BY JACK KOVACIC
Coburg has put in its best performance of season 2019 so far and come away with the chocolates against Frankston on Easter Sunday.
The Lions had their best four quarter performance of the season, highlighted by their pressure and tackling which continually forced turnovers resulting in an abundance of scoring opportunities.
Off the back of six goals to co-captain Peter McEvoy, today’s score of 20.18.138 was Coburg’s highest since Round 17 2013 when it kicked 23.16.154 against Bendigo Gold.
Now Coburg forward Steven Stroobants kicked two goals that day for the opposition while also being named amongst the best players.
Kicking with a strong breeze in the first quarter, today’s match got off to a perfect start for Coburg when Kane Noonan marked uncontested inside 50 and kicked the first goal of the day.
The ball was locked in the Lions forward half for majority of the quarter, as they had 13 of the first 14 forward 50 entries.
This gave Coburg’s forwards many opportunities but other than consecutive snapped goals from Sam Binion and Billy Cannolo, the Lions struggled to put their dominance on the scoreboard.
With plenty of opportunities gone begging in a quarter in which it kicked three goals and nine behinds, Coburg went into the opening break with a 13-point lead.
When the game was on the line early, Jesse Corigliano was Coburg’s best, showcasing his intercept marking ability and reading of the play.
Corigliano had a game high nine disposals in the first term and was a key part of most of Coburg’s scoring chains thanks to his drive off of half back.
Although it no longer had the breeze at its back in the second quarter, Coburg kept control of the game and finally started to make Frankston pay on the scoreboard.
The Lions kicked six majors for the quarter while holding Frankston to three, despite the fact the Dolphins were kicking with a strong breeze.
In his 50thgame, McEvoy made sure his impact on the game was felt kicking three goals for the quarter.
Led by Sam Lowson along with Cannolo and Binion, Coburg’s forward 50 pressure was a highlight.
The Lions had 14 tackles inside 50 in the first half as they made it incredibly difficult for Frankston to transition from defence to attack.
Holding a five-goal lead, Coburg went into half time full of confidence.
This confidence was on full display to start the second half, as the Lions came out and kicked the first seven goals of the second half to put the game to bed.
Following a 50-metre penalty, former Gold Coast Suns academy member Harry Simington kicked his first goal in the red and blue in his debut match.
McEvoy added a further two, including a centimetre perfect snap from the boundary to bring his total for the game up to five majors.
Lowson had one of the highlights of the quarter, kicking his second for the game with a drop punt from a near impossible angle from the boundary while Marcus Lentini also kicked truly on the run from a similar angle.
With the game well and truly wrapped up, Coburg played possession footy for most of the last quarter which did not feature many highlights.
Speaking after his six goal, 22 disposal performance, co-captain Peter McEvoy was stoked to get a win in his milestone game.
“Its an awesome feeling to win, we’ve worked so hard this year as a group, for me to get lucky and be on the end of some good work from my teammates is especially rewarding in a 50thgame but the thing I wanted more than anything today was to get the win,” McEvoy said.
Coming into the game, McEvoy said he felt the love of the Coburg family but his sole focus was on today’s match.
“The amount of past players, past coaches and former teammates that got in touch to wish me all the best was really humbling and rewarding,” he said “Mostly the week was pretty normal and the focus was just on executing today which we did.”
Speaking post-game, defensive coach Ben Osborne was said he could see that the win coming.
“I was really confident coming into the game that we would be able to get the win but we held up really well in the second quarter and put the scoreboard pressure on in the third quarter,” he said, “We kicked three goals nine (behinds) in the first quarter then nine goals two in the third and were able to get some distance on the scoreboard.”
“I see it coming because the boys have put in a lot of effort, we nearly got it round one but today we were able to get that win.”
In what was a great team performance, Osborne highlighted the play of a few of the key contributors.
“Brodie Foster had a job early on against one of their most dangerous players in Nathan Freeman and shut him out of the game and then got a bit of it himself,” Osborne said, “Kane Noonan also played a really important role for us, especially in that time we kicked nine goals two, he was forcing turnovers close to goal and listening to instructions.”
Goals: McEvoy 6, Lowson 3, Cannolo, Stroobants 2, Binion, Simington, Dickson, Noonan, Tilley, Swierzbiolek, Lentini
Best: McEvoy, Dickson, Noonan, Podhajski, Foster, Lever