven out of bounds on the full and six of them were from set shots.
“Darley then came over the top of us.”
Hodgson said they always knew that Darley would come back at them late in the game.
He highlighted how well the Devils play at home, especially late in games.
“They really know how to utilise that ground and run to the right spaces.
“There’s no excuses. Darley would probably say we had control early on and nothing to show for it.”
Hodgson said while disappointed with the loss, there was still a lot of positives to come from his first game in charge.
He said the fact they had 27 scoring shots showed they were doing something right against a good side.
Daylan Kempster was the only multiple goalkicker for the Lions, kicking two goals.
Hodgson said the midfield group of Alik Magin, Mitch Conn, Lachie Bramble and Greg Hay controlled the game.
Ruckman Jayden Eales had a dominant game as well. Hodgson said Leigh Brennan, in his first game for the club, provided a good target up forward, but was one of the main culprits in front of goal with poor kicking.
The Sunbury Lions have this week off due to Easter, before facing Melton South the following week.
Hodgson said the week off would give them more time to review the tape from the game against the Devils and plan for the Panthers.
Hodgson said it’s a must win game as a 0-2 start would be tough.
“You want to win every game, but Darley at Darley is always tough. They’ve won their last nine games at home.
“Home games against Melton South are winnable and the games you have to win if you want to play finals.
“Hopefully we can get the four points in two weeks time.”
In the netball, the Sunbury Lions got off to a good start with a 66-45 win in the A-grade.
The Lions set the win up with a 20-6 first quarter. Shelby Holter, who stepped up from B-grade, shot 54 goals from 61 attempts.
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