By Daniel Atamian
In what started as a slow start to their return to play game against Frankston, the Lions stamped out any doubt in anyone’s head that they would just roll over and allow the Dolphins to walk into their Den and claim an away win by completing an impressive comeback to finish the game with an emphatic 60 point win with the final score of 10.13 (73) to 2.1 (13).
The effects of the Covid forced break that put a pause to the South Eastern Women’s Football League (SEWFL) showed early in the first quarter with both sides struggling to hit the score board with a major as the Lions would kick three behinds to open the games score followed by a Frankston behind. Dusting the cobwebs out wouldn’t take long as a clever passage of play would see the dashing wing of Hanna Fosbrooke feed the ball into the goal square for ruck/ forwards Sophie Damon to capitalise on kicking her first major of the day and open up the Lions goal tally. The celebrations would be short lived however as the Dolphins would answer back converting a leading mark to goal by #18 Ella Hilton, Frankston’s quick passage of play from the centre bounce would see the ball enter their forward 50 once more with the Lions defence giving away a free kick to #28 Phoebe Canning who would capitalise on her opportunity by kicking a goal to put the Dolphins in front. Coburg would have two final chances to take the lead back by kicking another major as crafty forward Tanya Hendy would have her kick touched as it crossed the line while tough inside midfielder Ciara Elliott would have her high contact free kick smothered after the siren.
It looked to be a slow start once again for as the lions would kick a minor score again to open the second quarter as the Frankston defence held strong and repelled any attack of the footy trying to enter the Lions forward 50. It wasn’t until Coburg’s lovable larrikin and midfielder Tylah Bell put all jokes aside and meant all business to kick a goal to put the Lions back in front. After a couple more minors for the ‘Burgers” and Bell playing an impressive sweeping role from the Midfield/ Half Back line with her strong hands to pull down marks and clearing the ball out of the Lions defensive half. It would ultimately be Damon rucking in the forward line, tapping the ball down the throat of composed forward Jaime Nankiville for an over the should snap at goal to give Coburg some breathing room on the scoreboard. Aleesha Hobbs would go head to head with Frankstons #8 Lucy Grocock in the second term, with both players demanding and receiving the ball as they appeared to be everywhere on the field with Grocock’s line breaking runs out of the Dolphins Half Back line and Centre Bounce made it seem inevitable that she would be awarded a kick on goal for what seemed to be the “Dollies” Best on Ground performer.
Hobbs who would be a force to be reckoned with in the second half would open the scoreboard with a kick at goal after a clean passage of play saw Anna Morrow feed Hobbs the ball inside the Lions 50. After ping ponging from half back line to half back line the ball finally made it’s way into the Burgers forward half again, this time in the form of a free kick for highly touted recruit and former Carlton VFLW player Simone Craige, unfortunately Craige would not capitalise on the moment by kicking a minor score. This would not matter for long as Damon would go on to kick her second goal for the day followed by another goal from Hobbs who was duly rewarded for her second and third efforts for attacking and defending the ball as the Lions seemed to find the accelerator and would not be taking their foot off of it as the team sat with a comfortable lead going into the final quarter.
Never one to miss out on a “goal kicking party”, Lions young gun Teagan Bradley moved to the forward line after playing a stint in the midfield and kick a bomb from deep for a truly awe inspiring goal to open up the final quarter. Bradley was not done there, as the final quarter seemed to have her name all over it going on to kick her second major giving the Lions back to back goals. Not wanting to seem selfish and show she is a team and all around player, Bradley would even dish off the a handball to a running Damon who would kick her third major score. With time dwindling down and a few more missed opportunities at goal, momentum was on Coburg’s side as they seemed to find their second wind, it would be Damon again to put the final nail in the coffin kicking her fourth goal of the day from 40 meters out as the ball rolled over the line. The Lions defence would hold on strong from there as the Burgers would take home the victory and cap off a memorable return to footy.
Coburg: 1.4 10 | 3.7 25 | 6.10 46 | 10.13 (73)
Frankston: 2.1 13 | 2.1 13 | 2.1 13 | 2.1 (13)
S. Damon 4, T. Bradley & A. Hobbs 2, T. Bell & J. Nankiville