A strong and gutsy start wasn’t enough for the Lions to get one last win in 2018, going down to Geelong by 81 points at Piranha Park on Saturday afternoon.
Coburg came out of the gates flying, putting the Geelong midfield and defenders under all sorts of pressure early.
But it wasn’t long before Geelong started to test Coburg’s defence, gaining a lot of possession inside-50. The Lions were able to hold off the barrage and limit the Cats to just three goals in the quarter, while kicking two goals for themselves.
Lochie Dickson kicked the Lions’ first goal of the quarter from 35 metres out, before Jack Murphy booted the second from an excellent chain of handballs.
Sam Lowson kicked a bomb from outside-50 to start the second quarter well, and bring the Lions back within a point; Max Mitchell Russell and Dickson both kicking goals to put Coburg a goal in front mid-way through the second quarter.
The Cats were quick to respond, and opened the game up when ex-Essendon player Stewart Crameri kicked three consecutive goals on the trot.
Nick Mellington was able to steal one back for the Lions, but Geelong went on to kick 10 of the next 11 goals.
It wasn’t until early in the third quarter that Billy Cannolo kicked the only Coburg goal of the term, after an excellent passage of play and collective team effort.
Geelong kicked the first goal of the final term and had majority of the footy in their forward half, storming home to finish nearly 14-goal victors.
Ball-magnet Marcus Lentini led the stats sheet once again, racking up 37 touches, followed by tough midfielder Luke Bunker (26 disposals) and versatile defender Lochie Dickson (21 disposals).
After four years in the VFL system, Jack Sandric finally made his debut, and was rewarded for his efforts by being named among the best on ground.
Speaking with midfield coach Andrew Sturgess after the game, he was pleased that his side were able to put pressure on the ball-carrier and win stoppages.
“It has been a common theme this year; when teams get a run on us, (they kick) consecutive goals in a row.”
“That has something to do with a young group that is inexperienced, with an average age of 19 coming up against seasoned-AFL players,” he continued.
Looking back at the 2018 season, Sturgess said it was “a slow start and a bit of a reality check” early on.
“We have built the right people around the place, and what we got was a buy-in from everyone; a clearer message, simplifying the game and an improving finish to the season.”
Thankyou to all of our members and supporters, for your passion and encouragement throughout the 2018 season.
We hope to see you at our Jim Sullivan Best and Fairest Count on Friday September 14. For more information please head to our website or contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coburg: 2.2 6.5 7.6 7.6 (48)
Geelong: 3.3 11.3 16.7 20.9 (129)
Goals: Dickson 2, Murphy, Lowson, Mitchell-Russell, Mellington, Cannolo.
Best: Bunker, Dickson, Lentini, Murphy, Sandric, Exon.
Image credit: Mozzed Video and Photography.