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Best: Thomas, Madden, Hunt, Bamblett, Blair, Cauchi
Goals: Hill 3, Younan 2, Cauchi 2, Carnell 2, Thomas 2, Hartley, Miles, Madden, Robinson, Brandt
Coburg continued its solid pre-season form by putting Frankston to the sword to the tune of 9 goals, in the club's first home pre-season encounter at Piranha Park.
Despite a slow start, the Lions never looked like losing and with superior work rate kicked 5 goals to none in the last quarter to run out 54-point winners.
Beautiful skies and 21 degree weather set the scene for the perfect day for Good Friday football. Coburg was blessed with the return of dual Best and Fairest winner Daniel Venditti who along with Cale Morton made their 2015 debuts. Despite only playing the second half, the young crop of Lions benefited from the additional on-field leadership.
The highlights were few in the opening first quarter. The star attraction up forward was Dion Hill, who had booted two goals as they headed into the first change. He was helped by Andrew Sturgess playing a crucial role linking the back half to the middle, and had 8 disposals to the break.
Five goals in the second quarter from five different sources allowed the coaching staff to relax a little bit. Whilst there were in control on the scoreboard, the coaches would've been no doubt frustrated at the Lions lack of clearances to half time. Goals to midfielders Nathan Thomas and Tom Miles from stoppages in the last minutes of the term, eased some concerns.
The third quarter was goal for goal for the most part, with the quarter ending in a stalemate. Dion Hill popped up for his third of the day, and Joel Madden got reward for effort for his hard work in and around the 50, along with Josh Cauchi snapping his second of the afternoon deep in the goal square. Venditti and Morton, along with Ben Sortino made their entry into the game, with Michael Hartley and Danny Younan heading to the pine.
The three majors of the third term would be the last of Frankston's effort on the day though, with the Lions keeping them to just one point and adding five at the other end of the ground to cap off a back to back seniors and development victory on Good Friday for the Burgers. Nick Carnell recovered from a quiet spell in the third quarter game time to add two late goals and Daniel Venditti worked hard to make up for the extra rest to finish with 16 possessions and build up some match fitness.
Coburg's defence were strong all day with talls Michael Hartley, Rory Lehmann and Nathan Blair dominating the spoils count, and providing reassurance to the floating half backs, allowing Keenan Posar and Josh Iacobaccio to dash off the 50 regularly.
Despite an average performance from the stoppages, midfielders Tom Miles and Andrew Sturgess had moments of quality amongst the midfield crop of talent.
Up forward the presence of Joel Madden was threatening for the Dolphins as the young key forward burst onto the scene to play his best game for the club, adding 3 contested marks to the 18 disposals he accumulated pushing up the ground.
The Lions now face Port Melbourne next Saturday afternoon with the senior side playing at 10:00AM and the Development team at 1:00PM. This will be followed in the evening with our Season Launch at Bell City.