The Sunbury Lions produced their best performance of the Ballarat Football League season to date, beating North Ballarat City on Saturday.
The Lions produced their first four quarter effort and were rewarded with a 16.17 (113)-11.5 (71) win at Clarke Oval.
The Lions dominated play early in the game, but it wasn’t until the second half when they were able to run away with the game.
While City finished the game off by winning the final quarter, the Lions had done all the hard work early to get the win.
Lions coach Travis Hodgson said he was pleased with the performance.
“We got the four points against Melton South a few weeks ago, but I don’t think it was that convincing, but today we were really good.
“I think the key thing in the other games, we were a little bit easy to play against at times.
“I thought we were a lot harder to play against, which was a key.”
Not for the first time this season, the Lions were inaccurate in front of goal.
The Lions had a massive 25 inside 50s in the first quarter, but only scored 3.7.
Hodgson said they didn’t take their opportunities early to put City away.
“Twenty-five inside 50s and 10 scoring shots, you’ll take that any day of the week especially to start a game, but we didn’t take opportunities.
“The flip side they got some really easy goals, after quarter time we got it back on our terms a bit.
“The third quarter was really good footy, we started to get some reward for the work we had done in the second quarter.
“I could see it coming then and we were doing things the right way.”
Alik Magin was best on ground, with Hodgson saying he has been their best player in three of the four matches so far.
Grant Valles also did a brilliant job.
Hodgson said they had moved Valles back into defence the last couple of weeks.
“Valles played on a wing for the first few weeks as we’ve had Ben Brennan and Paddy MacDonough and we’ve been pretty tall down back.
“We omitted MacDonough and Ben Brennan, who weren’t bad and we think are in our best 22, but just too tall.
“It’s allowed us to play Grant back. He was super last week after half time on Bell and super today.
Hodgson was also full of praise for Liam Berry, who played his best game under Hodgson, and Josh Muir and Jack Hannett, who came up from the reserves.
Hodgson said the depth at the club was starting to show through in recent weeks.
The day was also a special one, with skipper Andrew Duhau playing his 100th game for the club.
Hodgson said Duhau was held in high regard.
“He embodied what we wanted to be today,” he said.
“He’s very selfless and an influence on making other players better.
“He’s a real leader off field, the glue that holds it all together.”
The Lions have this week off, due to the interleague break. The Lions, who sit 2-2, then face the coach’s former side Bacchus Marsh the following week.